Writing Project- Myths and Lies*- Chapter 12

* Originally Goddess of Change, however after some thinking I’ve decided to change the title.

Hades could be at Zeus’ meeting, which I’m betting is being held on Mount Olympus, right? That must be miles away from the Underworld. I toyed with the end of the white dress, dreading what could happen here.

Maybe Hades is really pissed off, or maybe he is plotting some evil plan. He made it clear he’s determined to get me down here fully. From what I’ve seen and heard his imagination has no bounds and his determination runs with the same rules.

What felt like hours past and Hades still hadn’t shown, I’m both disappointed and relieved. Two emotions I never thought I would feel together.

I wasted time counting and making patterns out of the pomegranates, finding the dry humour when I mindlessly created a smiley face on the floor with them. I wonder what Hades’ reaction would be if I left that there.

Then he appeared.

Standing silently leant against the wall. I looked away from him once he’d looked up from the ground.

“I can see you’re angry with me, I just think that’s unfair.” I muttered, keeping myself busy by picking up a pomegranate. “I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t grow up knowing this could happen, or even who I am. From my point of view, you are after me because of my name. Technically you should be forcing my half-sister down here, she fits the rest of the categories.” I continued, Thanatos said she should be the one going through this. However, in that universe, I wouldn’t exist. Like the story, Sarah is the Goddess of spring, where that left me though, I have no idea.

“You think I should be interested in your sister?” He questioned, I wanted to correct him with, “Half-sister,” But again, he is giving me that feeling that would send most people running, possibly screaming, out of the window… Not caring they’re on the thirty-something floor.

His feet appeared at the ground beneath the shiny pomegranate I am staring at. Straight after he snatched it away tossing it to the side.

“Are you dictating what I should and shouldn’t do?” He interrogated. I have a feeling no one has really told Hades what to do, in a while anyway. I didn’t know what to tell him. On one hand, I could call him hypocrite as he’s telling me what to do, forcing me to move down here. I could tell him off for being irrational and controlling. On the other hand, this is Hades, God, ruler, king of the Underworld and we are currently in the Underworld. I knew looking at him whatever I said had ticked him off big time.

“I didn’t mean it!” I almost begged, afraid of the emotion he is showing.

“Turns out, I get to pick that servants punishment. I was going to let you pick the severity but evidently, we don’t understand each other as good as I thought.” He thought out loud. I knew what that means. He is going to let his imagination run wild with Herk’s sentence here in the Underworld.

“I’m trying to tell you this isn’t easy on me.” I restated while sinking to the ground. “At least with my half-sister you’ll have someone who knows and understands you! I grew up in a world that makes me question the sanity of your world! Honestly, when you first appeared I thought you were some escaped mental patient!”

“Yet you still followed me?” He enquired, sounding more interested then angry. He kneeled to the floor in front of me but I’m still not ready for looking at him again yet.

“I don’t know what I’m doing around you. Normally I think things through. With you my brain is actually acting like a teenage one, taking risks. You make me feel normal, despite the fact, I’m definitely not anymore.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?” He asked.

“Not when you’ve grown up learning to accept a modern day human reality.” I grumbled.

“I didn’t have the easiest upbringing. I had to cope with fighting my, ‘so called parents,’ while learning to accept the other people they created and two who fought with me as my brothers. If you let it be, it can become easier. I don’t suggest fighting your mother and locking her away from an inescapable prison. You should see what I’m offering you as a way to escape from the prison she holds you in.” I glanced up at him. He wore a concerned look on his face, a look I hardly got. I ignored most things that would concern other people, or I avoided talking about them.

“Wouldn’t that mean this would become my prison?”

“At least I’d give you more options.” He said going into a sulk.

“I want options in the world I grew up in.”

“I’ve told you I’m not giving up easily.” He hovered. I probably need to write it down somewhere, ‘Hades is going to make sure you get here no matter what.’ Forget your life Alexa. I’m stuck in a controlling, eternal life with either, the Goddess of Harvest A.K.A mum, or the God of the Underworld A.K.A the man who gets your panties in a twist.

