Short Story: Overcome With My Radiance

This is the start of a new series! A gender bent retelling of Hades and Persephone, I hope you enjoy it. Keep following along as things get a little bit hot in the nether regions of Greek mythos xo

Well, dear readers, it’s been a little while hasn’t it? Do you think it’s time yet? To start again, create a new beginning, let Spring unleash her raw fury with that most vicious of weapons – the pollen haze. Personally, I’ve always found the start of new things deeply concerning and a little stressful. Change and uncertainty are exciting but also scary, and it’s tricky to tell the difference between those two feelings. I think, that if I was to float above all that sneezy pollen, I’d see Spring as a season of desperation and chaos. Lucky for me, I positively thrive on those delicious emotions.

In all our time together, I’ve never properly introduced myself. Allow me to remedy that, while you remedy your dripping nose. Goodness, a bit of Telfast isn’t going to kill you – and trust me I’d know. For I am The Goddess Hades, at your service, my darlings – well a goddess for now anyways. It’s a little hard to just casually assign gender to divine powers, you know, but for now I’m quite happy to apply a bit of lippy and be a little snip-snippy in my female form.

As Lady of the Underworld, I like to pride myself on my sense of humour, which is why I’ve never properly gotten along with Charon. Bless his heart, he never quite understood the importance of providing a grand entrace to all my guests. A mendicant in a suspiciously hole-ridden rowboat does not make a great first impression to the recently deceased. Now the Vikings, those guys know how to enter the afterlife. But office politics aside, being the Guardian of Death does come with some perks. I have met anyone who’s ever lived, and the stories that they tell me. Oh gods, they are just sooo spicy.

My favourite are probably the husbands whose wives popped them off, like their ability to reshape reality and spin a fascinating fantasy is truly second to none. Like Brad, we all know you cheated on her with her sister stop making it about how much she loved shopping and didn’t play with your pee-pee. Cry me a river Styx for Brad but on the other hand, I do so much love a good tea party. Which is probably why I’ve shared so many of those delicious tales with you already! But today is a bit different, because I’m going to tell you a story about my favourite subject, moi.

It felt like it was only yesterday that I was a young divine force, swanning about on Olympus and mixing with the hoi polloi in the Athenian markets. I was going through a gothic phase, of course, and even though Green Day hadn’t been invented yet eyeliner most definitely had. There was nothing quite like a young Hades ascending from a convenient grave, draped in revealing black silk with thick cats eyes, black lipstick and a lovely bit of Brimstone to give give the outfit some pop you know. Diamonds braided into floating black hair and eyes with just the right amount of crimson glow. Oh yes, I was the original andogynous emo glamour twink, and I loved all of it.

I had the most fabulous time terrorising all and sundry, but after a particularly debaucherous encounter with Ganymede, Zeus apparently decided that I needed to “settle down” and stop being “an absolute menace” that “disturbed the common peace”. Quite frankly, I’m pretty sure Hera put him up to it, catty stick-in-the-mud that she is. I’ve never met anyone more in need of a good f… oh I’ve gotten distracted again haven’t I?

Well in any case, Zeus commanded me to find a partner. The gall, the sheer gall of that trumped up animal. He offered some interesting suggestions, including an immortal mathematician from the Far East (she was far too vanilla for my tastes), a South American god of rain (I enjoy being wet as much as the next girl, but honestly it’s more difficult than you think) and worst of all, he actually suggested Haephaustus (he’s already used to living in molten lava, it’d be convenient Des). Hell no, thank you very much. I went straight to Aunt Aphrodite, because say what you will, that woman knows a thing or two about love. She also positively loathes Hera and Zeus, and that’s recommendation enough quite frankly. Something about golden apples and Paris, but I never quite had the energy to focus on Troy, there was just so much death and Cassandra was definitely the more interesting sibling.

Aphrodite was delightfully vague, and made the sort of suggestion I had been dying to hear.

“Tell you what dear, why don’t you just find the absolute worst choice for yourself that is guaranteed to piss off Zeus”.

I do so love to make Zeus angry, he has a little blood vessel on his forehead that looks like a lightning volt and it sort of quivers when he yells. Aphrodite clearly could see I was interested, because she continued laying out a very tempting plan.

“…then eventually you can give him the happy surprise that you didn’t actually partner up and everything will go back to how it was, except that you can tell Zeus to piss off and he’ll have to actually listen for once in his life.”

I was sold.

“So who is the worst choice, Aunty?”

Aphrodite tilted her head to the side and smirked.

And that was how I found myself pacing in a tunnel I’d made myself underneath a Cypriot barley field desperately trying to come up with a good pick-up line.

“Greetings, young Prosper. I am Hades, Lord of the Underworld and I’ll be your friendly neighbourhood kidnapper for the next few months!”

No, a bit self-righteous, how about this.

“You’ve won a free holiday to the Fields of Elysium! Just bleed on this dotted line to recieve your prize today.”

A bit of truth stretching there, I guess I could always go with honesty though.

“I’m Hades, and I’ve decided to pretend to kidnap you and make you my spouse so that I can get back at my brother and his annoying wife.”

In the end I was like, you know what, screw it. I say it best when I say nothing at all.

Rising from the freshly fruiting stalks in a whirlwind of churning rich earth, an aura of inky darkness blotted out the sun as I surrounded myself with mysteriously lavender coloured vapours. The farm boy in front of me literally squealed as he dropped his scythe, overcome with my radiance. He wasn’t bad-looking actually, in a…a sort of wholesome way.

Big brown eyes, wild long black hair, outdoorsy tan and very luscious lips. White is a terribly impractical colour for a farmer’s shift, especially when trimmed with gold, but I could change that. What was particularly fetching was the way that he was sort of cowering with a touch of awe and reverence without losing his posture. Clearly, the man had spent time on his knees before. Attractive quality.

I flicked my wrist and golden chains came up around his ankles and a pair of cuffs bound his hands. I picked up him and threw him down into the tunnel I’d just emerged from, then as an afterthought, grabbed up the scythe he’d forgotten about before joining him. I tested it’s balance and made a few swings as I walked back. It was well-balanced.

Prosper seemed like he was getting more distressed, although he hadn’t made a sound. I wanted it to stay that way, so I held a finger to his lips to shush him and focused on letting my eyes sparkle a little for light in the gloom. The sun was getting further away and the earth closed above us, roots retwining as we made our descent. The poor thing looked up at me with puppy dog eyes as round as saucers, and I petted his head a little since he did look a bit nervous.

“We’re going down, darling.”

To be continued…

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