Step/creak, step/creak, the rough wooden stairs Marion used to ascend to the sanctuary didn't make for a surprise entrance. But that was OK. Marion was resplendent in a rouched white gown, veil and bright red roses, to symbolize her true devotion. Marion felt like a princess. She was envisioning the damsels of old, strong but delicate, in children's stories. Real princesses met bad ends in French tunnels, but stark reality did not intrude on her reverie.
The wedding guests due to the long wait had run out of small talk and so resorted to discussing the latest news.
“Did you hear about planet Sargasso?”
“They're going to colonize.”
“But, it's only water! And, the sea life is primitive. Nasty predators!”
A third woman chimed in: “Excuse me, but I'm with Myth Engineering, and I can tell you they are well underway. The bioengineering folks are doing recombinant DNA for the Sargasso project. I'm working with Greek mythology about Neptune to provide cultural support for the shark people.”
“Well, at least they didn't stray too far from Earth norms with us! We had to compensate for the lack of quality protein for fetal development here, but we aren't fish!”
As Marion reached the top of the stairs, all eyes turned and rose to behold her. She felt dizzy with all the attention, trying to maintain her balance in the surging sea of attention. She couldn't look down, or she would catch her legs in the hoops of her skirt, her mother had warned her. Looking left or right was disorienting, so she looked ahead, where the minister and her beloved stood waiting. A ruffling sound that she imagined was angel's wings, sounded quietly, for this was a praying church. She made it to his side.
Wow, this is really happening, thought Marion, I'm really becoming an adult. Under her mother's loving gaze Marion stood and appeared to attend to the minister's words, but her own thoughts intruded. She caught snatches. “…as our progenitors of old Earth had done before us, he will supply the seed for new life as well as the nourishment to help the child grow…”
She hoped her wedding gown was hiding her changes, for Marion's body was growing in its excitement. How she wanted him! She remembered what her mother taught her about sex, to let him enjoy her fully, since he would never have a time like this again.
Her jaw loosened, reassuring her it would detach properly as she had prepared it to do in her pre-marital exercises. She quickly closed her mandibles demurely, since the minister was finishing up.
“You may now kiss the groom.”
Scott Davis has stories published at NovaSciFi, Ray Gun Revival, and Sonar 4 Magazine. Links are on his blog, Universe of Possibilities. He is of the opinion that changing the human genome will require less energy than terraforming planets. So, in the far future, we will be the aliens on other worlds. Mixing our DNA with terrestrial animals will be the safest way to adapt humans, since we know those genes work. However, such meddling will have far-reaching effects, including psychological and cultural adaptations, changes in religion and customs around procreation that may seem sacrilegious or monstrous at first blush.