Morning couldn’t arrive soon enough. I awoke, my arms aching due to my idea of, ‘A five-minute nap,’ I decided to skip going to bed and laid my head on my arms while sitting at my desk. I’m actually considering saying yes to Hades, in hope I’d get a normal night’s sleep.

I groaned in frustration realising it’s early and the possibly of doing anything today is zero. I dragged myself out of my room, in hopes I would find something, anything that would put a little bit of happiness in my day. My stomach is hoping happiness came in the form of pancakes. As I got closer to the kitchen, the smell of maple syrup didn’t hit my nose.

“Morning honey.” Mum greeted, sitting up in the breakfast bar sipping sweet tea. I slumped forward muttering, “Hi,” My mission and attention heading towards the kettle for a caffeine fix in the form of proper tea. Not the decaf fruit variety my mum seems to survive on.

“How was-,” I began to ask then had to think about what name I should have given whatever she ran off too, “-Your meeting?”

“Zeus couldn’t get any answers from him. We still have no idea who he is working for. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever find out. Hades has Herk now.” She sighed as the kettle boiled.

“I’m sure once Hades’ head clears, he’ll realise what he’s supposed to be doing.” I shrugged. From what I have experienced, Hades’ head is hardly ever clear. It probably rivals mine on a normal day, only my head doesn’t tend to be as angry as his seems to get at times.

“Alexa, please stay away from him.” She begged. No matter how many people warned me that, I still had the same problem.

“He’s the one who keeps coming to me mum. If it was up to me, I would have run away as soon as this whole thing started. That way no one would be fighting over me.”

“I’m trying to do what’s best for you honey. You have a long time to decide what to do in life, I want to make sure your safe for the start of it.”

“So, what about Sarah? Is she really that safe travelling about the earth? She is Zeus’ daughter I figured that makes her a bigger target.”

“Sarah has her own form of protection. She grew up learning our ways.” If I had the same upbringing as my half-sister, I would be able to control my own life? I mentally screamed, in frustration, at that point. Somehow, I managed to push the emotion back.

“How about you go get dressed and I’ll make you some breakfast?” She then asked, distracting me efficiently. I knew there is no other way to approach this argument, which didn’t involve me having a go at her. Walking away seemed like the only option.

I’m hungry, in a way, it felt like I won… or my stomach has won. I wanted to patch things up with her; we’ve always had little fights. I put that down to the fact she is living with me and she is genetically the only one who could properly order me about when growing up. Either way, I still clung on to her slightly because I had nowhere else to go and she made herself approachable, you couldn’t help but ask for her. Also, I stuck to her because she cared, growing up with one parent, I depended on her for a grown-up shoulder to cry on.

“Mum?” I shouted as I stepped onto the first-floor landing from my attic bedroom. The clean up yesterday meant it took me a while to get ready. Everything’s in a different place, either because I felt like moving it or because it’s hiding the things that appeared from the Underworld.

“Mum!” I’m on the verge of screaming. She wouldn’t have gone out without telling me. I had no luck getting hold of her on my phone after I checked the kitchen.

Normally, if I couldn’t find or get in touch with her she would be out in the garden. I figured she might have been a bit unreasonable saying; Hades’ followers would be waiting for me. Herk yesterday wasn’t under Hades’ orders, technically, I managed to go out yesterday without been kidnapped by something that’s related to Hades. However, I’m not sure if Hades would be more determined today.

“Mum?” I called holding onto the plastic frame of the door while I balanced on one bare foot on the patio. I dared myself to step further out, to see if she could be in the shed at the bottom of the garden. I got to the grass line a few strides away from the open door.

“Mum, this isn’t funny anymore.” I hesitated. I got more worried when the hedge to my left began to rustle.

“Please not now.” I complained at whatever is hiding in the bush. I knew it wouldn’t be Hades; hiding in bushes would be deepest part of the Underworld beneath him. I want to say if my mum has gone, ‘I could do with the company,’ but I’m afraid what will show up, if I just had to announce that I believed in this stuff to get this fate.

I expected another dog but what came out of the hedge I did not expect.

