So I may have done something a little bit stupid. But I was bored. It was bound to happen eventually. I mean I am the goddess of the stars and I should be allowed to do whatever the heck I want. But no. There are rules. Rules that say we have to be responsible for the humans of earth and not expose our existence to them. Writing “kiss my ass” in the sky as a new constellation probably wasn’t the best idea in retrospect but I was mad at the others because they would always tease me for being weaker than them. I sure annoyed them with my pathetic powers.
Now I’m staring at the ceiling in my relatively small flat in the middle of an overcrowded city. I had been forced to abandon the world of gods and instead grace the humans with my presence. Besides, down here I can get updates on the effect my handiwork is having on the humans first hand. Astrologists have been losing their minds over this and in all honesty, it is absolutely hilarious to watch.
However, I live in fear. Fear of discovery more accurately. If those angry gods found me here then I am certain I shall be, not killed as I am immortal, but rather, locked up for an indefinite amount of time, which would be more boring than before. I shudder just thinking about it.
I get up quickly and decided to go and be a normal human and grab an overpriced coffee.
The thing is the messing with the constellations isn’t the reason I’d be locked up. Travelling to earth is strongly prohibited but since we have already established I’m not good at making decisions here I am.
The scent of coffee beans invades my nostrils and snaps me out my thought. It is a rather quaint coffee shop and the coffee isn’t completely terrible, so I visit fairly frequently. Greeting the barista with a smile, I order my usual – small latte and a chocolate muffin then grab the nearest table and claim it as my own.
I sit there peacefully, minding my own business, sipping my latte, and contemplating what I should do after I leave the café. Rudely, my thoughts are once again interrupted as a young man wearing a black hoodie accidentally pours his scalding hot, black coffee over my head.
I glare at him. Not because I am physically hurt, as I cannot feel pain from such a minor thing, but because I am rather embarrassed due to the whole scenario. Everyone stares at me, the goddess, who wished to keep a low profile and not announce my presence to the world and all who inhabit it.
Instantaneously, I stand up and brush off his apology coolly as I rush to the nearest restroom, I even leave my beloved muffin behind in the panic. Hurriedly I lock the stall door and exhale deeply. I use my powers to dry myself off and clean myself up and huff grumpily. It’s an easy thing to solve but… how DARE he do such a thing to a GODDESS?! He must pay.
After returning to the scene of the crime, I saw the perpetrator sitting on my table with a smug grin on his face. Noticing my presence, he stands up and gives yet another half-hearted apology.
“I’m so sorry. If it makes you feel better I now have no coffee.”
I sigh. “I really don’t care. I understand you didn’t mean to and it’s not as if my flesh has burnt off due to coffee being tipped onto my head. I’m honestly fine but I feel like you owe me something for the trouble I’ve had to go through.”
“Of course. Name it and it’s yours.”
“I want you…”. I smile.
“We’ve only just met…” he smirks, amused at his own joke I presume.
“Not like that you fool,” I growl angrily. “I want you… to be my servant!” I announce it with pride.
“Servant?” He smirks once again. “Not a role I am familiar with, but I’m not one to go back on a deal.”
“Perfect. Now servant, buy me another muffin. It appears you’ve finished mine…”
“Ah yes, of course…”
He does as I ask and we end up in an awkward silence.
The muffin is finished far too quickly and I am left conflicted about what to do next. What does one even do with a servant?
The smell of coffee that was once so inviting is now getting on my nerves.
“Right let’s get going.”
“You want me to go with you?!”, he splutters with his eyebrows raised.
“Well yeah. You are my servant now.”
A quiet “oh” is all that can be heard from the young male and then the shuffling of footsteps as he attempts to stand on his feet. I stride out the door, not caring for the fact that my servant can barely keep up with my godly pace.
He is panting now and I feel a little bit bad for making him struggle so I slow to match his speed.
“So.” He begins as we peacefully walk together. Naturally, I decide to interrupt him.
“Buy me a chocolate bar?” I hand him some change this time.
“Sure.” He returns looking very pleased with himself and presents a delicious looking package.
“Thank you.” I take small, gentle bites.
“…how long do you plan on keeping this whole servant thing up?”
“Forever.” He laughs. “I’m not joking.” I break him off a bit of my chocolate and pop it into his mouth. “Come on. I want you to take me to your favourite place in this city.” I giggle at his confused expression as he chews.
We round a corner and the colour drains from his face. I turn on my heel to see what’s scared him so much and see a group of particularly threatening vultures in the middle of a roundabout.
I open my mouth to ask him why this situation is so scary but I get cut off by a sharp tug on my wrist.
“Your favourite place is this way?” I ask as I get led into what appears to be a shady alleyway.
