What do you do when you have a life- no, not a life a curse- where you are surrounded by nothing but death? The pleasure of looking forward to death ripped from your control? To be immortal
There is no elixir, no weapon and absolutely no thread of life that will be cut for me if anything tried to take my life. Trust me I have tried.
What good is it to be eternally bound to this Zeus-forsaken body I've been given when it feels like I'm constantly living the regret of a simple mistake by choosing the wrong stick in a game of "shortest stick looses?"
To be the Lord of the Underworld
Guardian of lost souls.
Forever bound to the darkness.
Years, decades, centuries, millenniums, eons and eons of being forgotten in this Hell of a place literally- while my brothers and sisters drink, party and enjoy the warmth of spring time and the changing of seasons
the golden rays of Helios' mighty sun. The feeling of my brother, Poseidon's cool waves lapping at my toes
Even after all these countless and empty days, I can still remember what it had been like to be a part of something that didn't involve the dead.
But those days seemed to have vanished forever, without a trace.
Instead of choruses of music and laughter, I'm surrounded by the screams and pain of innocent civilians, all by my own hand as well. Instead of sunlight and green grass, the grey clouds seem to overcast my world with snow that falls like ash and trees as dead as the souls who live here. Not a single living creature would dare to step foot on this land if they didn't have a wish for death.
With just the slightest touch, the healthiest man in the world would fall six feet into the soil in no less than half a second. That is unless- you are a God.
How does one live with the power of death?
Simple: You don't.
But that was all before I saw her
Persephone: Daughter of Demeter and easily the most beautiful woman in all existence that the one and only Aphrodite could not even deny.
Just past the Lake of Souls and through the Forest of Despair lies the most enchanting place that could even make my dead heart patter like a helpless school-girl. Where an abundance of roses poke out of bushes while countless other colors of red, orange, blue and purple flowers leave blemishes in the emerald green grass that could easily tickle my shins as a gentle breeze caresses the blades giving it a mock visual of what I remember as tides rolling on to the shore. But the sight that had me falling to my knees in envy as this glass wall puts a border between me and this paradise is the woman I have fallen madly in love with.
The shinning auburn hair with accents of cream colored highlights were what I could only imagine what the sun would look like if it were to take possession of a human body as her skin constantly glowed with a light I had to shield with my eyes. Eyes as green as the roots she harvested and a smile that was permanently plastered on her face as she skips about, dancing and touching the ground only to be joined with a new flower in her palm. She was but her name: a Goddess. A crown of white and cream flowers haloed her head while multiple petals surrounded her very presence as she danced.
And as years have passed on, I escape from my duties to perch on this rock like the gargoyle I am, doing nothing but watching. Wondering if even death himself can have a chance at love. If this aching in the cavity of my chest is love or a symptom of some disease I have picked up from being down here for so long. Possibly a heart-attack like it was a few years back. But unlike that kind of brutal and excruciating pain, this was one that I welcomed. It was as if this ray of light was my second chance of a new life.
Every day, she has the same routine:
Runs out as soon as the dawn approaches. Spins about the field with different bags of seeds in her hand as they scatter about into the soil. Then she delicately sings a soft tune that melts my heart, bending over and softly caressing each seed until it blossoms into a stalk of corn, sunflowers, lilies, roses, apple trees, pomegranate trees and every which kind of fruit or flower one could dream of.
However, today was a rather different day. For she had strayed much farther from her usual path and skipped deeper and deeper into the field until she was all but face to face with me. Remaining the statue of a Dark Prince in full armor, I continued to stare longingly back at her. Her eyes didn't meet mine as they began to look past me into the darkness of a forest that she had never seen before.
She shivered for a moment and then smiled, tossing seeds through the glass wall that kept her away from me.
"Persephone!" a woman called, whom I had right to assume was the lovely Demeter, her mother.
"Coming mother!" her voice chimed, giving the forest one last look and blowing a kiss to the buds that had yet to bloom.
