She is Kali, Goddess of Time, Creation, Change, Preservation, Destruction, and Empowerment, for as a Goddess of Time all of those things fall into her job description. She is often believed to be the Goddess of Death, but that is Yama’s job as well as being the Lord of Naraka, or what you might call Hell.
Here in her abode in the cremation grounds of her plane of existence she walked barefoot with ashes of the cremated turning to dust beneath her feet. Some of these ashes saddened her, as they came from girls being burned as rape victims. Other young women who are not wed are sometimes found in the River Ganges, as it an Indian custom not to cremate unwed girls.
Kali, whose name is translated as time or the black one, is not evil and has never done anything resulting in the death of a human being. Demons however, she has killed a lot of. Even now, she still carries the severed head of Raktabija the Bloodseed in her hand, and the severed arms of several demons worn about her shapely waist.
The Moon illuminated her blue skin, and reflected off of the curved sword she carried in her right upper arm. Although not modest, she would use one of her other three arms to cover the nakedness of her breasts if not for her long hair covering them. Suddenly a terrible sound disturbed her in her thoughts, and she closed her eyes in pain as she covered her ears.
She opened her eyes and looked upon the noisy alarm clock as if it were a demon begging to be destroyed. Kali the destroyer of evil reached out with her sword arm, to find it empty, and settled for shutting the alarm off instead. She would still have leapt into battle if only the covers and he pillow weren’t so damned comfortable.
Suddenly something instinctual compelled her from the comfort of her bed to the closet where she grabbed her robe with four sleeves to cover her nightie, and headed out of the door and down the hall. A quick knock upon Vijay’s door to get him moving before she went on to wake up Priya.
“Good morning, baby girl.” she said, thinking it strange to say something like that.
“Good morning, mommy.” Priya said, leaping out of bed, running to the bathroom, and kissing Harry Styles on her One Direction poster, before going in.
Kali though of how cute her ten year old daughter was as she took out an outfit for her to wear to school. Then it hit her, that she was celibate, and Shiva and she had never had children. If Shiva had not left for work already, she would rush back to her room, and demand an answer. Instead, she put out an adorable outfit next to Priya’s Hello Kitty backpack.
“When you finish brushing your teeth, don’t forget your retainer.” she shouted to Priya in the bathroom, wondering how she knew the child wore a retainer.
“OK, mommy.” Priya answered.
“Vijay, comb that hair.” she called out to her sixteen year old son as she left Priya’s room and proceeded downstairs to make breakfast.
Fifteen minutes later she had prepared scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and poured orange juice in good time as she watched the weather report on TV. Having four arms could be really convenient, and she wondered why more women didn’t have them. She had a cup of coffee that she didn’t have to prepare, as Shiva had made some when he got up.
She thought more about how she came to suddenly be a mom with a teenage son, and a daughter. Why did she have no recollection of how this happened and yet instinctively knew what to do as their mom? Although she and Shiva were husband and wife, they had no children that she could think of. He had two children with Parvati, and occasionally Kartikeya and his brother Ganesh would come over for dinner, and where did that memory come from?
The children came down and ate their breakfast, and Kali checked their bags to make sure they had their homework and lunch money. Vijay’s band practice for that night was cancelled because the teacher was sick, so he would be home at the regular time. She joined them for breakfast.
They finished their breakfast and put their jackets on before going out the door. Vijay was able to walk to school, but Priya needed to ride the bus. Kali gave her daughter a kiss, and told her to be good, before letting her get on the bus. As she waved goodbye, she still thought of how weird the whole situation was. Maybe at some point in the day she would figure out what was going on.
Back inside she changed into yoga pants and a four-sleeved t-shirt, before checking herself out in the mirror. With the exception of having four arms, she looked like a normal Indian woman and a really hot one too. She thought of taking a selfie and posting it on Instagram, but instead got on with her yoga and Pilates exercises. Any other woman would have been interrupted by the telemarketer that called, but she stayed in the plank position and used her upper right hand to grab the cellphone while she lowered the music with the remote in her left.
“Don’t call here again, demon of the unsolicited phone calls, or I will hunt you down and kill you.” she told the man, who just wanted to extended automobile warranties.