“Yes actually. I quite like the view” is the reply.
I know something is wrong, it’s extremely obvious but I’m not even slightly scared, just finding this experience very new and exciting. I trust my servant because he’s never wronged me since we made the deal. I know it’s not been very long and this is probably a bad decision (which I am notorious for making) but I can always defend myself as I am a goddess and what the heck, it’ll be a change of pace at the very least.
We reach a dead end and turn around to see that we have been cornered by the vultures. One of them, presumably the leader, steps forward and transforms into something that could resemble a human if you squinted hard enough.
“Well well. I have found you at last Joooooohn” he crows.
“If I remember correctly you didn’t actually see him. It was ugly face behind you. It would’ve been more accurate to say ‘we have found you’ as opposed to ‘I have found you’. You need to appreciate that some things you can’t just do on your own” I boldly reply seeing as my servant appears to have stopped breathing and I really care about technical accuracy.
“Who the hell are you?” He squawks at me furiously.
“I am Celeste, It’s a pleasure to meet you, I’m sure.” I raise an eyebrow.
“Leave!” He shouts. “Or you will also be dragged into the depths of hell.” I cock my head to the side and shrug.
“Sounds like fun. Count me in.”
“Hey…ummm… Celeste right?” It’s my servant – John. “I don’t think you’ll like hell very much…”
“Don’t be so sure. I’ll be glad to go there if that’s where you are headed.”
He smirks. “You’re a stubborn girl.” He sighs deeply. “Okay.” He offers me his outstretched palm. “Let’s go.”
I watch as John glares at the vultures and tells them to open the portal. They look rather confused at first but soon agree and before us, in the middle of the alleyway appears a vast, fiery, swirling archway to somewhere I have never been before. Still holding my hand, we walk through the flames together.
It’s not like I haven’t been through a portal before – how do you think I got to earth – it’s just that you never really get used to the feeling. The coolness being swept over you, chilling you to the bone and the obscenely bright colours dancing around your line of vision. A booming voice snaps me out of my thoughts. No one is letting me think in peace today.
“INTRUDER ALERT. INTRUDER ALERT.”
“Ugh I forgot about the alar- hey hey Gerald, yeah you look I’ll tell your wife you’re cheating on her if you don’t turn this alarm off right now” shouted the ringleader from before.
“You know I would’ve turned the alarm off without the threat Roger” came the reply from something that was presumably Gerald. There is no light and believe it or not goddesses can’t see in the dark.
Roger turns to look at me and John and sighs. “Right. I’ll let Gerald deal with you, John. You aren’t the main issue right now funnily enough. Celeste on the other hand. You are now going to have to visit the dark lord himself.”
“Well okay then, I don’t see why I’m so important all of a sudden but it’s cool.”
Roger shakes his head disapprovingly. “You’re not supposed to be here, as a matter of fact, you’re not supposed to be able to see any of us at all. Mortals can’t – it’s impossible… although I guess it’s normal that you could see John because well… maybe he’ll tell you later. Look. We can’t keep the dark lord waiting any longer.”
I look over to John who seems to be a little bit concerned. “Servant? You’re sure you’ll be fine on your own?”
“Yeah. Don’t take too long though.” I smile.
“There’s just this one problem… I can’t see where I’m going.” Roger sighs.
“Don’t worry, I’ll guide you through. Let’s go, Celeste.”
Roger takes me by the shoulders and we walk through the twisting corridors that are all too dark to see. I have no idea how he’s doing it.
“CELESTE I ASSUME” comes out of nowhere and the shock of it all makes me nearly pee myself.
“Uh hi. That’s me” I say sounding more confident than I feel. For the first time in my life, I am genuinely scared. Satan holds enough power to be able to hurt me if he so wished. Not kill but cause quite a bit of injury. I think. I didn’t really pay attention in school when I was younger. The teachers were all very boring.
“THAT’S A NICE NAME YOU HAVE. YOUR PARENTS WERE FANS OF THE GODDESS OF STARS?”
I may as well come clean. I’ve never been very good at lying to people and I don’t need to anger Satan any more than I already have. “Firstly, you don’t have to shout I can hear you perfectly fine. Secondly, I am the goddess of stars. Thirdly, how do you know the goddess of stars’ name?”
“WELL, YOU SEE. UH. I. UH. THIS IS KIND OF EMBARRASSING. UM. I AM A BIG FAN OF YOUR WORK. YOU KNOW. WITH THE WHOLE ‘KISS MY ASS’ SCENARIO. I. UH. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ACTUALLY MEETING YOU. YOU ARE MY IDOL. I ASPIRE TO BE JUST LIKE YOU. DO YOU MIND IF I GET AN AUTOGRAPH PLEASE?”