"Goodnight sweet darlings," she cooed as a mother would do so when tucking in their child. "Harvest well, for tomorrow is the last day of Summer."
"Goodnight, Princess," I whispered, placing my hand on the glass that was invisible to her eyes.
But, like the sun, she too must retreat back to her dwellings until the dawn called her back to the field where numerous plants fall at her retreat only to become like new again in the morrow. I myself have work to do back in the pits of Hell, but not before I can hear her sing her song one last time.
Oh ways of love
So tender and true
May the voices of angels
Sing loudly to you
Oh ways of love
I call upon nature
Your beauty be thy teacher
Never once deprive love
From an innocent creature
Oh ways of love
So tender and true
Let me be a healer
To those who have lost you
As the moon becomes dusk
And the sun becomes dawn
I know forever and always
My love will linger strong
After watching her for so many years, I too have been able to sing along with her and alone in my ghastly castle of doomsday. But I can never touch her, for the dead cannot be with the living unless the living chose to remain on this side of the wall. Each day I see her, every time she dances and sings in her field, I vow to do whatever it takes to break this glass wall between us and claim her as my own. To make her my own personal sunshine in this eternal darkness.
So finally, one night while I had been awoken by a shrieking spirit, it dawned on me.
The buds. Last day of Summer!
She had stepped away from her path and planted life in to my deathly garden of weeping willows and naked trees. She has opened the wall!
It's only for one day, but in one day Olympus has no control over the wall because she has given me life to sustain! I have to mend those seeds as if my life depended on it.
Without further contemplation of the consequences I could face, I spring from my layer, run to the ironclad door and sprint out into the ice cold air or what I would imagine a human being would consider ice-cold to be- forcing myself to push myself faster to make way to the seeds she had placed for me to tend to.
But it's all but pointless when the seeds had already jut out from the soil below where it was feeding on muck and mud while snow had encased the blossoms in such a way that it would look natural to any one stranger. A bed of Jasmine flowers, gently waving in the wind. Only I would know that this was all purely magic from the enchantress of copper and cream colored hair.
"Persephone," I breathed gently, kneeling down as I gently cupped one flower into my leather and steal bound hands, caressing its silk-like petals.
Suddenly, the flower began to wilt at the instant of my touch only to turn to ash in my hands as the gentle yet brutal winds scooped it out from my tips. I sighed as I watched each speck float away into the darkness.
"Excuse me?" a soft voice asked in the wind.
I quickly stood erect to face the girl I had been watching for all these years. Studying, observing and hopelessly admiring from afar. But here she stands before me, looking right into my ice cold blue eyes, confused and curiously awaiting for my response.
"Per- I mean," I stumbled, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb your garden. I just couldn't help but notice them
She still seemed confused about what I had said as she lightly tilted her head, observing me closely as strands of my long ash white hair would hug my face.
"You seem familiar
" she spoke softly.
I blinked again, worried she has truly seen past this wall I had believed was a one way.
"I know you, don't I?" she asked, taking a single step closer. I couldn't help but notice she was only a single toe away from the original line.
I smiled slightly, but not innocently. "You tell me."
She leaned forward, folding her arms over her chest, taking a closer look as her copper curls bounced off her shoulder slightly.
I gently offer my hand and continue to smile as I wait for her to cross over, where she will never be able to turn back. She will be mine forever
all one needs is for her to take one single step that will determine her fate.
"Come," I persuade her, "take a closer look. Perhaps you're seeing me for the first time, but I assure you
this is not the first I have seen you."
She gasped, taking a single step back, holding her heart with one hand. Eyes full of shock and fear at the possibility of this man before her being a stalker. Perhaps I was, but she doesn't know that.
"Who are you?" she asked, taking one last step back.
"Why don't you find out?" I smiled, this time releasing some of my natural demon as to absorb the warmth from this angel before me. "Take my hand, please?"