Later she showered and dressed, donning tight fitting blue jeans, a white blouse, and black heels, and selecting her black jacket with the belt. She went to all of the bedrooms and gathered the dirty laundry to take downstairs. She went to the laundry room with the bundles of clothes, first separating them by person, before separating by whites and colors. How did she know how to do this?
She rinsed dishes and loaded the dishwasher to be run later, after the laundry had run. She ran the vacuum and dusted at the same time, which if you had four arms, you would do too. And somewhere in the midst of the cleaning frenzy, she managed to find the cat. Dawon, named after the big cats that she and others rode as mounts who was lying behind the couch. The tawny hide was indicative of the lion that she would ride.
With the cleaning done, she went off to go shopping, and upon seeing the Mazda MPV in the driveway, wished that Dawon was still her battle mount.
“Oh how far the mighty have fallen.” she muttered to herself, before getting in and driving off.
She had no clue how she knew how to drive, but was clearly very good at it. How many other drivers could check voice mails on their cell phones, and browse radio presets without taking both hands off of the wheel? She didn’t know when she moved to Portland, Oregon but clearly knew her way around. She pulled in at the market. A regular market as she already had everything at home for traditional Indian meals, but needed American foods as well.
In the midst of picking up the corn flakes, peanut butter, and other food items, as well as cat litter, and various household cleaning supplies, she was interrupted by a woman’s voice behind her.
“Excuse me, are you one of those Syrian refugees?” the woman asked.
“No, I am Indian, not Syrian.” Kali answered, turning to face the plump little elderly white woman.
“I’m sorry, I can’t tell the difference.” the woman admitted.
“That’s alright, I can’t tell if you are French, German, English, or some other European background, so we’re even.” Kali replied.
“I wasn’t trying to offend you dear, it’s just hard to tell where everyone is from these days, and the government tells us to accept the refugees, but then some of them could be terrorists. I don’t know what to make of it all.” the older woman explained.
“You have no need to fear Gladys. The terrorists hiding among the refugees aren’t going to do anything here in Portland, but you may want to call your sister in Washington D.C. and have her come visit you for a few weeks. And you should cut back on the cholesterol and start walking more so you’ll live longer.” Kali answered, having looked at Gladys’ future through the old woman’s eyes.
“How do you know my name and things about me?” Gladys asked.
“Didn’t you tell me? I thought you did.” Kali answered, turning back to her shopping and leaving poor Gladys to think she was going senile.
Kali finished her shopping and went back home to put the groceries away and change laundry loads. Dawon tried to help, but only got in the way. She then set about making finger sandwiches for her lunch with the girls. Some of the sandwiches were vegan, made with cucumber slices or avocado, while others were strips of salmon, chicken, and tuna. She also took out wine coolers from the refrigerator so they could drink, but not a lot. About 11:17 the girls started to arrive, and all were seated in the living room by noon.
“I can’t believe she asked you that. She wasn’t Irish was she?” The Morrigan, now just known as Morrigan said. She brushed her long red hair back away from her face.
“No, and she wasn’t saying anything to be hateful, she just didn’t understand. It was refreshing to meet someone who actually wanted to know, rather than make preconceived guesses about things and building hatred based upon what they don’t understand.” Kali said before sipping her wine cooler.
“Maybe she wouldn’t have had the question to begin with if those animals weren’t using my name in their quest for blood. I wish I were allowed to show them my wrath.” Isis said talking about the terrorist group ISIS, the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria. The tan skinned Egyptian goddess was angry.
“If we were allowed, I’d be right there with you. Have you seen what they are doing to my beloved land?” Astarte asked, referring to Iraq.
“It would be fun to just go and destroy them anyway. If we got into trouble, we could just say it was that time of the month.” Hel offered.
“You know that wouldn’t work. Odin would see right through that excuse, and would definitely bring it before the Council of the Gods.” Chaing Mu warned.
“Enough talk of terrorist scum. They don’t even know that the virgins they are getting are all men.” Aphrodite added. The room erupted with laughter.
“So what else is there to talk about?” Xochiquetzal asked.
“Hollywood hunks?” Morrigan offered.
“Why, do you still have a thing for Colin Farrell? Isn’t his career over now?” Aphrodite asked.
“No, I’m interested in more mature men these days. George Clooney is top of my list.” Morrigan answered.
“Another Irishman, are they all that gets your Irish up?” Astarte asked.
“No, but I have to keep up appearances for The Dagda, how about you?” Morrigan asked her.
