by Stefani Cox
“I’ve just dropped her,” said the God of Saturday Mischief. “She’s in the deepest cavern we’ve got. I don’t see how she’ll manage to get out on her own.”
“Why didn’t you give me a heads up,” said the Goddess of Hair and Makeup, bolting upright on her cloud. “I’ve got a lot of work to do, and it would have been nice to know you’d started the process already.”
“Well, that’s what I came here to tell you. She’s all set up.”
The Goddess of Hair and Makeup huffed and looked down over the edge of the sky. “Good Lord, that’s far down—” She waved a hand upward. “Sorry, I meant ‘Goodness.’ Anyway, I didn’t think we made tunnels that deep anymore.”
“We don’t. Grandfathered in.” It was the God of Morose Rainy Afternoons, dripping his upsetting vibes over the others and down toward the earth. “What’s the rule again?” he asked, sounding bored.
“She makes it out, she gets to be a demi-god,” replied the God of Saturday Mischief. “We’ve got a grand total of two who’ve managed that so far.”
“Oh, I’d say about ten thousand.”
“She looks like a fighter though,” the Goddess of Hair and Makeup declared. “I’d put money on her if we did that sort of thing. Now, go away all of you, I’m busy.”
As expected, the God of Saturday Mischief had done a shoddy job. The girl was barely a speck of energy down there in the middle of the earth. A small, beating heart was all there was to work with.
“Better do the lungs first, or this girl is going to extinguish before she’s even gotten started,” the Goddess of Hair and Makeup said to herself.
She reached into her bag of tricks and mysteries to bring out a spare set. They were a little dusty, but she fluffed the twin fibrous sacks between her hands, added a little god spark and floated them down to her charge under the earth. Good as new—no use in throwing out an old pair of lungs just because they hadn’t been used for a while.
The Goddess of Hair and Makeup took another look with her superpowered vision and added kidneys, a liver, and a bit of lanky black hair to top off the bulbous head she sculpted, brains stuffed inside.
“Did you give her a stomach yet? I’d be starving if it were me.”
The God of Nosy Business was in his best form. Having conjured himself out of nowhere, he now breathed down her neck, his spyglass protruding past her face.
“Do you mind?”
“Not at all,” said the God of Nosy Business, as he continued to gaze through the miniature telescope. “I’m very comfortable. Carry on.”
The Goddess of Hair and Makeup seethed for a moment, then pushed him aside, so she had a few feet to breathe.
She was annoyed to see that she had actually neglected the girl’s stomach, and she shimmered one down quickly, hoping the God of Nosy Business wouldn’t notice and inflate his ego any larger.
The girl was coming along nicely now, getting up some energy of her own, expanding her limbs and heaving her chest in and out, drawing on the dank, wet air. She looked a little frightened to be submerged so firmly in darkness, but then again, who would be comfortable where she was now?
The Goddess of Good Times slunk into view from around the side of a large cloud stool.
“What about…you know…” She eyed The Goddess of Hair and Makeup meaningfully, while drawing a hand from her chest to the space between her legs.
“Fine, fine.” The Goddess of Hair and Makeup crafted a nice set of breasts and underparts. Nothing ostentatious, but serviceable. “Happy now?”
Skin. Heavens slightly above, she’d nearly forgotten that silly, inadequate shell that humans were sheathed in. She supposed it wasn’t their fault that they’d gotten the short end of the straw when it came to physical durability. There. Despite myriad interruptions, the Goddess of Hair and Makeup had finally finished.
The God of Saturday Mischief and the God of Morose Rainy Afternoons were back to see the end result.
“Not bad,” said the former with a whistle. “She might even make it out of there. The next Hercules maybe. Herculina? We need a good nickname.”
“She could use some help with navigation though,” quipped the God of Morose Rainy Afternoons, frowning at the earth below. “Didn’t we give the last guy a compass? Not that he made it past the hidden waterfall.”
The Goddess of Hair and Makeup threw up her hands, exasperated. “If anyone has modifications, you’ll have to take it upstairs now. I’m done, and I’m off to get some rest.” She was already envisioning her cozy cloud cottage far off north, where no one but the polar bears paid her any mind. Yes, a bit of peace and quiet was just what she needed after a day like this.
“I’m just saying,” said the Goddess of Good Times. “I’m glad you had me around. If I were going to die in the middle of the earth, I’d like to at least have a good go at it before the end.”
The rest nodded sagely.
“What’d I miss?” The Goddess of Champagne and Hangovers was the last to arrive as usual.
The Goddess of Hair and Makeup floated away, waving a hand over her shoulder. “Someone else explain.”
“Nevermind,” piped the Goddess of Champagne and Hangovers. “Who wants a drink?”
Those left over cheered, and everyone forgot about the human girl spelunking her way through the caves below, armed with only a pocketful of hope and a good measure of grit. After all, she was of little significance when it came to the important business being divine.