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2. The Shroud (may be offensive t

1. Altered Fates

The Shroud (may be offensive to some)

on 2005-06-18 05:56:28

1121 hits, 22 views, 0 upvotes.

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21 year old Jessie was a college student, in his last year. He had just broken up with his girlfriend and, trying to take his mind off of things, was going through garage sales. As a student he had little money, and at least he'd be looking at things he could afford.

To make matters short, he ended up owning the Medallion of Zulo. Reading through the instructions, he was incredulous, but it was obvious that someone had gone through great lengths to keep this cheap-looking item safe and to send a message to its next owner.

Now, who or what could he try it out on? He didn't want to become someone else who could be recognized. Considering the local museum, he decided that someone hundreds of years old was a good choice--nobody would be alive to recognize him. On the other hand, the whole thing was very silly. Magic couldn't be real! Why was he even thinking like this?

So when he first tried it, he did so on a woman's scarf. It wasn't hard at all--just walk through K-Mart while putting the medallion on, casually touch it to the scarf, put it back, and leave. Jessie felt the transformation begin and knew that the magic was real--but since the transformation would take several minutes, he could get out of the store before it would really be noticeable.

By the time he got home, he was a female version of himself, and mused on how he should probably be called "Jessie" now. It was real! Real magic!

Jessie found herself wondering--how did the medallion know? After all, a girl's scarf was pretty much the same as a guy's scarf. How did the medallion know that that was girl's clothing? Come to think of it, even if he used a bra, there was the same question. A bra is just a piece of fabric. Anyone could wear one, even if not everyone would want to wear one. How does the medallion know that a bra was girl's clothes, and not, say, crossdresser's clothes?

Jessie never did figure it out--the best idea she could come up with was that a scarf or bra is "women's clothes" because lots of people think of it that way.

But the next day she continued with her original plan and tried the museum.

The first possibility was an exhibit showing what people wore during Revolutionary War days, but it was behind glass, where she couldn't reach it.

She passed an Egyptian mummy case, but decided that even if it counted as clothes, it was worn by a dead person. She really wanted to stay alive.

The next exhibit was a few threads from the Shroud of Turin. This relic was once believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus, but most scientists didn't think it was real--possibly painted, where the paint had fallen off in the past hundreds of years. The shroud itself was not at the museum, but some threads had been sent away for carbon dating and were on display. She put on the medallion, touched it to the threads, and waited.

Then she felt strange, dizzy. She looked at herself--her skin was a bit darker More Mediterranean-looking. When Jessie went into the restroom and looked in the mirror, she was disappointed to see no change other than the skin tone. Of course, she realized, it was impossible to be changed into the son of God. No magic could do that. And besides, Jesus wasn't a woman, and she clearly still was.

But she tried a test anyway. She pointed at the sink. There was a layer of water, and it suddenly turned reddish. She knew without trying to taste it that it was wine....

Eventually Jessie figured out what had happened. The scientists must have been right. The shroud was fake. Nobody ever wore it. It wasn't Jesus's burial cloth--it wasn't even from the same era.

But if you touch the medallion to a woman's scarf--even if the scarf was never worn by a woman--you turn into a female version of yourself. So what happens if you touch the medallion to "Jesus's clothes"--even if nobody ever wore that? It was a bizarre concept, but Jessie had turned into a Jesus version of herself. Or rather, a female Jesus version of herself.

It didn't matter if Jesus even existed. The world was still safe for theologians. But if lots of people thought of that as Jesus's clothes, it was, in the same way that scarves become "women's scarves" just because everyone thinks of them that way.

Jessie, going home and trying the medallion, found she could save the clothes from her female form, become a guy, and become a girl later by using the clothes. But he knew that powers like those were a big responsibility. Could he heal the sick? Feed the hungry? If he can, wouldn't that be the right thing to do, no matter what his religion?

Jessie touched the medallion to the shirt he had saved--and turned into a girl again, feeling the powers return. Then she walked out of her apartment and went to....

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