"Hello, you have reached the Goddess Assistance Agency. Please hold while we transfer the next available Goddess."
With that, the 72-inch plasma TV in the room glowed brightly as the form of divinity arrived in the high-rise apartment. The light subsided and the figure landed gracefully. With her waist-length platinum hair, dusky skin, and trademark revealing purple clothing, Urd had arrived on her first mission as a First-class Goddess. It was time to grant the first of what would hopefully be many successful wishes. "Thank you for calling the Goddess Assistance Agency," she said, bowing on one knee. "I am Urd, a Goddess here to grant…" she inclined her head to view her new client and her tone changed completely. "You?"
Her new client was a charming young woman with shoulder-length brown hair wearing a smart beige business suit and matching skirt: Sayoko Mishima, heiress to the Mishima Corporation, Queen of Nekomi Tech, and committed foe of Urd's sister, Belldandy. "Yes, me," she said, flashing a narcissistic smile. "Surprised?"
"Yes!" Urd said indignantly. "You have a perfect life! You're a rich heiress and most everyone loves you! How did your phone-call reach Heaven?" Wishes generally went to the unfortunate but pure-hearted. Sayoko was the opposite: fabulously fortunate and spoiled rotten.
"Never underestimate the power of money," Sayoko answered, indicating her phone. Many complex circuit boards had been wired to it.
"So what are you trying to get at?" Urd asked suspiciously. "How are you going to use this against Belldandy?"
"This isn't about Belldandy or Keichii," Sayoko said with a smirk on her face. "This is about you."
"And what do you want with me?" Urd spat.
"Well, I'm in need of a new maid," Sayoko replied. "Good help is so hard to find these days. And," she added, her cheeks reddening, "I've found myself wanting… you."
Urd cocked her head for a moment, puzzled. "Oh!" she said when she caught Sayoko's meaning. "You mean you…?" she blurted. Sayoko nodded. "With me?" Sayoko nodded again. Urd's face ran a deep shade of red. This was absurd, she was a mortal, Urd wasn't attracted to women, and even if she were, she certainly wouldn't chase someone as conceited and rotten as Sayoko Mishima. But Sayoko was her new client. "So you're going to wish I was your maid?" Urd asked angrily. That would be unbearably humiliating.
"I'm not going to wish for anything," Sayoko replied. She pulled a remote out of her pocket. "Money can make it happen." She hit a button, and stereos around the room began blaring that hateful, warbling sound: Enka music. As always, that type of music put Urd straight to sleep.
"You… you!" she said angrily, but then fell to the floor as sleep overcame her.
She awoke somewhere else. She had no idea where, and she couldn't look as her head was strapped in position, forced to look straight ahead. She was seated in a comfortable arm chair, with her arms and legs bound to the chair. A huge white screen was in front of her, filling her vision. If she craned her head, she could barely see the edges of the screen, with only darkness beyond it. There were small earphones in her ears, and she was definitely indoors, but that was all she could ascertain.
"Are you awake, Urd dear?" Sayoko asked, stepping into Urd's field of vision. "I hope you slept well."
"Screw you!" Urd said defiantly, struggling vainly in her bonds. "Do you think I'm going to let you get away with this?" Electricity surged at her fingertips, but it was useless if she couldn't move her arms.
"Definitely," Sayoko replied. "At the push of a button I can have the Enka music back on and you back to sleep."
Urd growled, knowing she was right. "But you'll have to let me go sometime," she said in a dangerous voice. "And then you'd better keep running, or I'll zap you into the next existence!"
"You don't sound very happy," Sayoko said, coming closer to Urd and caressing her cheek. "You'll be much happier if you're a maid."
"I don't believe that," Urd barked. How stupid did this woman think she was?
"Yeah," Sayoko replied. "You won't believe me if I tell you. I have to show you." She stepped somewhere behind Urd, then Urd heard the distinct sound of a switch. The pure white screen in front of her changed to a solid purple, matching Urd's eyes. A single black line ran across the screen, then turned itself into a spiral. The spiral twisted slowly, compellingly, inviting Urd to gaze into its depths.
"No…" Urd breathed, knowing what Sayoko was trying. She clenched her eyes tight, rejecting the spiral.
"It won't be that easy," Sayoko said. Urd heard a button being pressed, then a voice from the earphones: a female monotone.
"You are a happy maid," the voice said. "Maids don't need to worry. Maids don't need to think. Maids just obey. Obey the Mistress. To serve is a pleasure. You love to obey. Love the spiral. Love the Mistress. The pleasure of obedience makes you a happy maid." It began again after a pause. "You are a happy maid."