The weird wispy smoke figures, I thought came out of Pandora’s box were heading for me.

I sprinted for the door panicking what could happen. Part of the way there, a heart attack ended up being a possibility as the ghost managed to grab some of my hair. The purple and grey floating figures proved to be abnormal managing to slow me down, it had enough strength to try and hold me for a second.

Thinking, in between the hassle, of it as ordinary smoke, I realised needed to blow or wave it away. With that I picked up the nearest thing, which ended up being a plastic chair. I’m glad Demeter is saving to buy new garden furniture for next summer. The chair managed to blow a hole in the monster as I swung it around.

The smoke broke up enough that it only kept hold of a few stray strands of my hair. Here’s to hoping Hades doesn’t do voodoo or sorcery in his spare time. I got in and closed the door as the smoke figure headed towards me again.

I sat and fell back on the heated linoleum flooring, catching my breath and wondering if I could play dead. Two things were against me, I am apparently immortal and I think trying to convince the God of the Underworld I am dead, will not have a positive outcome.

I had to find out where my mother is and how to stop the advances of Hades, all from a house that felt too big for one person. Also, I have the problem, my supposed father has appeared into my life and I have no way to contact him.

“So, Alexa, you wanted an independent life, you now have it.” I try not to make a habit of speaking to myself, especially when laid out on the kitchen floor. “Although in the original plan, independent life would have started at university. But life has given you the God of the Underworld to marry! Jees this is why I will never play the lottery… Someone shut me up.”

“Do you make a habit of talking to yourself on the kitchen floor?” Wow apparently, my dad can show up.

“No this is a one-time thing.” I said sitting up, if you had come a few moments earlier and could read minds you would have known that. “How did you get in?” Did super house protection not work on God of the Dead? I sort of hoped he found my keys from the other night… I think if he found them it would either mean he was following me, or somehow knew I lost them.

“The protection doesn’t work against immediate relatives. Plus, you called.”

“That does not make sense but nothing does anymore. Whether you have noticed, my mum has gone missing.”

“I’m going to send someone over to protect you.” He declared, no theory about where my mum is. I think he knows where she is. The sending someone over is just to stop me from going crazy, seeing that a few hours by myself I end up on the floor talking to myself.

I’m confused on what side Thanatos is on. Yesterday he appeared with Hades but if he were on Hades’ side, he would be trying to get me to go to the Underworld. I doubted he is fully on my side, considering he works for Hades.

If I did choose officially, that I wanted nothing to do with Hades, Thanatos would probably be considering going on the run by now. I think the whole separation for the past seventeen odd years proves he is not even considering taking my mother’s side.

“Can I invite friends over?” I didn’t want to have more conversations with myself and having a stranger in the house didn’t seem comforting.

It could be one of Hades’ plans driving me to the state that I had to run to him to have some contact with other people- Real people not social friends on the Internet. If I ended up in the Underworld and got left by myself, I may have to find my creative side.

“Yes. I’ll need to give them a check, to make sure they aren’t possessed.”

“Excuse me, one of my friends, practically lives with Athena and I doubt anyone will be interested in possessing my other friend, she occasionally tries to dye her hair with melted Popsicles, sleeps in a freezer and currently has a pet fire breathing chicken.”

He stared at me speechless, I could always count on Yuuki to shut others up. I’m not sure if I should mention she is originally a creation of Clotho. I’m even sure of Yuuki’s existence anymore. It hardly felt like somebody I could go announcing about if certain facts, I thought had been true were now false. Yuuki is anything like my mother’s hidden life; Yuuki might not even be her real name.

This may have been the worse aspect of this new life. Someone I thought I knew, through close friendships and growing up with her, maybe a stranger to me.

I’m starting to get a theory Yuuki stands around the corner waiting for me to call her over. That’s possibly why she’s, in my front garden, dragging a suitcase with her and wearing her pyjamas.

“Yuuki?” I tested, afraid to ask the other questions running through my mind.

“I’m moving in with you!”

“What?” I urged, well now I have new questions.

“Your mum called a few hours ago saying I can move into the spare room.”

“Did she say anything else?”

“I have to make sure I wake you up every four hours.”

