I awoke to an empty room. I was lying peacefully on a soft bed, enjoying the rays of afternoon sun. I propped myself up and gazed around. The room was quiet, as if no one had been in here for a hundred years. I walked over to the window in my bare feet and peered outside. It was a beautiful sight. The rays of the sun were shimmering on a sea of green. A flock of birds were floating gracefully in the air and I could hear the sleepy sounds of insects and other animals in the quiet surroundings. I could hear the gulls calling in the distance, and I wistfully blew a kiss towards them.
I was a goddess.
My name was Hel and I usually didn't have that name when I was as a goddess. I was popular throughout many mortal tribes and civilizations throughout the lands. I usually was a protector or an aid to some great hero or ruler, sometimes I liked to be only observed and not actively partake in the acts of the powerful ones.
That day, I was born as a mortal, without status, without the ability to possess magic, without the combat skills that elevated me above most other beings. I was an ordinary human. My senses were dull, my strength was not there nor my endurance. I looked around and saw that my clothes were neatly folded on top of a cabinet. I walked to it and examined my attire. I was wearing a sleeveless crimson dress that stopped just above my knees. It was made from thin fabric and was light and easy for me to move in. My feet were bare and I needed no footwear as I was not going anywhere. Next to the cabinet was a table piled high with food and water. I poured myself a glass and quenched my thirst. I inspected the food and found some of my favorites. I was ready to start a new life as a mortal.
I stepped outside. The sun shone through the trees and the birds sang their songs. What a beautiful day, I thought to myself. I found a field of flowers and the aroma was intoxicating. The breeze was gentle and I felt a little chilly. I looked to the sky and saw that the sun was close to setting. I found a tree nearby with a large branch and tilted my head back as I sat there. I shut my eyes and basked in the sunlight. The warmth felt good on my skin. I opened my eyes and saw a robin not a few feet from me. The bird dropped a worm into a bush and began to search again. I was absolutely enraptured with the bird and its movements. It never fluttered its wings, they just flicked to make the bird fly. It was graceful and elegant. Natural. I was finding it hard to keep myself quiet. I was amazed by the birds movements. I wanted to learn. As if being able to fly was not great enough, I began to understand why. The bird had a gift and it was like having the ability to fly on my part. I so badly wanted that gift, I was not worthy of it. I wanted to be able to do all these things. I wanted to travel, I wanted to be a hero, have friends, have fun and adventure. I wanted all the things that make a person live. I shut my eyes again and concentrated on the small bird.
I felt like I had been asleep for days. Too long, at least in my mind. The robin had flitted away and I knew that the bird would now be occupied with its food. I was sad that I had not been able to learn but I was happy that it was a start. I must start over, I thought. I have to be a boy again and I have to learn those things I can do. I walked in the direction of the river, the wind flicking my clothes. I ran a hand along the tree and the bark was rough. It was a lot rougher than the bark on the tree I had seen the day before. This was a different tree. I walked along the river from the bank and sat on a large rock. The river gurgled as it ran over the stones and I could hear fish jump into the water. I closed my eyes once again and sought out the little creatures. I imagined them as being small yellow spots in the river, and I tried to find the image of one. I felt it almost instantly when I was able to find a single fish. I got up and ran to the water and stuck out a hand. The fish slid along within my hand while I could feel its scales. Startled, it jumped out of my grip and swam away. I realized I had not been able to see it when I had tried to find it. I was happy though. It gave me hope.