Hades and Persephone story:
They said I was the coming of Spring, but they were wrong. I stole the eternal summer they had lived in since the dawn of time. I was the one who ventured too far from my mother and was stolen. I am the origin of suffering, starving, and shivering. Winter is my domain. The Queen of the Underworld they called me. I took the winter’s deaths and led them to the Underworld. My husband would place judgment on the dead and they would pity me for living by his side. I would nod my head in response before they were led away to fields or caves.
Then I would stare at my king. He sat there on his ebony throne. It spoke more about him than anything else. It was a lavish seat formed from shadows. Every time he adjusted his seat the throne’s shadows would shift with him. They loomed over the court, shifting and pulling, like the mist that surrendered it. The shadows whispered to the dead, but to a god’s ears it fell silent. A person would scream obscurities about rapes he had not committed or the family he did not leave for his mistress. The shadow throne spoke the sins they committed, but every person denied them.
That was who my king was. He was honest and nonconforming to the lenient society. He had stolen me from my mother and caused her grief every season. He took her darling baby, her only blood fruit. I formed a fist thinking about his careless actions against my earthen mother. He had not thought to ask me what I wanted. Not only that, but he forced winter upon the mortal souls. Every winter would bring forth more and more death. People would die from the frost and lack of food. It was his fault for stealing me and inflicting more death on mortals. Then he met my eyes and I turned away. “Court is over with today.” He called as I walked through the wide entrance.
I stepped into the hall where other souls waited for their fate. My king did as he please with their souls if a woman birthed children for her husband faithfully then she would enter the dream fields. Then if she birthed bastards then she would go into the caves, and I could hear her screams grow louder. Her soul would be forced to never stop moving, never eat, and never witness love again. He did not bother him to listen to her suffering, nor order her to damnation. I lengthened my stride as I turned down the hall.
This was my domain. My forced suffering. Listening to the souls screeches from my bed chamber, every one more horrifying than the last. I opened the door to my rooms and entered. I shut the door before collapsing. Let them stop their screaming. I curled into a ball and shut my eyes. No that was even worse, then I imagined the torture they were going through. Let me leave this place. To go back to the wheat fields where I frolicked with my mother’s nymphs and the river maids. Where every cried from pleasure, laughed from play, and life bloomed through nature. Yet here: Another scream, another laugh from a demon taking pleasure from their pain, another death led to more misery.
Then I felt the door being pushed open with the side ramming into my lower back. I didn’t move from my fetal position. “Make it stop.” I whispered as I covered my ears. It deafened the curdling screeches, but they never ended. Every roar rolled into another until it became a cacophony. The person who entered the room lifted me off the ground. “My Queen,” his breath played in my hair. I sucked in my breath as his cold breath fluttered down my back. “They won’t stop. They never stop.” I shook violently as another shriek came through my window. “I know.” The man whispered as he genteelly placed me on my bed. My body trembled as I rolled onto my stomach. I didn’t want to hear the agony. The person flipped me over and I sat up onto my pillows. Oft times he would come here and watch me writhe in pain. He would try to comfort me, but it was no use. An earth goddess could never escape this torture. Now, I stared at him as he leaned forward and brushed a lock of arid auburn hair from my face.
His cool, frosty blue eyes stared back at me. “You come to me only three months out of the year. When you first come, your hair and eyes glow with warmth. They are golden like the autumn harvest.” He stated as he placed his hand on my cheek. I leaned my head into his hand. They were cold to the touch. He gave me a polite smile. It was my duty to show him affection in his mind. I was his wife and that was what I supposed to do. Show my love. “Then your hair turns dark and your eyes lose their humanity and you become a whisper of what you were.” He continued.
It was true. My hair proved to be golden fronds in the spring, summer, and fall, yet during the winter it shifted to flat dark auburn. My eyes once harvest moon yellow altered to clear blue. When I looked into the River Styx below my balcony I would see my flaxen locks dull from lack of life in this barren land. I would also see the souls drift through the water reaching out for my fair hair and amber hues. The Underworld sucked the everything I was away from my body. I said nothing. His hand dropped from my cheek. “You don’t say anything to me.” He said as his left hand gripped the sheets.