“She didn’t say that she was leaving?”

“She left!?” Yuuki looked shocked then engulfed me in a hug, “Nante Koto, I never even thought of the possibility of that happening.” I eased her from me. I toyed with the personal question; I needed to ask it but the way to ask it, I couldn’t find a nice way to say it.

“Yuuki. You’re not my friend because of Clotho, right?” What would I do if the answer is yes? I don’t think I’d be able to cope…

Everything around me had been set up.

“Alexa. Clotho didn’t tell me her plan until a year after I met you! By then I think you knew I was stuck to you like that kid trying to lick the frozen railings. I’m a descendent of Yuki-Onna first and Clotho’s reality thing second. Besides, I had to stick around you. You were the only person who would come within two feet of me and I didn’t have to beat up due to nicking my frozen treats.” I sighed in relief, throwing my arms around her. I had to hold back the tears, I’m happy but I don’t fancy going into the tears of joy thing. Chances are in the current situation, I may be looking at an emotional breakdown. The whole of reality has shifted into what I’d consider, the delusional ward of the asylum.

“So, you are a part of Japanese mythology?” I mumbled, nearly eating her hair, we both refused to let go.

“I guess. I’ve got her genes; it’s an awesome thing, I think. Some people inherit, eye colour and health problems-,” She pulled back with a teeth showing grin on her face, “I inherited the trait of seducing murderess.” Only she would see that as something to smile about.

The original tales told of a woman who lead people into the snow and killed them, or left them in the middle of the blizzard to die. It kind of connected; Yuuki is attracted to the cold but also had the desire to compel people. If she found a man she liked the look of, it is hopeless for him to fight. As far as I know, Yuuki hadn’t killed anyone. Considering she is only eighteen, I may keep an eye on her death rate.

“Come on we will celebrate the last few hours of you been seventeen. I’ll call Sophia.” This means Yuuki is going to throw a monster party, only due to our social circle only involving three of us, monster is an over exaggeration. Although I’m sure if you say the right words Yuuki would be calling everyone on her contact list and flicking through the phone book in no time.

My mum has gone missing and Yuuki is throwing a party, this has to be a bad plan for distraction. I’m not particularly looking forward to this. I doubt any substance Yuuki is getting would help with my issue. On the plus side, maybe it would make tomorrow blur over. Perhaps, won’t remember I have my final test or that I’m housebound oh and it’s my birthday. One thing I felt is sure, my mum wouldn’t be back soon.

Sophia appeared with bags full of things I’m planning on drowning myself in.

“How many people are we allowed to invite over?” Yuuki yelled waving the house phone about, as I took a second mouthful of some overly sweet blue vodka. I knew this isn’t a good idea.

“I don’t care.” I groaned hitting my head on the side of the chair.

“Yuuki put the phone down!” Sophia screamed marching over to her.

“She’s all for it Soph! Besides this isn’t your house!” Yuuki argued, disappearing out of sight, around the doorframe with Sophia’s physical form. However, both could still be heard from my spot.

“It isn’t your house! And she’s depressed! She might agree to anything!”

“Let me get this straight. A massive let’s take your mind off things birthday party isn’t allowed. But giving the depressed girl alcohol is?”

“I’m not depressed! I was! Now I’m just miserable.” I interrupted loud enough that they would hear.

Both their heads appeared around the corner.

“You do realise if you threw a party she’d be that sulking girl in the corner?” Sophia hinted to Yuuki.

“It’s like any other party then, accept she’d be even more socially isolated.” Yuuki shrugged.

“Remind me again. Why am I friends with you two?” I asked.

Yuuki laughed before throwing herself on the sofa, narrowly avoiding me.

“We are the only two, who could put up with you. Besides imagine if Maria and co had to support you through this Goddess thing.” Yuuki shivered with dread at the last part.

“Yeah… She isn’t some weird freaky thing, is she?”

“Part nymph.” Sophia answered.

“She has an affinity with air. That’s why she walks like she is, “Floaty light,”” Yuuki smirked.

“Wait. So that isn’t her snobby, spoilt princess side showing.”