“…” well. I wasn’t expecting that. “Of course, it’s nice to know that I am appreciated by someone.”
“I THANK YOU. NOW. WHAT BRINGS YOU TO HELL?”
“I came with John.”
“JOHN? AH YES, HE DOES RUN BACK TO EARTH WHENEVER HE FEELS LIKE IT. THAT’S WHAT I GET FOR HAVING A SON WHO IS HALF HUMAN. I SENT ROGER TO FETCH HIM BACK FOR ME AND ROGER.” Satan narrows his eyes. “DECIDED TO BRING A HUMAN DOWN HERE, WHICH IS HIGHLY UNORTHODOX MIGHT I ADD. EXCEPT YOU TURNED OUT TO BE A GODDESS INSTEAD. I CANNOT BELIEVE ROGER COULD NOT WORK OUT THAT MORTALS CANNOT SEE HIM SO YOU CANNOT BE MORTAL. HONESTLY. I WOULD HAVE PREPARED A MUCH WARMER WELCOME FOR YOU. AND PERHAPS, TURNED ON THE LIGHTS” Satan claps his hands and the fire lights up hell at once. “NOT EVERYONE HAS NIGHTVISION ROGER.”
“I’m sorry my lord, I forgot you could do that.” Roger shuffles awkwardly.
“WE AREN’T UNCIVILISED SWINES ROGER, WE HAVE LIGHTING.”
“I must add that you’re looking very dapper,” I say to the dark lord who appears to be wearing a Prada suit.
“AH, YOU DO KNOW HOW TO FLATTER A DEVIL.” He chuckles. “YOU’RE WELCOME TO STAY HERE AS LONG AS YOU LIKE, JOHN WILL BE FORGIVEN SEEING AS HE BROUGHT YOU TO ME. DO YOU NEED ANYTHING ELSE AT ALL? I AM HAPPY TO BE OF ASSISTANCE.”
“Well now you mention it, I am kinda on the run from the other gods for my new constellation. I’m certain they’ll attack and capture me shortly.”
“I CANNOT HAVE THAT. I GRANT YOU WITH THE ABILITY TO CREATE A PORTAL TO HELL. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEEK REFUGE HERE AT ANY TIME AND NO GOD WILL BE ABLE TO FIND YOU.”
“Thank you so much.”
“YOU ARE MOST WELCOME. REMEMBER THIS, I WILL ALWAYS BE AN ALLY OF YOURS CELESTE.”
“As will I be yours.” This turned out a lot better than I expected.
After a couple of hours of small talk with Satan, I remember my servant. “Where would I find John now?” I inquire.
“AH JOHN SHOULD BE IN HIS LIVING QUARTERS BY NOW. IT’S GETTING TO BE QUITE LATE. ARE YOU TIRED CELESTE? I APPEAR TO HAVE KEPT YOU HERE FOR HOURS. WILL YOU BE STAYING WITH US TONIGHT?”
“If it’s not too much hassle I would much appreciate staying here. Also, where would I find John’s quarters. I have some things I need to discuss with him.”
“I SHALL PERSONALLY ESCORT YOU TO JOHN WHILE ROGER OVER THERE SHALL PREPARE A ROOM FOR YOU.”
Roger who appears to have fallen asleep against the wall, stirs in his sleep, seemingly unaffected by Satan’s shouting. He never did take my advice and quieten his voice. A sharp “ROGER” is all that it takes for him to get startled out of his slumber and hit his head on the wall as he tries to stand up too quickly. He scurries off in the opposite direction with a small “yes sir”.
“COME CELESTE. WE SHALL GO ON A QUEST TO FIND JOHN.”
I happily join Satan as he leads the way down a labyrinth of corridors. We continue to chat about anything and everything and I have no memories of ever being this at ease with someone ever. I could never speak to my siblings like this. It’d cause a riot.
“WE HAVE ARRIVED CELESTE. ROGER WILL BE HERE TO PICK YOU UP IN APPROXIMATELY 30 MINUTES TO TAKE YOU TO YOUR ROOM. I PRESUME THAT WILL BE LONG ENOUGH?”
“I’m sure that will be plenty of time. Thank you, Satan.”
“NO PLEASE. REFER TO ME AS DAVE. SATAN SOUNDS WAY TOO FORMAL.”
“Oh okay. Thank you, Dave.”
“NO THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE” and with that he was off, strutting his way down the hall like he was on the red carpet. Which he was. Everything here is red. I knock on the door that I have been left in front of and it gets opened far too quickly.
“Ah, you’ve been waiting for someone John?” I say teasingly.
