Disclaimer:The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong exclusively to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this piece.
Subtext Warning: Not really, but there is discussion of various…activities, so, if you think it best not to read, don't. Changed my mind, yes, this story does imply a subtextual relationship between two consenting adult women, so, if you are under 18 or this type of thing is illegal in the state/country in which you live, or if you are offended by it…scat.
Author's Notes: Alright, I'm not sure if this is based on fact or not, but I was flicking through my Classical Mythology Dictionary (as you do) looking for something else and came across an interesting passage stating that, Herophile, the Second Sibyl had a stone she used to mount before giving out her oracles. Well, my brain got working, and I am an uncouth Australian after all, my mind is perpetually in the gutter. Now, let me think, what would you call a stone you could mount? Whoever translated Pierre Grimal from the French has a lot to answer for…
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Gabrielle and the Phallus of Apollo.
"Behold! The sacred phallus of Apollo!" The cry rang out strongly from the throat of the Second Sibyl of the Oracle of Apollo. "Observe the stone! Take heed of it's warning, brought forth through me, Herophile!" the voice continued. "Note it's size, it's curve, it's hardness!" The young woman raised the object high above her head so all around could see the granite object.
In the crowd that had gathered at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Gabrielle shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other.
"What exactly is she going to do with that?" the blonde asked the warrior who stood beside her, in a nervous voice.
"Masturbate." Xena replied evenly, her eyes never wavering from the figure of the Sibyl.
"She's going to…with that?" The bard grabbed hold of Xena's arm in an attempt to get her attention, "Xena, it's huge."
"Uh-huh, that's what makes it so interesting." The warrior smiled slightly at the expression on the bard's face.
"You mean we're going to stand here and watch?" Gabrielle couldn't believe it.
"Yep, it's part of the ritual to do with the Oracle. No-one gets their questions answered if they don't watch."
"Great!" the bard threw her arms up in the air in resignation. "First you drag me halfway across Greece to Delphi, and now I have to stand here and watch a masturbating Oracle. Just brilliant Xena, brilliant." The bard shook her head in exasperation.
"She's good." The warrior lent down to speak softly into Gabrielle's ear.
"Xena, I don’t care if she can pop corks, it's not something that I want to watch." the bard bit out, trying to keep a handle on her anger.
"Gabrielle!" Xena sounded shocked and just a little amused. "I mean she's a good Oracle. Herophile was the one who predicted the fall of Troy, you do remember that don’t you?"
The bard calmed down a little and tried to focus on the entrance to the sanctuary where Herophile stood, phallus raised.
"Witness the power of Apollo!" the Oracle shouted over the hushed crowd, "Observe the mighty strength of the phallus!" Herophile intoned as she lowered the object. A temple attendant came over and offered the Sibyl a bowl of something, into which she dipped the phallus.
"What's that?" the bard asked, vaguely curious despite herself.
"Sacred oil…for lubrication." the warrior dead panned.
"I can't do this." Gabrielle mumbled and tried to turn away, but Xena forced her around again.
"You do want your question answered don’t you?" the warrior asked and received a nod in return. "Then watch, she'll know from your eyes if you don't".
Gabrielle rolled her eyes and forced herself to look at the Oracle. Xena made sure she didn't move with a firm hand on her shoulder.
"Regard the sacred phallus!" the Sibyl shrieked as the object disappeared beneath her kiton. "View its power as I become one with Apollo!" she continued, thrusting mercilessly beneath he flowing garment.
The bard sneered as the Oracle began gyrating her hips wildly at the entrance to the sanctuary.
"Xena!" the bard said harshly as she felt the warrior's fingers begin to dig into her shoulder.
"Shhh." the warrior mumbled, watching the woman go into spasms of ecstasy on the steps of the sanctuary.
The Sibyl gave one final shriek before she collapsed, spent on the steps of the sanctuary. One of the attendants rushed over to help her remove the phallus. The sacred object was spirited away to be cleansed as another attendant mopped the brow of the exhausted Sibyl and gave her water to drink.
After several silent moments, Herophile came to her senses, managing to gain her feet with a little assistance.
"Observe! The spirit of Apollo is upon me!" she shouted, scanning the crowd with watchful eyes. After a moment she threw her head back and let out a guttural cry.
Gabrielle was now watching the scene with a great deal of interest.
"There is one of you here," Herophile began, her voice altering pitch and tone, "who will be honoured by Apollo."
A murmur went through the crowd, and Gabrielle looked up to Xena as if to say, 'This had better not be you.' The warrior shrugged, thinking of nothing she had said or done to suffer the honour of Apollo.
"It is a woman!" Herophile continued, her eyes locking on to those of several female forms.
Gabrielle glared once more at the warrior.
"From a small village."
Several disappointed murmurs could be heard through the crowd.
"Potidaea!!" Herophile screamed, her body going into minor convulsions.
Xena glanced down at the bard with a blank expression. Gabrielle's face was as white as a sheet. She was shaking her head slightly and trying to back away through the crowd. Yet Xena grabbed her by the arm and forced her to stay put.
"Oh no you don't, you don’t know it's you yet, and besides, even if it was, how bad could it be?" the warrior asked.
"Oh yeah," Gabrielle said balefully, "that sounds really good coming from you."
Xena shrugged and turned her attention back to the Oracle.
By now, Herophile seemed once again in control of her body.
"A bard! Her name is…Gabrielle!" the woman shouted at the top of her lungs.