“Well, that didn’t make it any less conspicuous.” Sophia grimaced.

“We totally need to have this party! She’s thought all this time you were some plain boring human.”

“Hey, there is a, “Plain boring human,” In this room!”

“You’re my special ickle human. Besides take your family line back a few generations and you find Athena is your great, great, great grandmother.” It is at the back of my mind, the puzzle of how Athena is Sophia’s aunt. Athena is a Goddess and Sophia other isn’t even half but they are still related by distant blood.

“When you call people special. Will you get rid of that tone that suggests you think they are retarded?” Sophia pointed out bluntly.

“Sophia, my special friend. Can we throw a party?”

“Sarcasm isn’t going to help either. No, you aren’t going to get me drunk enough to say yes.”

“Can we at least make one prank call?”

“Yuuki, you’re eighteen not fifteen.”

She curled up to sulk after that.

“Fine, it’s a party of three then.” The low mood didn’t last long. Yuuki, being Yuuki, didn’t find amusement in alcohol in the bottle. She found amusement in the bottle, by blowing and playing music.

An hour into Yuuki’s plan, the effects of my lifestyle kicked in. I never had much alcohol and I’m running on an empty stomach. Everything is a blur. Sophia resulted to laying me down on the sofa as I giggled at every little thing.

“I think-” I stated only to be quickly interrupted by Yuuki.

“No in your state you do not think, you just breathe, stay on that sofa and do not move. I should have remembered you never really had alcohol before. You’ve had like two alchopops and one shot of sake. If you end up in the Underworld you’d better hope they don’t have any serious parties.” Yuuki ranted.

“Leave her be, she’s had a tough day. Maybe you should sleep it off.” Sophia suggested.

“I don’t wanna sleep,” I groaned.

“If you say you want to go flying, I will hunt down some chloroform.” Yuuki ordered.

“No I think that’s your drunken desire Yuuki.”

“You know, I sort of love you guys, you don’t really get enough credit-” I droned, while waving my arms in the air.

“Again, I will hunt down chloroform if you turn out to be an emotional drunk.” Yuuki warned.

“Have you been watching murder mysteries again?” Sophia demanded. Common thing, if Yuuki watches a murder drama she will spend the next day threatening the cause of death or interesting element in it onto other people.

“We don’t have sleepy smelly things in this house.” I yawned.

“Wow, no calling the chemical by what it’s made up of? Alexa, what are the chances you have everything you need to make chloroform in is house?”

“Hey. You’re the one who suggested this!” Sophia scolded.

“Yes, but I planned this to go on all night. It’s not even ten and she’s out of it.”

“Then you need to be figuring out how to sober me up.” I said, swinging my legs around to sit up.

“No, wait I have an idea!” Yuuki announced. I glanced at her the alcohol making me interested rather than suspicious, “Truth or dare.” Yuuki grinned.

“Right bed!” Sophia commanded, shooting up.

“Why?” Yuuki moaned.

“Alexa is drunk, you take that game way too seriously and far.” Sophia answered as I started giggling finding her serious voice amusing.

“Ok, Alexa, truth or dare?” Yuuki continued.

“Dare.”

“Alexa! Bed!”

“But-.” I tried to say as Sophia tugged me up. Someone is on a mission.

“You do remember she sleeps in the attic, right?”

“Fine, you sleep on the sofa.” Sophia instructed, forcing me to lie back on the couch. Glad, we don’t have a leather sofa now.

Next thing I knew is Sophia’s chasing Yuuki out of the lamp lit living room and sliding the doors shut.

“Okay, I am never, ever, ever, ever, going to drink again.” I groaned to myself, I don’t think I’ll remember this in the morning. I tried flipping over, onto my side, only to fall on the floor with a thump.

“Ow.” I could have got off the floor, but of course I’m not about to.

“Weird,” I yawned, ignoring the moment of the doors opening and closing, stretching out in the narrow gap between the pine coffee table and the sofa.

I might be intoxicated; I still sensed movement creeping on the other side of the table. I still couldn’t be bothered to get up.

