“‘The’ Kali?” said Bast finally breaking the silence. “As in from India, devourer of demons, that sort of thing? I thought you were meant to be black?”
“Yes, the very same.”
“Hang on,” said Cat not fully understanding the situation. “If you are a, sorry, ‘the’ Goddess of Death, how is it you’re called Maude?”
With a sad smile creasing Maude’s long face, she raised her eyes to that of Cat’s and half laughing said, “because Death, once upon a time, told me I was a ‘Murdering Bitch’. This evolved into a ‘Maudering Bitch’, using the same sort of accent of what would one day be the cliche accent of some 1920’s cliche Chicago gangster. After a couple of centuries, she had shortened it to just ‘Maude’, and so long have I been called it, that it is who I became.”
“Hang on, ok the name makes sense, but I thought the reason you were tied up with Death was because you were her daughter in law?” said Bast, still astounded at the revelation of Maude’s true identity.
“Yes. Sarpedon and I had a fling in asia minor, he was a king you know. I had a bit of leave owing, so I went there on a package holiday with a couple of girls from work. You know the type, either too drunk or too hungover to actually see anything, and send rude postcards home after writing them while sitting at a bar somewhere. Anyway, he was out at a bucks night for one of his mates at the same joint we were at, we hooked up, and got married by an itinerant priest about a week later. His Dad was Zues; yes that Zeus. Anyway, Sarpedon was killed during the Trojan Wars, and bloody Zeus let him be killed too, bastard. He even sat by and watched from the top of Mount bloody Ida.” said Maude bitterly. “I bet you didn’t know Death once moonlighted as ‘Europa’ either. Anyway, he died during what is now known as the Bronze Age, as actual dates at the time were pretty hit and miss, but it’s been about three and a half thousand years since I was made a widow.”
“Bugger me twice.” sad Bast under her breath.
“So” continued Maude, “Death, in what appeared at the time to be concern, took pity on me, and convinced me to give up Goddessing. I found my replacement at the God’s local pub, a young skimpy barmaid who could read, and was more interested in girls than boys. That was pretty much it. The whole ‘many arms’ thing was her idea, and turned out to be a pretty good marketing ploy as well. From there, I changed my appearance, skin colour, dietary requirements, and I’ve remained the same since.”
“Ummmmm……….I hate to ask,” asked Bast, “but have you still got it? You know, powers of a Goddess and all that?”
“Woohoo! You’ll come in very handy my dear.” cheered Bast, “oh the adventures we will have!”
“Well,” cut in God, drawing attention to himself, “back to the point at hand, here is what we have turned up on Black Annis.”
Three young women swore repeatedly under their breath for the remainder of the conversation.
Black Annis had been very busy indeed.
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