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You Had Me At Boo – The Midlife Goddess
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I was once a 38-year-old ghost…until the Fates hurled me back to the land of the living, minus my bounty hunter boyfriend from Hell.
My name is Saoirse Sullivan. I used to be a successful make-up artist, and I used to date a handsome and successful banker named Jason. But then he cheated on me, a nerve in my brain ruptured, and I went into a coma.
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Eunomia, the Goddess of Law, was hard at work in the judge’s bench when the double doors of the Olympian High Court slowly started to open on its own. Such a thing only happened when an expected visitor was to come, and a frown creased the goddess’ forehead. Was it time then?
She pulled a drawer open and rifled through the scrolls until she found what she was looking for.
Let’s see now…
Its locking knot unwound with a magical snap of Eunomia’s fingers, the scroll of parchment rolled down from her hold, just in time for the goddess to watch letters in red ink appearing one by one – a real-time recording as events unfolded in the world below.
On the first of July, the Aspirant comes into consciousness, her soul returning to its original body.
Eunomia had just finished rolling the scroll back to a close when a gentleman crossed the threshold of her courtroom. His features were austerely handsome, and he wore his power like second skin – invisible but ever-simmering, and so tremendously dangerous people who thought to cross him did so at their own peril.
Eunomia, not the one to disrespect fellow immortals, descended from her seat to meet her visitor halfway.
Both spoke briefly but courteously, with neither of them the type to waste time on trivialities.
Eunomia handed him the scroll. “Now that the Aspirant is awake, here are the rules that the Moirai decreed you must be bound to.”
The Lord of the Underworld
Is not to use his powers in aid of the Aspirant
Is not to wield his influence over his subjects in aid of the Aspirant
Is not to reveal his prior connection to the Aspirant until the test has been completed
Hades only nodded. “Any other rules?”
“The Moirai has enlisted Zetes, son of the North Wind, to serve as watcher.”
“A spy, you mean,” Hades said coldly.
“A watcher,” Eunomia repeated firmly, “to ensure that no rules are broken. The watcher’s testimony will prevent anyone from questioning the Aspirant’s completion of the test—-”
“The Moirai can send a battalion of watchers for all I care,” Hades dismissed. “She will pass this test, and once she does…”
Eunomia inclined her head in acknowledgment. “The Fates always keep their word. If the Aspirant passes her test, she shall be recognized as the new Lady of the Underworld.”
Everyone called her ‘Nana’, she told me. She was silver-haired and sturdily built, like that granny who was lucky enough to have Tweety Bird as pet. She even had the same adorably dorky pair of glasses, and it went rather well with the polka-dot blouse she wore under her white coat. It must be her favorite, too, since I never saw her wearing anything else.
Nana had been keeping me company since I came out of my coma, always ready to lend an ear even to my silliest gripes. Jon killed Danaerys, and Bran is king? Oh! Come! On!
And to Nana’s credit, she had respected my very legit grief as I shed tears over the death of my favorite Game of Thrones character. Khaleesis were supposed to rule the world, dammit.
But…anyway, moving on.
Nana was also the only one who cared to tell me things that my other doctors preferred not speak of, like the fact that the blood samples they’ve taken from me had consistently yielded the same results: a never-before-seen abnormal mutation which could be interpreted in one or two ways.
The half-cup-full diagnosis: the mutation might be the possible reason behind my unprecedented recovery.
The half-cup-empty version: the mutation could eventually kill me.
(All things considered, I get why they’d rather shut up about it.)
Another thing that Nana alone had the guts to tell me was the unvarnished truth about my personal life. My douchebag of an ex had only cared to visit me once, and the last person to check on me was a high school friend who lived out of state..and that was six months ago.
I know that should’ve made me feel like the saddest loser in town, but when I thought about how I had also been a human vegetable for two-plus years before being given a second chance in life…
“It kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?”
Nana nodded agreeably. “It does, indeed.”
It was my last night in Roger Hills, and Nana and I were celebrating my discharge with mocktails (I was banned from drinking alcohol until the doctors could figure what went right – or wrong – with me). Nana’s chilled concoction had spinach and lemons mixed with half a glass of soda. Didn’t make any gastronomic sense, but I appreciated it all the same. It couldn’t have been easy for Nana to sneak these drinks past the nurse station.
‘Want another one?” Nana asked.
“Yes, please.” Nana refilled my glass, and as soon as she turned away to refill hers, I knocked the whole thing back with a single swig. That was the trick with all things you didn’t want to taste, you guys. Have it go down your throat fast enough, and anything you’ve swallowed down might as well have been air.