"This isn't going to beat me!" Urd screamed defiantly. "I'll just block it out you little…" Urd then began to curse and swear loudly, a stream of obscenities pouring from her mouth. She swore in Japanese and Kyrgyz, Tagalog and English, Spanish and Albanian, Hausa and Shona. She cursed in living and dead languages, and in tongues human, divine, and demonic, the noise blocking out the mesmerizing monotone.
After about fifty minutes of constant cursing, her voice finally gave out. The droning monotone continued. "Maids just obey." Urd was breathing heavily, her throat raw from exertion.
"Are you feeling better, Urd?" Sayoko asked.
"No," Urd answered in a weak, raspy voice, her will worn out along with her throat. "I'm not happy, I don't love the spiral, and I don't love you."
"Really?" Sayoko queried coyly. Urd could hear her step closer, but couldn't see because her eyes were still shut tight against the spiral. "Why don't you take a look to make sure?" Urd felt hands clutch her temples, and long-nailed fingers pry open her eyes.
"No…" she said weakly, but couldn't fight it. The spiral greeted her like an old friend, black on purple still spinning seductively. Twisting, twirling, drilling, boring, the spiral marched on, sucking her in to the center that never arrived.
The voice continued too. "You're a happy maid. Maids don't need to worry. Maids don't need to think. Maids just obey. Obey the Mistress. To serve is a pleasure. You love to obey. Love the spiral."
Well, it's hard not to love the spiral, she thought. It twists so steadily, never slowing, never hurrying.
"Love the mistress."
The mistress gave me the spiral. She certainly wants me to be happy. You should love those who make you happy.
"The pleasure of obedience makes you a happy maid."
I love her. Obeying her makes her happy, which will make me happy.
"You are a happy maid."
"Maids don't need to worry. Maids don't need to think."
Thinking and worrying are for the mistress. I'm just a maid.
"Maids just obey."
"Obey the mistress."
Of course. I'm her maid.
"To serve is a pleasure."
The pleasure of making her happy.
"You love to obey."
Obedience is pleasure.
"Love the spiral. Love the mistress. The pleasure of obedience makes you a happy maid. You are a happy maid."
"I am a happy maid," she said aloud, a smile breaking onto her face. Her eyes reflected the spiral perfectly. Now it would always be with her, a comforting presence drilling into the space where her pupils had once been.
Sayoko stopped the voice and stood in front of her. "Are you really?"
"Yes, mistress," Urd replied.
"Good," Sayoko said. She gave her new maid a quick kiss. The pleasures of the mistress. Urd wanted more, blushing as Sayoko withdrew. "Now let's go home to your new life."
Urd was working out very well for Sayoko. The goddess-maid could prepare sumptuous feasts in the blink of an eye, clean the whole apartment with a single spell, and run a day's worth of errands in minutes. That left them with a lot of free time to get to know each other more intimately, at least when Sayoko wasn't at college or working for her father's company. Sayoko found herself shying away from public life recently, however. Instead she found herself more and more… entranced by her new servant.
Tonight Urd had prepared dinner wearing nothing but a pink apron with a heart emblazoned over the breast that read "I love my Mistress." Urd went about with a smile on her face all the time now, partly from the joy of serving her mistress, and partly from the spirals that still filled her eyes, giving her tranquility. They had finished dinner and Urd was doing dishes when Sayoko called her back in the dining room.
"Are you ready for dessert, mistress?" she asked in the contented tone in which she said everything lately.
"Definitely," Sayoko replied, pushing her chair away from the dining table and motioning for her maid to move closer. Urd stepped forward and sat on her mistress' lap, embracing her for a passionate kiss.
"Urd," Sayoko said, breaking off the kiss momentarily and looking into her maid's purple spiral-filled eyes. She liked staring into those eyes: the spirals absorbed her mind and erased her troubles, leaving her vaguely happy.
"Are you happy, mistress?" Urd asked, catching her mistress staring.
"Yes," Sayoko said, watching the spirals. "I am a happy mistress."
"Good," Urd replied. "I like making you happy." She simply looked at her mistress for a while, seeing the spirals reflected in her eyes as well. She was hypnotizing her own mistress, but she would continue to serve her, even as they descended into mindless bliss together. Urd kissed Sayoko again. Yes, she would continue to serve her: after all, obedience was a pleasure. She was a happy maid.