I trembled even more at the thought of his hands. “You give me pretty smiles and sing beautifully, but it is all an act, isn’t it my dear?” He spat and placed his hand under my chin. His frigid eyes stared right through me, but they saw nothing. My eyes held his for a short while before another scream ripped through my balcony. His focus turned to the balcony sensing the disturbance. To him the screams were an annoyance, not a punishment or torture for residing in the Underworld. I bent my knees and gripped them. The film of water poured over the balcony entrance which drowned out the souls’ shrill calls. They still happened though. Then my husband watched me as he would a child. I sat on my bed holding my knees as a maid. I did not even face him now. “You won’t have to listen to them for much longer. You are bound to go back to Earth in a few days.” He seemed saddened by the thought.
I turned my head and watched him. He had the ancient eyes the Olympians did, but his chilling hues spoke of sorrow and distant instead glee or intoxication. His features were strong and sharp where their traits were soft and supple. Even Zeus grew plump from his gluttonous fixes. My eyes traced the circles under his eyes from lack of rest and leisure. While the Olympians danced and caused havoc, my husband had to deal with their blunders. When Zeus caused a thunder and lightning storm it would cause a fire and end up murdering hundreds. Hades would decide those people’s fates. His hair was so blonde it seemed white and there was soft stubble on his face.
"A few days?" I whispered to him. He nodded stiffly as his blue eyes cast down to look at the floor. He seemed wounded by my words. I turned my body towards him now and lengthened my legs. My head rested on my pillow as watched my husband. He did not say the words I wanted him to. His eyes traveled across my body taking in every curve. He only took his pleasure when he plucked me from my mother’s meadow and the day before I left whether I willed it or not. Most often I would hear stories of him finding pleasure in nymphs because his wife did not do her duties. It insulted my presence when he took others to his bed. My mother told me never to confront him though, he was a god and could do what he pleased.
"Come here." He whispered and patted his knee. I crawled forward and rested my head on his lap while looking up at him. He proved to be cold even under his cloaks. His hand ran through my hair. This was a ritual he would soothe my fears for a short while then return to his court expecting me to follow. If he gave me a little I had to charge through the fiery parts of Erebus. His face lowered to mine and kissed my lips. It was light, just a touch on the lips before I felt his hand reach my throat.
His nails run across my neck as I shuddered. What was he doing? He never took me this far from my departure. The blue orbs gazed at the top of my throat before I felt the pressure building there. I tried to remove myself, but that only made his grip tighten around my neck. I thrashed as my air supply depleted with each violent shake I attempted. My hands tear at his arms and hands, but it was no use. I could feel my heart quickening as panic set in. “You will always return to me Persephone, but if I kill you…You can stay on the Earth and never see my face again.” He whispered. “You will never come back during the winter. You will no longer be my queen. Demeter can find peace and you will find happiness with the Olympians.” His face grimaced. This pained him. Then do not do it. I wanted to say. My lungs felt they were about to burst. Every movement I made was another pain in my side. His grip tightened even further. It was no use. I would end up as the other souls. Now I stopped struggling against him and just stared. Look me in the eye. "I am sorry, Little Wife. You were never to be my queen. Aphrodite and Cupid played with you when they struck me. Forgive me." He murmured and breathed in the scent of my hair.
I reached for his face with my weak hands. My fingertips traced his angular jaw line. He tightened his jaw and applied more pressure to my throat. I tried wiggling from his grasp, but it seemed useless. He was the god of death. When he desired someone’s death he would make it happen, and an immortal’s death was the hardest to accomplish. I bit my lip as the oxygen depleted.
I felt a release of pressure. I died. My husband had killed me. He stole my breath, the very air from my lungs as he crushed my windpipe. In truth I would be happier for this. Never again would I have to worry about going back to the Underworld. To listen to the torture and other demonic creatures running around Erebus. Nor would I have to deal with the whispers of court. The ones that said my husband slept with every maiden or nymph on his trip to Olympus. The disrespect it brought to my name and Olympian family. A wife should be able to divert her husband from affairs, yet I lacked the motive. My soul felt released as it ascended the Underworld, but then the memories rushed through my head…
I remember my first time meeting him, being abducted by him, the months I spent in the Underworld. I could not be found. Hermes eventually discovered my being in the Underworld. Then how my husband placed the pomegranate seeds into my hands…Then seeing my mother again and telling her I ate those seeds which sealed my fate as his queen. The time where I spent winters in the Underworld.