Persephone quietly contemplated on whether or not to take a chance to take the hand of a stranger or turn back and pretend that she never saw me and forever be banned from my existence. I silently begged it wasn't for the latter.
"What would these flowers be if they didn't have their mothers touch to keep them alive? You can't leave them here to die in this frigged storm, can you?" I asked, knowing this definitely had her thinking twice.
Bringing her hand up to her mouth, Persephone started to bite her nails debating which path to take.
Without taking my eyes off of her, I kneel back down to the bed of Jasmine scented flowers and scattered what little frozen ice was on their stems and petals.
"Careful!" she cried, stepping forward again, watching over them as a cautious mother would. This time, she was only a hair away from the line.
"I'm sorry," I apologized, hiding the single flower I had touched as it scattered into the wind. "But I just can't let these die of frost bite
it would be a sin to leave them unattended don't you think?"
Suddenly, a tear fell from her eye as she showed a face of frustration, fear and uncertainty.
"Persephone," I whispered, standing again. "Please, don't cry
She gasped. "How-?"
"You mustn't leave them here alone, Persephone," I interrupted her. "They need you."
But that wasn't true. I didn't care about the flowers. I didn't care that they would possibly die the second she runs away. All I cared about was her coming to this side of the wall so that she would see me as a man and not the devil that everyone has made me out to be. Even if that is who I am, I won't let her know it.
"Tell me who you are first," she demanded, holding her arms tight against her stomach of both being cold and from my discomfort.
I remained silent as I continued to watch her beautiful emerald green eyes challenge me.
"You know who I am, so it would only be fair that you introduce yourself."
I sighed then looked down at my outward hand that was still empty, letting it fall back to my side as it hid itself behind my black wolfs-fur cape.
"I am but a man who has fallen in love with you. All other names are pointless as they do not make me who I am but who man has made me. A fellow had once quoted 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.' I do not see a reason to worry about names."
She wasn't angry. She didn't even flinch when I had admitted my love for her. I had possibly assumed she must have heard it from countless strangers. But perhaps this stranger would have a chance in Hell compared to the others.
I gave a softer smile as I held my hand out higher with more confidence and gentleness. "Please, I ask you to take my hand and accompany me on this path."
Persephone gulped as she timidly let her hand reach out towards mine. Slowly, but surely she continued to grow closer to my hand until she finally removed it and turned away from me, letting out a small scream into her hands.
"Persephone?" I asked, confused and hurt. For once, the devil himself felt pain.
But she didn't answer as her shoulders began to shake and her hands didn't leave her face.
"Persephone, what's the matter?" I asked, taking a step closer.
She squeaked again in fear running to the nearest tree on her side of the wall that had been planted only hours ago. A pomegranate tree by the looks of the bulbous purple orbs hanging from its limbs.
"S-stay where you are!" she stuttered behind tears, not facing me.
I remained the typical statue I had played many times in this one spot, doing the exact same thing I was doing now: observing, longing and studying.
"What do you want with me Hades?" she asked, turning her eyes to me. Scorn and hatred swimming in her tears as anger and pain was plastered on her expression. A face I had deserved.
I swallowed nervously as I didn't move from my spot, but instead remained still.
"Answer me Hades!"
"Nothing more than the pleasure of your company. Honest."
"A promise from the devil," she scoffed, whipping her eyes heatedly.
"You did not know I was who I was until you pressed your hand through the glass. You didn't refuse me when I told you I had loved you
but because you know who I am, you reject me."
"As would any sane being, Hades!"
Letting my head drop for a moment, I couldn't help but see her understanding. I was death. No one ever willingly takes the hand of death.
But had you not known," I continued as she refused to look me in the eyes ever again, "you would be on this side of the wall with me, would you not?"
"No!" she whimpered.
I smiled at her lack of confidence in her objection. "Are you certain, princess?"
I chuckled slightly behind my gloved hand.
