by S.E. Mehlhop
Kenji was just a normal kid, until he is told he is a god, with some powerful enemies.
Kenji, my love, you must return
I do not wish to. I want to stay with you…
The body cannot survive without the soul
I wish to be with you…
Do not worry, I will follow you shortly
I will wait for you…forever…
Earth, Physical Plane, 8:13 P.M
She formed out of the air behind Kenji, settling softly to the carpeted ground as he turned with surprise. Her hair was braided down to the small of her back, almost all the way to her slim waist. But it was not the way that she wore her hair that was unusual, it was the color. Even in the half-light of evening it was easy to tell that each strand was two colors, black shadowed by a light brown.
“Who are you?!”
“I am Bell,” She said holding her hands out to Kenji, “your wife.”
Kenji suddenly felt that he couldn’t breathe; his head pounding. There was something that he felt, something that tickled the back of his mind, something familiar about her smile, the way she looked at him, the way she moved. It was as if he had known her his whole life. The room was spiraling into a pool of blackness. He grabbed for his desk, feeling the strength draining from his body, and sank to the floor. Everything he saw, he saw through a darkening mist; the coffee table in front of him was waltzing with spots. The room became deafening silent, yet he could see the girl’s lips moving…the radio must still be playing…the throbbing in his head spread…his whole body shook with pain.
He grabbed at his head, sinking ever closer to the floor. The last thing he remembered seeing was Bell running towards him…
Kenji sat next to her, the goddess, the one who had been sent to help him stop them. The two sat on the edge of a cliff, the sun setting on the far edge of Heaven, sending its red light over the canopy of the forest in the distance. The human of the land had closed into their primitive shacks.
They had all fallen into a quiet lull, the lull that comes before a battle. This lull settled over everything, the forest itself seemed to be in a quiet hush, silent in its anticipation. Tomorrow they would fight; the first attack against a growing rebel force, but Kenji did not care about this now. Instead he turned to the one next to him, the goddess. The sun was sending its failing red light out to her, hoping to linger upon her face a while longer. Kenji watched her now. Watched how the sun softened her curves, how her face, illuminated by this celestial light, shone with more existence than any mortal could dream of. The ruby rays reflected in her azure eyes, deepening her look of contentment and pleasure, increasing the sparkle of her life. The sun wanted nothing more than to intensify the already perfect beauty of her skin. A gentle breeze drifted up from the valley.
“It’s beautiful,” she said, gazing at the receding sun, “I had forgotten how beautiful it was down here.”
Kenji did not look away from the goddess, “…Yes…Why don’t you visit it more often?” She looked to him. Kenji abruptly turned back to the sun, his heart pounding.
“Why?” she reiterated, Kenji could see that she was smiling and wondered if she was reading what he was feeling, “Some gods consider humans and the mortal realms to be…well, to put it nicely, inferior to what gods and goddesses should be around. They are considered impure.” She lost her look of amusement for a moment and remembered Dosomir’s words; deeply disturbed, “‘a bane to divine existence’ ”
“I do not know. Some gods just consider themselves superior than any mortal being,” She said, reaching out to Kenji, “They do not see the charm that I see in them.” Her skin was warm to the touch, the slightest contact comforting Kenji, welcoming him. Their hands had become a link between them, intertwined. Kenji could see deep into her soul, deep into her thoughts, their touch opening up an empathic channel.
“Ken,” she whispered, his feeling washing over her, caressing her.
“Bell”, she mumbled softly, their lips drawing nearer, “just call me Bell...”
Kenji sat up. He could smell tea. He looked at the room and it took a few seconds before he become conscious of where he was. Somehow he had been moved to the overstuffed, tan, couch in his apartment, but…but the last he remembered, and even that was a cloudy haze, was sitting on the edge of a cliff, talking with…someone. He rubbed the remains of his throbbing headache away; a feeling of longing sweeping over him, followed by an equally powerful feeling of nausea. He could see light spilling out into the living room from the reflection in his balcony door. He heard movement from his undersized kitchen, only separated from the rest of his residence by a breakfast bar, and could also hear singing. It was a moment before he remembered the girl who had appeared earlier; the girl whose divine voice he could hear at the moment. As if aware of what Kenji was thinking, Bell appeared from the other side of the couch. She glanced at him, propped up on one arm, and smiled. She was holding the handle to a sizzling pan.
“Good! You are awake” she said, beaming at him, “We were worried that your memory might have been affected like that by sending you back but… it was essential… Anyways…” She looked with a smirk from the pan back to Kenji, “perhaps you should come up here and I will explain what is going on…”
Kenji sat at the small mahogany table that he sometimes ate at; when he wasn’t rushing out the door, late for class. He had never noticed how small his apartment was before. But with two people in it, he noticed it now…
“So…” he said, after Bell finally reappeared from the kitchen, brushing her hands together, and sat down at the table across from him, “who are you?”
