by Lisa Chao|
Elysia felt as though the sun was was smiling upon her on this joyous day. She watched as the birds danced in the clear blue skies. Listened as the waves hit the cliffs, the sound soothing her nervousness of the day to come.
Outside, the older women were laughing and singing as they prepared the ceremonial alter. They decorated the local square with the bright flowers of spring. And prepared delicious smelling dishes for the feast to come.
“Elysia, are you ready?” Asked her mother.
“I have yet to decide on a dress.” Said Elysia looking at the only two dresses she owned. Either blue or green.
“Here.” Her mother handed her a robe. “You’ll be wearing this for the ceremony.”
Elysia grew even more and more nervous as the day went on by. She hid it under a smile which she had hoped all others would not be able to see through.
It was a strange day, she noticed the other women looking at her in a different kind of way today. They squinted and spoke softly when she passed them by. Maybe they were just not sure if I’m ready to be a woman, Elysia mused to herself. She thought nothing more of it and just figured they will look at her more kindly when she finally becomes a woman, when she is one of them.
There were ten or so girls today at the alter with Elysia. All lined up and wearing dresses of all colors. One by one, they all stepped forward to get branded on their wrists by the Chieftess. A brand that would symbolize their womanhood. Elysia watched how each girl bit their lip as the red hot iron touched their skin. Elysia was afraid of pain, and the sight made her heart race even faster.
And then finally it came time for her turn. Elysia breathed in deep and stepped forward, holding out her wrist. Her nervousness was now overtaken by dread. A dread of the pain to come.
Elysia started to recite the Amazonian Oath, “As Athena is my witness, I humbly accept the honor of–”
“Not you.” The Chieftess said, placing the iron brand back into the fire. “You must have known that you were different from the rest of us, Elysia.”
And so, they forced him from Themiscyra, as they had always exiled all other boys before him. No matter how much Elysia protested that inside he felt more like an Amazonian than a so-called man, the other Amazonian women still felt he had no place among them.