Mandy Oviatt: Author

September, 1976

I always hate it when I have to bring someone to the Underworld, and this time was no exception.
Most of the time, Hades or one of his minions come to Earth to bring the dead to his realm, but today? It was my job, because this time, it was a goddess that passed away.

I’m a little too sad to talk about it, because Aphrodite was just so beautiful. What am I saying? She is always Beautiful.

Sorry, I meant Yvette. Yvette Bazin was beautiful. A French actress, model, and dancer.

Cut down in her prime; we were nearly same age. She was a few years older than me.

To be strangled in bed, so horrifically, by a mortal, by one’s mortal spouse? And to be discovered by her son? It’s terrible.

This is not the first god to pass away since I was reborn, but this one hurts the most. Yvette was my first love, and this is the most personal loss I’ve experienced.

When the mortal flesh fails, and the body dies, gods attend their own funerals. We always do it, it is almost like we must hear what our accomplishments were, from those who cared for us, before we forget the entirety of that mortal life. At the funerals, I find the gods spirits and escort them to a doorway to the underworld.

In my thirty-six years, I’ve seen four gods die: Demeter, Hephaestus, Iris and Nike (who was the only one who did not attend her own funeral). This death, Aphrodite’s, was the most difficult.  She was the only one I knew personally, the only one I didn’t have to pretend to know.

I found Yvette sitting next to her ten-year-old daughter. Her son, a college student named Julian, was delivering the Eulogy.

I always liked that kid.

When Yvette’s spirit saw me, smiled, and said six words, heard only to me.

Because no one else could see or hear her, not even her daughter Rochelle, whose hand she was holding.

“My mirror now belongs to Athena.” As I touched her spirit, to begin the journey, she and I vanished.

I … it was our trip to the underworld, something I can’t talk about.
But I found Yvette’s hand mirror in the glove compartment of my car this morning, and know that I need to give it to Athena, when she returns.

It seems Athena is returning.

And despite the sadness I feel at the loss of a dear friend and lover, I couldn’t be more excited if I tried.


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