"Don't make jest of me, Hades!" she scolded as a fiery red rose spurted from out of a bush.
"I only jest in the simple fact that you do not reject me, but you reject my title."
"It's the same thing, Hades!"
I shook my head, smile still plastered on my pale white face. "No, dear Persephone. They are as similar as night and day. One is the man the other is the name. A man cannot be a name for a name is not a living breathing thing."
"But the man who owns the name owns the responsibility behind it, Hades!" she retorted.
I nodded slightly. "That is true, yes. But you as well have the name Persephone."
"Yes, and what does that mean to you?" she growled as more blood red roses poked out from the bushes behind her as the thorns continued to grow longer and sharper.
"She who destroys light, am I right?" I smiled slyly. "Does that mean that you are as dark as say
"I am nothing of the likes of you, Hades!"
I nodded. "And who's to say I am as evil as those who have spoken wicked tongue of my name? Have you ever wondered if possibly this life was not chosen but given because no one wanted this responsibility?"
"I-" she tried to respond. "Well you-!" again she couldn't finish it.
I smiled gently towards her as I finally took a deep breath and abandoned my world so I might be in hers. Calmly standing before her, I limit myself to only gazing at her sad and confused eyes.
Cringing, she turns her eyes, covering her face in fear and surrounding herself in the thorn infested rose bushes she had threatened me with before as a means of a self-defense mechanism.
I sighed, turning my eyes back to my leather boots. "My name is Hades, God of the Underworld and Prince of Darkness
She sniffled a little, whipping her eyes free of tears, but said nothing as I lift my eyes to her own and smile. "But who I am is only a lonely and wrongfully punished man who had no say in his fate and has fallen in love with the Goddess before me."
She didn't say anything as she turned away.
"I would understand if you did not trust me because of my forwardness and perhaps my confidence in my words spoken, but I wouldn't understand if you reject me for a name I did not choose and a title that was chosen by my brothers and your uncle."
"But you are the devil, Hades! Not a God of war or God of pain! You are the God of the Underworld! You expect me to overlook that?"
I shrugged. "And you are the Goddess of Harvest. It's just a name, darling. Even though you have been given abilities to make your name part of who you are, it is only a name."
"It is not the same thing as just a name and you know it, Hades!"
"Is there a reason as to why the lady continues to say my name?" I smiled.
"It's to remind me of who I'm talking to!" she scorned.
"So you need reminding that you are talking to the God of the Underworld," I said brusquely as I smiled confidently, suddenly feeling her own wall of thorns fading before me. "Interesting
"No! It's not because-" she stopped, holding her temples.
Clearly lying gave her headaches, I smiled to myself.
"There it is again."
"It's the last day of Summer and I have a lot of work to do before the Autumn work has to be done. Please, refrain from bothering me again!" she huffed, storming away from me.
"Sun down," I called out to her.
Stopping in her tracks, she turns on her heals and glares at me. "Excuse me?"
"You have until sun down before the wall closes up," I smiled softly. "Once the sun sets, so shall the wall reappear and you'll never have to see me again. But, because you won't see me does not mean that I won't stop seeing you."
"If it's so important to you that I cross this wall, then why didn't you just drag me to your world rather than let me choose?"
"Because, I may be the holder of death but I have no control over the living. Unless you are nothing but a wandering soul, I cannot take you. I am nothing but a man who is asking for your hand."
She scoffed and then turned on her heals, running away from me and towards the rising sun.
I sigh, leaning against the tall pomegranate tree, looking up and taking a piece of fruit from a low branch. Rolling around said fruit in my hand, I silently pull a blade out from behind my cloak and pierce the thick skin until the ruby red seeds began to bleed out of the center. Taking a single seed, I place it into my mouth and admire the sour yet sweet and tangy sacks of flavor before I leave it on the ground and walk back to my dark and lifeless side of the world, fruitlessly waiting.