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Waiting

by Autumn Hardin 4 years ago in fantasy

Hades' Thoughts While Persephone Is Not with Him

In the world above, spring had just made a reappearance. Naturally, that meant in the world below, darkness overtook it. The Underworld was always a rather gloomy place, but when she left, a new darkness would take over. It was more than just the darkness of death, it was more than just agony, it was much more than terror. It was a darkness brought on by the cries of a man with a broken heart.

He sat on his throne, his elbows propped up on his knees as he hung his head. His chambers were dark. He had snuffed out the flames, leaving all but one lit to give him a way to see. The god of the Underworld felt the loneliness clawing at his heart, eating away at him, consuming him in the same unimaginable ways that it always had. Hades had the unquenchable desires to curl up alone in his bed and let himself wallow in the pain that wouldn’t leave him until his Persephone returned.

Persephone.

The mere thought of her sent a painful shot through his heart. It made him let out a grunt of pain, curling in on himself. His large hand went over his heart, as if he were trying to sooth the ache there. But nothing could calm it, nothing could take away the pain but her touch. He reflected on the feeling of her touch, already longing for the mornings when he would awake to feel her head on his chest, her hand resting atop his heart. He longed for them with such passion that it brought hot tears to his eyes. He covered his eyes, wishing he could keeping the tears at bay. It has been two days since she left, two days of wallowing, and two days of uncalled for emotions. At this rate, his eyes might stay puffy from crying until her return.

Cerberus lay at his feet, his snout resting on his on his master’s foot. Even the dog seemed slightly depressed as his mistress was gone. He raised one of his three heads as he heard his master choke on his own tears again, whining a bit before letting his head rest again on Hades’ foot. The creature could sense it was about to be a long season of seeing his master suffer.

Hades choked a bit, biting back the tears, trying to swallow them. This was pointless. This was absolutely pointless. He needed to be doing his duties, not crying over his wife’s departure. But how could he? Unlike so many of the other gods, he truly loved his wife. It was the one thing he knew he could hold over his brothers—unlike them, he understood love for it was the one thing in his terrible life he had received. But, love always had to leave for a season. He had to let it go every spring and summer. And it left the god heartbroken.

“My Lord?”

The voice echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls and reaching the god’s ears. He knew the voice, he didn’t need to lift his head to see it. “Yes, Charon?” he asked. Usually, his voice would boom through the room. It was harsh, rough, flat of emotions, and serious. But now, it was soft, the sadness clearly evident in his tone.

Charon approached his master, his wings tucked behind his back. He was the only one who would ever come to the god during this time of sorrow. His ebony eyes looked the god up and down, watching as Hades removed his hands from his face but kept his head down. One candle burned in the room but the one candle gave off enough light for the angel of death to see the tears stained against his master’s cheek. “I… was just coming to make sure that you are alright.”

Usually, Hades had a very cruel laugh. Not today. The breathy laugh that left him made it clear he was far from alright. “What made you think I’d be alright?” Despite the heartbreak, his tone had turned very harsh and cold as he spoke to Charon.

The guide did not answer. “I understand it has only been two days,” the guide started, taking a step forward, “But you know as well as I do that Winter will be here sooner than you think.”

A sigh escaped the god’s lips. “I appreciate how you try to lift my mood, Charon… but stop trying,” Hades answered, his voice almost like that of a whisper. “She’s gone. Let me have this. Let me wallow. You and I know I will come out of it soon enough but for now… Let me mourn the leaving of my wife. Please.”

It was the please that caught the guide of the dead’s attention. He could hear the depression in his master’s tone. He could hear how, no matter how many times she left, Hades needed this time to collect himself and his emotions. Eventually, his heart would be consumed in ice, the emotions leaving him. Eventually, he wouldn’t be so vulnerable. Charon blamed his emotions on his wife. The goddess brought out the humanity in his master but once she left, Hades' humanity left with her.

Charon nodded in response to him, bowing his head out of respect before he turned to exit. However, he stopped at the doorway, twisting his neck to look over his shoulder. “If you don’t mind me asking, my Lord,” the guide started, “... what do you do when she’s gone?”

Silence filled the room. The guide’s voice echoed through the room, fading away soon after, the question still floating in the air. Hades sat there and in the dimly lit room, Charon could see the single tear that made a trail down the god’s cheek. His chest rose as he filled his lung with air, his rough lips parting in preparation to give his answer:

“I wait for her to come back.”

~*~*~

The seasons progressed and as promised, so did Hades. Within a week, he was back to his work. He ran the Underworld smoothly, only having to deal with the disturbance of his brothers every now and again. Zeus came to borrow Cerberus at one point for some ridiculous quest he was on and instead of arguing, Hades let his younger brother borrow the creature under the condition he would keep his pup safe. The worry of whether or not Zeus actually was keeping his dog safe was enough to keep Hades occupied from his own depression. He went his work, keeping himself focus for what else could he do? Without his wife with him, he had nothing else to do but his job: keeping the Underworld in order.

Hades sat, once again, on his thrones, scrolls scattered around him. He search relentlessly the ancient scrolls for information that he had heard from a dying soul. Something about Gaia and something about a plan of hers. Did he believe the soul at all? Absolutely not. But Hades had not heard from Gaia for so many decades that he was completely unaware of her whereabouts. The quest to find information of the goddess took up his time… and distracted him as the time passed.

As he discarded one scroll and opened yet another, he was unaware of the dark spirit that entered. Charon had his wings slightly undone today, spread out to hide the cloaked figure behind him. “My Lord? May I…”

“I’m busy Charon,” Hades words ran right over Charon sentence, crashing into it and cutting it off. “Come back later.”

The guide of the dead cleared his throat lightly, as if to gain his master's attention. If Hades would have looked up to see the slight smirk hidden on the guide’s face, maybe he would have known that his helper actually had something important to say. “Oh, but master, this is an important matter.”

Hades let out a short, irritated sigh. “I’m not sure you understand the meaning of come back la-”

“Hades.”

The god of the Underworld froze. He knew that voice. It was warm, like the gentle breeze of springtime. There was a touch of something inside of it, a tone that he so deeply missed: Love. He felt his stony heart cracking, shedding its protective layer that had kept it intact while the depression had overtook him. He slowly lifted his head, feeling a lump already forming in his throat but not from tears, but fear. What if it wasn’t here? What if it was a joke? What if it was a woman and he was simply mistaking the voice for hers? He lifted his dark eyes, his chest rising and falling rapidly.

And there she was.

Persephone.

He stared at her in disbelief for a moment, letting the seconds tick by. How was it already Winter? What had he missed? Had he been so consumed by his work that he hadn’t realized it was time for his love to return? Hades was so focused on her now he hadn’t realized Charon had slipped away, leaving the two alone.

And suddenly, he was embracing her.

Hades had dashed to his wife, his strong limbs enveloping her into a hug. He held her against his tall form, dipping his head down to rest against that place where her neck met her shoulder. Her hair smelt like roses, her skin like pomegranates. The god hadn’t realized how much he had missed those scents, how he had longed for them so passionately throughout the seasons that she was gone. With one arm around her waist and the other petting her long tresses, Hades let out a shaky breath as he whispered to two words he had been waiting to say since the moment spring arrived:

“You’re back.”

fantasy

About the author

Autumn Hardin

A fantasy writing that likes to look at the world from an upside down view

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