"Right! That's it, I'm out of here." Gabrielle said quickly, somehow managing to escape for Xena's grip to bolt through the crowd.
Xena was right on her heels, calling her name. Now this, was a mistake, for the crowd parted before the fleeing honoured of Apollo, identifying the two of them to the Oracle.
"There!" Herophile screamed, pointing at the two women "Stop her! She must be brought to the temple!"
Before any major offensive could be undertaken, Xena managed to halt Gabrielle. She spun the smaller woman to face her and stared with confused eyes into the bard's face.
"What's gotten into you?" she asked, "It's just an Oracle, she's not going to kill you."
"But Xena," the bard panted, "she's got the phallus!"
Xena smirked and raised an eyebrow, "What, you afraid she's going to stick it to you?"
The bard opened her mouth but nothing came out, after several attempts and Xena's eyes boring into her, she shrugged, "Well, not exactly, but…she's just…you know…"
"Xena, the idea of talking to a post-masturbatory Oracle does not really appeal to me."
"Why not? You talk to me." Xena said calmly.
The bard blinked once and said nothing, she swallowed and shook her head.
"That's something I didn't need to know Xena."
The warrior shrugged nonchalantly, "C'mon Gabrielle, it might be interesting, you might get a story out of it."
Gabrielle glared at the warrior with sharp eyes, "A story, yeah, who in Tartarus would want to hear it?"
"Quite a few people I should imagine."
The bard rolled her eyes and glanced up to the sanctuary, where several temple attendants were making their way down into the crowd in their direction.
"You're going to come with me right?" the bard sounded unusually meek.
The small woman nodded and sucked in a deep breath before turning towards the temple and stepping out boldly.
The crowd parted once again as the bard and the warrior made their way back up to the sanctuary. They were stopped at the base of the steps by the attendants who tried to separate Xena from the bard. However, the look she gave them was enough to make their bowels turn to water, and they let her pass. Gabrielle smiled her thanks as they ascended the stairs to where the Sibyl was awaiting them.
The young woman held out her arms in order to embrace the bard. Gabrielle sneered slightly as the woman wrapped her in her arms, before pushing her away to view at arms length. The Sibyl then turned to the crowd.
"See the honoured of Apollo!" she shouted at the top of her lungs, causing Gabrielle to cringe slightly.
Xena stood close by, her arms crossed, watching the scene.
"What exactly does this honour entail?" Gabrielle asked slowly.
The Sibyl looked at her with a sideways glance, but spoke to the crowd.
"Regard the recipient of the sacred phallus!" she yelled into the mass of people gathered below.
A collective gasp emanated from numerous mouths as Gabrielle staggered backwards slightly at Herophile's words. Xena immediately gathered the bard into her arms and straightened her up until Gabrielle nodded that she was okay. The bard took another deep breath and faced the Oracle.
"Now hang on just one minute, what do you mean 'the recipient of the sacred phallus'? she asked, wiping absently at the light sheen of sweat that had appeared on her brow.
"Apollo has spoken through me!" the Sibyl continued in her oratory voice, "Gabrielle of Potidaea shall receive the phallus of the honoured of Apollo!"
A cheer went up throughout the crowd at this statement.
"Oh no, no, no, no, I don't want your phallus, sacred or otherwise." the bard was shaking her head.
"You dare deny the gifts of Apollo?" the Sibyl asked, anger bubbling beneath her calm voice.
"I don’t deny anything, I just don't want the phallus." Gabrielle tried to explain.
Herophile shook her head before speaking, "Bring forth the phallus!" she shouted.
Immediately, a temple attendant rushed out, carrying the granite phallus on a red cushion with gold trim. The attendant scurried over to Gabrielle and knelt before her, offering up the phallus.
Meanwhile, Xena was looking on with amusement, smirking silently in the wings.
Gabrielle took one look at the rather large stone phallus lying as if disembodied on the cushion and shuddered.
"Take up the phallus!" Herophile ordered bluntly.
Gabrielle cast a long glance over to the warrior who simply shrugged.
Sighing heavily, Gabrielle stretched out a hand and wrapped it around the shaft of the phallus, lifting the heavy object from the red cushion. She held it at arms length, a slight look of disgust on her face. However, a roar went up from the crowd, so she hefted the object high above her head for all to see. The crowed roared louder.
"You have been honoured by Apollo, take the phallus, go forth from this place and spread the glory of the phallus!" Herophile said, gesturing broadly into the distance.
Gabrielle raised her eyebrows in disbelief, but, it was an opportunity to get out of there. She glanced to the warrior and nodded, before they both fled the sanctuary, inundated with well wishing people.
Gabrielle did not dare glance back, but rather headed for the closest road away from the Oracle.
After about a candle mark of silence, the two were clear of the crowd, some of whom had chosen to follow the new holder of the phallus, until Xena had rounded on them like a woman possessed,
Slumping down against a tree, the bard threw the phallus on the ground off to her right,
"Now tell me please, what exactly am I going to do with that?" she asked, pointing accusingly at the granite object.
Xena collapsed on the ground beside the bard and grinned stupidly, "Oh, I don't know…I'm sure we could find some use for it."
Gabrielle turned on the warrior with a mouthful of harsh words until she caught the mischievous look in the woman's eye.
A smile slowly played at the corners of the bard's mouth, "Well, she did say go forth and spread…"
Until next time,
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