Bell smiled softly, “I am Bell, your wife.” She paused, “We were married in Heaven, which you have lost memory of. An unfortunate side effect to what we had to do to send you back.”
Kenji stared at her incredulously.
Bell took a deep breath, “Your soul was called to Heaven, approximately one night ago, because you are one of three ‘Spirit Guardians’; warriors who protect Heaven’s gate. You were called because of a rebel force that had been growing, that had been attacking key points in heavens physical plane, weakening the barrier that separated the physical plane from the spiritual. You and the others were to find out where the rebels were going to attack next and stop them, and possibly destroy the resistance. I met you because I was sent as an emissary from the gods to help you in any way possible. We were able to successfully stop the rebel force, and, in the mean time, we had fallen in love. When the others were safely transported back to their bodies, you chose to stay. You and I were married. However, without your soul your body would not survive—”
Kenji suddenly remembered part of the dream that woke him that morning, ‘the body cannot survive without the soul’.
“—and in your current…‘state’, we were unsure of what would happen to your soul if your physical body died. We were forced to improvise a way to create a rip in the physical plane, so that your soul could join your body. One of the possible side effects that we foresaw was that your memory of what happened would have been lost. I know that it must be hard for you to believe me.”
“The only proof that I can give you of our marriage is this.” She held up her hand on which she had a single, plain, gold ring. Kenji glanced at his own hand. He had noticed that he had been wearing an exact copy of that ring before, back when he first had that dream. But…
“No,” she said softly, once again reading his question, “I cannot prove that I am a goddess, at least not right away. Because I have come to Earth, My powers have become severely restricted, for the Earth’s sake. If I ever tried to use my full power, the Earth would be in danger. I have used up most of the power that I can safely use today, As a goddess on Earth, I am allotted a certain amount of power, much like humans have energy, and I must rest in order to recharge it. Because of that, I have no way of proving my divinity.”
“I understand,” she continued quietly, never looking away from Kenji’s eyes, “that I have no possible way to prove anything, and until you can remember what happened, you will have to trust me.” She smiled slightly, sadly, “If you want me to leave, just say so, and I will do that…”
Kenji looked at her for a second. That second turned into a minute. He was drawn to her, he felt an unexplainable affinity towards her, there was something that he felt about what she was saying that all seemed true, no matter how absurd. There was also something in her smile that he felt eased the pain inside. That something was so familiar…
“No,” He heard himself say, still unaware of why, “you can stay…”
“I am pleased.” She said, clasping her hands softly in front of her.
“But, there is one thing that has been bothering me…”
“Why would a goddess ever marry a mortal?”
Bell was taken aback, slightly surprised, slightly worried. She laughed nervously, “But Ken, do you not remember?”
“Kenji, you…you became a god.”
* * * * * * *
A storm was brewing in the valley, the mountains shaking in its wake. Clouds, darker than shadows, were forming around one area of land, one spot. All forms of life were fleeing, following their instincts to live. No animal would risk being in this land anymore, this terrain had become someone else’s territory.
There are three plains of existence, The Upper plain, Heaven, the Mortal plain, Earth, and the Lower plain, Hell. These plains are on different levels of existence, with little interaction. Only those few, who were allowed, cross into another plain. Never before had gods traveled to the mortal plain; often it was demons, seeking humans to help them gain power, and souls. It was at this point that the three different realms of existence united; Earth, Heaven and Hell. It was also at this point where the barriers between there plains were the weakest…
A gust of wind blew the dust of the land into a funnel, a bolt of lightning striking the ground, followed by the unleashing of rain. The clouds blotted out any sun in the area, creating a dark that was blacker than the most sinister night. Nothing could compare to the storm that was spawning. Another bolt of lightening struck the ground through the torrent of rain. This time, left in the wake of the lightning’s assault, was a tear in space; overflowing, spilling Hell onto the land.
A lone figure loomed up out of this shred in space. He lurched out, landing on unsteady legs. He wore the tattered remains of a cloak, the color of shadows, hood pulled up so his face was suffused in darkness; stains, darker than his eyes, congealed on its surface. The slit in space closed behind him, hastily, with a flash of dark light, the creature still standing on unsure legs. He lifted his head to the sky, howling out a primeval roar, his fury incinerating the surrounding ground, leaving nothing but dust. A wave of power rippled from him.
The solitary figure dropped to his knees, the rain drenching him, dripping blood from his face to the ground, forever staining the land. He lowered his head to the soil, his hands still clenched in rage.
“Kenji,” he said, his face distorted with wrath and pain, “I will destroy you…Kenji…”