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Thirteen Gods Chapter 2

Thirteen Gods Chapter 2

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Published by Dave Hogg
Chapter 2 of Thirteen Gods.
Chapter 2 of Thirteen Gods.

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Published by: Dave Hogg on Jul 14, 2010
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10/25/2012

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Luckily for Kaitlyn, or maybe luckily for me, I didn't get much chance to hate her over the next few days. After the funeral, we had zipped back to God World. I have no idea what "zipping" means, but that's what Kaitlynhad called it when we left for St. Luke's. There was certainly no sensation of movement - one second we had beenstanding in my bedroom and the next second, the bedroom had changed into the church. I had expected amoment of vicious cold or terrible nausea or zombies clawing at my legs, but there wasn't anything like that. It was like a scene change in a movie, except that it didn't just happen on a screen.I suspected "God World" wasn't the official name of my new home, but that's what everyone seemed to call it. Asa matter of fact, the first words I heard there were a very perky "Good morning! Welcome to God World!"That had been Kaitlyn. It was a bit of a shock, because for a week, all I had been focused on was getting wellenough to die alone. I know that people always gush about how nice it is when people die surrounded by theirfriends and family, but I had never understood that. Why would I want my parents or Tracy to see me die? It was bad enough that I was going to die - I didn't want them to have to live with the memory of having seen it.I'd been on a respirator at the end, and didn't have the strength to communicate in any useful fashion, so Icouldn't tell anyone to go away. The vigil had gotten to be a 24/7 thing once the doctors had announced that Ididn't have long, so I was going to either have to do something or try to pick someone to die on. I summoned allthe strength I had left - it wasn't much - and I "rallied" enough that the ICU nurses told my family to go homeand get some sleep. On the second night, I let go.I vaguely remembered feeling like my chest was imploding and people running into the room, but I was under aDNR order, so there wasn't much then could do, and then I got incredibly tired and I drifted off to sleep... When I woke up, I had just enough time to realize that my bed had gotten a lot nicer when Kaitlyn's cheery voice broke in.I sat bolt upright, and the next few seconds were a little chaotic in my brain. As best as I can remember, my thought process ran something like this:
Who the hell is that?  Damn, she's hot.Wait, I just sat up. I haven't sat up in two weeks. Now that I think about it, I feel pretty damn good. Didn't I just die?  Shit, am I green? No, not green. That's good. Tracy would have gloated for weeks if it turned out that Scalzi was right. Actually, since I'm dead, Tracy can't really gloat to me about anything. Well, I guess she could, but she's never struck me as a, I don't know, necrophiligloater?  Shit, there's a hot girl in here and I'm only wearing a hospital gow... no, I guess I'm not. I'm wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants. That's good. I must have changed after I died. At some point, I need to deal with that. If I'm dead, what's going on?  I don't believe in the afterlife. I was positive about that. I'd die and there would be nothing, but this doesn't seem to be nothing.
 "I'm ashamed that I don't have a more original question, but where am I?"The woman giggled. The subsequent rush of blood through my body made me realize I was feeling even betterthan I thought."Everyone asks that, and everyone apologizes for it. You were an atheist, even though you went to a UU church,so 'God World' is probably the best answer. If you had been a Christian, I'd say you were in Heaven. Valhallamight be the best analogy.""So I'm dead.""Yes."
 
It took me a while to come up with the next question. Partially, I was hoping for something a little more witty, but a lot of my attention was being sucked away by her black t-shirt that said "Kiss me, I'm a Goddess" and heralmost complete lack of a denim skirt."Are you?"She blinked."OK, I was expecting some version of 'Why?', so you get points for originality. Am I what?""A goddess?" Another blink before she looked down at her shirt and giggled again. I liked the giggle."Actually, yes. I'm the Goddess of the Harvest, but you can call me Kaitlyn."She extended her hand, and I shook it, while thinking that all the ancient artists had gotten her look completely  wrong."I'm Michael, and I'm ... well, I guess I'm not a soccer player any more.""No, you aren't. You are a godling, and you've got a lot of studying to do. On the other hand, the nightlife isfantastic.""Is it?" A smile that seemed made up of equal parts delight, sex and mischief."Better than you can imagine. But don't worry about all of that right now. Get up, take a shower and get dressed.I'll be back in 20 minutes to take you to your funeral."I started to sputter out six questions at once, but she shushed me."Trust me, you'll have all the time in the world to ask us anything. Funeral comes first. Wear something nice."She gestured toward a massive closet and a chest of drawers."Bathroom's through that door. See you in a bit."She leaned down, kissed me on the cheek and walked out.I sat there for a long moment. I wanted to go after her, but there didn't appear to be a door where she had goneout."She can probably walk through walls," I muttered to myself. "If she takes me to the funeral on a horse namedBinky, I'll know I'm hallucinating. That's got to be what this is - some kind of pre-death hallucination. Right? So Imight as well try to enjoy it."I got out of bed, and realized again that I was feeling a hell of a lot better. As a matter of fact, I seemed to be inperfect shape - where I would have been during a soccer season, but without the nagging aches of unhealedinjuries.I checked out the closet, and was somehow not surprised to find that everything fit perfectly. It was even all thestyles that I liked, but about 20 times more expensive than anything I owned, and I dressed pretty well when I was alive. Two successful pro athletes in the same family provided for a pretty comfortable lifestyle, especially  when one was a tennis star that raked in millions in endorsements.That stopped me. If I was dead, I wasn't part of Tracy's family any more. Or my parents, or my brother, or my sister. I was dead, and all my friends and loved ones were alive. I had wanted them to go on happily without me -

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