Deidre's Death (Chapter Two, page 1 of 12)

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Past-Death, the original Deidre, felt no different until she stepped into the apartment she visited once before leaving her underworld in the hands of Gabriel. It was then she felt the effect of what Darkyn had done to her.

Her skin was prickling the way it did when another deity used magic around her, the fair hair on her arms standing on end. The colors of the mortal world were brilliant, the light in her bedchamber blinding her. Beneath her feet, the carpet was plush enough to fascinate her as she took a step. It cushioned her bare feet the way she imagined a cloud might.

Her attention shifted as the world around her continued to register. She was … cold. Hungry.

No, starving. It hurt. Had she ever been so hungry? Deities ate for pleasure, not out of need.

She wasn't expecting the intensity of sensations in the human world.

Shivering, she stripped out of the Hell garb and flung it aside to put on some of the clothing she'd chosen. Her soul had been sentient only since she died-dead, about six months ago. Her soul had been planted into the human's head upon birth. Death was required to give up its soul when it ran the underworld. Past-Death didn't remember why exactly, but the rule was that Death could not be a responsible collector of souls if it did not appreciate what it was to have a soul. Without one, she had existed in a state of sentience without feeling, a world of permanent grey.

Being dead-dead was pleasant, though she'd tried to pay as much attention as possible to the world outside of human-Deidre's head. She recalled people, places, and some routines, like those that human-Deidre did at least once a day: getting dressed, the bathroom, showering.

If not for Gabriel, past-Death had no reason to want to try to leave the simple existence of a soul. She'd forced herself to try to watch human-Deidre as much as possible.

Past-Death stood before the wardrobe, considering what human-Deidre would do in her place.

Deidre ran her hands over the clothing in the wardrobe, gasping at the sensations. The sweaters weren't just the most vibrant shades of autumn, they were softer than anything she'd ever experienced.

She stood back, astounded. This was what it was like to be human? Was this why humans were so ensnared by their world and their minds so limited? Moving from the wardrobe to the dresser drew her attention to the carpet again. Cool air made all the skin of her naked body prickle.

She grinned, enjoying her newfound abilities. With great focus, she dug through the undergarments in the dresser and chose a set that matched, like human-Deidre did. Deidre managed to pull them on and then went back to the wardrobe, selecting the softest sweater and a pair of jeans. Infatuated by the carpet, she kept her feet bare.

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