“Well yeah. I hoped you’d come and see me. I wanted to thank you. You got me out of a particularly sticky situation there. Normally father gives me a three-hour lecture on the importance of staying away from humans but the allure of Earth keeps making me go back” he explains hastily. “Uh is it true though?”
“Is what true?”
“Are you really the goddess of stars?”
“Oh that. Yeah, I am.”
“Wow. I’ve never seen a goddess before. That would explain why you are so pretty.”
“Nah. You should see my brother. The ugliest thing you could possibly lay your eyes on. Being a goddess has nothing to do with beauty.”
He laughs. “Do you think you could show me your powers sometime?”
“I’d love to. Not down here though, I could hurt Dave or break something. Believe it or not, goddesses don’t belong down here. Let’s go back to Earth tomorrow. I’ll summon the gods and apologise for the thing I did. Then I can go home.”
“Unfortunately, I must. I’ll become weak if I don’t retire to the godly realm because I don’t belong anywhere else and that place is my true home.”
“I see.” He seems sad.
“Don’t frown. Hey, I’ll be alright and if all goes to plan, they’ll forgive me and peace shall be restored. If not I’ll ask Dave to help me outta a tight pinch.”
“Okay. I have faith in you.”
“Thanks,” I smirk.
And so I decided to spend the whole of the next day in Hell and return to Earth at night when I am strongest. I enjoyed a day of lovely hospitality from all who lived in hell I must add.
“GOOD LUCK CELESTE. I AM ROOTING FOR YOU.”
“Thanks, Dave.” I see that Roger is tearing up. “Roger?”
“I’m fine! I didn’t become emotionally invested in you or anything.”
“It’s a shame I can’t say the same for you, you’re a great guy Roger and I will miss you dearly.” And with that Roger is in floods.
“TAKE JOHN WITH YOU.”
“I was planning on it.” I wink. “Come on my servant.”
“PLEASE COME BACK SOON MY FRIENDS. WE SHALL ALL BE WORRYING IF YOU DON’T LET US KNOW YOU ARE ALRIGHT.”
“Of course.” And finally, I step through the portal to Earth with my servant at my heels.
We walk together for a little while, psyching ourselves up for a confrontation with the gods. “Okay this park will do nicely, can you check that no one’s around?”
“Yeah, it’s clear. I can’t sense anyone.”
“Perfect. You’re ready?”
“Then let it begin.” I clear my throat. “Here I am! It’s me, Celeste, goddess of the stars.” I shout to the sky. “I am definitely not correcting that constellation!” I barely suppress a laugh.
In exactly two seconds, thirty gods appear before me looking extremely furious.
“CELESTE!” God of the raging fire, Infernium, bellows in my face.
“You’re almost as good as Dave.”
“I AM GOING TO KILL YOU.”
“Pfft. No, you’re really not. Now calm down you actual idiot.”
“What?” His anger extinguished as quickly as a small flame. Typical.
“I’m sorry for what I did. I am going to fix it right now.” I put my hand out to the ‘kiss my ass’ constellation and my palm glows as I absorb the stars into it. “There.”
“Well. Thanks.” Infernium says awkwardly. “Go home guys we shall not be waging war today.” The other gods grumble a little but vanish.
“Don’t do it again. Or I will have you arrested. It’s only because you have been so uncharacteristically compliant that I forgave you this time.” He disappears in a burst of flames.
“Wait here,” I say to John. I quickly open a portal to the godly realm, where I now won’t be arrested, and hop through.
Three…two…one…there. My energy has been restored for at least a couple of millennium. Wow. Now I think about it I must have been on the run for at least three hundred and fifty years. Time flies. “Okay. I’m back. Let’s have a little fun…” I restore the ‘kiss my ass’ constellation to its former glory, and triumphantly add a smiley face to the end. I notice John smiling. “I can’t stay here” I admit. “Or Infernium will come find me. But I’ll always come back to you, my servant, if you need me, all you have to do is call.” I pause. “And I’ll visit Hell every weekend.” I smile. “See you around?”
“You know it.” He smirks. I can’t resist. I pull him into a long-awaited hug.
“See you,” I say again as I step back and vanish into sparkles. He smirks at me one last time.
I walk for a while. It’s lonely without Celeste by my side but it’s not like I won’t see her again soon. I sigh deeply. Goddess of stars… who could’ve known that I’d meet her by pouring coffee over her head? I smile. She wouldn’t want me to be sad, not for anything. I look up – ‘kiss my ass 😊’ constellation is still in the sky. That makes me grin. I’ll have to do my best to cause as much mischief as her… maybe I’ll start by releasing monsters into Earth? I open a portal to hell and leap in.