“Nathan Fillion. I loved Firefly, and I watch Castle religiously.” She answered.
“I still want them to bring Firefly back.” Chaing Mu said.
“X-Files is coming back, and if you kept up with the movies, Mulder and Scully are a couple now.” Hel added.
“I like some of the new Marvel shows on Netflix. Jessica Jones looks good, and I can’t wait for The Defenders.” Isis commented.
“Are they tied into The Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?” Morrigan asked.
“I think so.” Isis answered.
“Listen to us. Other women talk soap operas or like shows like Empire, while we like the geeky stuff.” Xochiquetzal commented.
“But the shows we like are about fantastic people and places, things we are familiar with. And besides geek guys grow up to be archeologists, and know a lot about us, which makes us important to them.” Aphrodite added.
“Aphrodite, is there an Indiana Jones in your life?” Kali asked.
“No, but Harrison Ford can pull me to him with his whip anytime.” she answered, everyone laughed.
“He does look good in the new Star Wars trailers.” Kali commented.
“He can curl up with me at night.” Astarte said.
“Didn’t you say you were behaving lately, and just reading a lot?” Chaing Mu asked.
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t read to him. I’m not dead.” Astarte answered.
“What are you reading now?” Hel asked.
“The Crimson Tome by K.A. Opperman, it’s deliciously bloody and erotic poetry.” she answered.
“I’ll have to try it, 50 Shades of Grey is funnier than I expected.” Isis answered.
This is the way their little lunch went, until it came to a close. The goddesses helped clean up before departing, and then Kali broke out a quart container of butter pecan, before settling down to watch Supernatural. She had been doing the marathon on Netflix.
She was up to Season 5, Episode 19, Hammer of the Gods. She was impressed with the actress Rekha Sharma, who was portraying her. The actress only had two arms, but did a more favorable job than she had expected.
The episode ended and it was time to start dinner. Here as Dashinakali, Guardian of the Kitchen, she danced about the kitchen in a flurry of activity, preparing Priya’s favorite dish spaghetti. Dawon sat perched upon the refrigerator watching the dance, imagining the same spectacle repeated on a field of battle, littered with the bodies of dead demons.
Vijay and Priya came in from school. Vijay had been home for a while, sitting on the porch texting his friend Joey, as he waited for Priya to get off of the bus. He was a good big brother. The children entered the house, put their school bags in the dining room where they would do their homework, and both paying attention to Dawon on the way, grabbed sodas from the fridge. The kids hugged their mom, and set about their studies.
“Mom, this guy J. Robert Oppenheimer said, “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” It sounds like something dad would say.” Vijay said.
“No dear, but he is sometimes misquoted as having said your father’s name instead of death.” Kali told her son.
“Does dad know him?” Vijay asked.
“No, but it is safe to say that they both know of each other, and respect each other.” she answered.
Shiva himself came home on time to sit with the rest of the family for dinner. The kids told of how their days at school went, and Shiva talked about work, Kali kept to herself about her day, still unsure of how this came to be her life, but having enjoyed her day regardless.
Later after some TV with the kids, and putting them to bed, she changed for bed herself. By the time she had finished, Shiva was already asleep, much to her disappointment. Her head hit the pillow and she drifted off to sleep. At first entering a dream where planes were all dropping out of the sky, and the pilots had to drive them on the streets in order to get the passengers to their locations. She was accidentally let off at the wrong stop, and had to walk home from New York City. As she did, molten lava began oozing up from beneath the streets.
It was then she found herself back in the cremation grounds. The whole wonderful day had been a dream, and this was her true existence. It was so real though. It must have been a side effect of living in Halloween Town recently, and sitting on the town council. Surrounding the town on either side were both the Realm of Nightmares, and the Realm of Dreams. But she liked the dream she had just had. She liked it a lot, and now wondered if she really could be a good mom.
Leaving the cremation grounds through the graveyard of Halloween Town, she changed her form to what it usually was here in town, adorned in all of her normal regal finery. But suddenly she desired another form, and changed herself to look as she had in her dream. Many a man’s head turned to watch her as she walked home, but she couldn’t be bothered. Arriving home, she burst through the door seeking only one thing.
“Shiva, where are you? I want children!” she shouted, knowing what she wanted, and that she was going to get what she wanted.