“If it’s you ghosty things… Oh I can’t think of anything, leave me alone,” My threat ended up as a groan. I doubt I am going to scare anything off soon. I came up with the theory; it might have been Yuuki, it made me I feel less bothered, although I expected her to jump out any second.

Something or someone suddenly grabbed my bare leg then pulled it. My left leg is straight, no longer leaning on my right that is curled up on the side of the wooden table. My mouth got covered quickly silencing the scream that I didn’t even have the chance to vocalise.

The owner of the hand hushed me. My heart decided then it is going to practice Olympic style gymnastics. Fighting that feeling, I whimpered under his hand in fear.

There is no way he can be here.

Hades swapped his hand and pressed one finger against my lips.

I wanted to know how he got in. I also thought of asking, “Why?” But I may already have the answer to that. This led me to question that I should be asking myself. Why am I not making escape plans?

“How?” I finally mumbled against Hades finger. He sat back allowing me to sit up, which isn’t that much of a good idea, I ended up leaning against the sofa facing him while he’s sitting sideways to me.

This could end up awkward, if I had learned anything; alcohol damaged what is left of my, ‘shut up,’ button. I have enough restraint, thankfully, to not go on a drunken girly giggly fit because I find him handsome.

Hades reached in his jeans pocket and pulled out a pink keychain. I’ve found my keys! I doubt Hades is making a sneaky secret house call to give me back my keys.

I made a grab for the keys only for him to pull them back and me to fall forward. My natural reaction is to put my hands out in front of me. I wasn’t thinking where I put them. My left arm just missed skimming Hades’ chest, my other hand landed on his left inner thigh. Blood ran to my face. My heart won gold in gymnastics.

I wanted to move back but as I looked up at him I’m trapped. I’m still getting used to being this close to a guy this long. Normally, I would be running at this point. I should be screaming.

Moments later I finally got my arm to obey and pulled it away while I tried to make more room in between us. I could feel my body try and push back in protest when I did.

“You shouldn’t be here.” I grumbled turning, sitting sideways to him. I’m trying to ignore everything else my mind and the alcohol is saying.

“Well you shouldn’t be drinking. I guess we are both breaking the law.” He argued back. I believe in a game of chess; he would be calling check by that point.

“It’s not illegal if it is in the person’s own home.”

“Only if said person is supervised by parent or guardian.”

“Why are we talking about me being under aged by a few hours when you’re doing the trespassing? Pretty sure you’d get longer in jail.”

“Well start screaming then,” He threatened leaning into the space I had made.

I could see him staring at me, daring me, out of the corner of my eye.

I’m conflicted.

It isn’t because he is there which made me scream. It is the argument in my mind about what I should do.

When Yuuki and Sophia ran in, Hades had disappeared, leaving me speechless.

“What’s wrong?” They both demanded leaning on the doors.

“I thought I saw something.” I blurted, thinking of no other excuse. Both, of them sighed and Sophia rolled her eyes.

“Right, I’m getting the camomile tea out.” Sophia declared walking off.

“What did you see?” Yuuki asked sounding interested or she could have seen though my lie, “First time I got drunk, I thought I saw a dancing lantern… Turned out in the morning. I was actually seeing a dancing lantern… It was a Chochinobake or a paper lantern ghost or a type of Tsukumogami.” She droned, even when I’m drunk, mythology haunts me. Adding Japanese in there made me more confused.

“A what-a?”

“It’s an object what has reached their 100th birthday, it’s believed that they have become alive and aware,” Still made no sense.

“Tea and blanket.” Sophia announced.

They didn’t leave until I was on the sofa half asleep. I tossed over onto my side curling up, listening to Yuuki and Sophia’s conversation or I tried. My ears were more focused on little movements then any words. I listened for any movement that could signal that Hades is hiding in the room.

I tried to stay awake. I learned ages ago, you couldn’t fight the inevitable.

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Writing Project- Goddess of Change- Chapter 10

Chapter 10

 

 

 

I lay on the comforting rouge carpet on my side, still feeling tired. Exhaling, I tossed over onto my back. The ceiling seemed too high for this room; I almost expected something to sweep down from the black surface. I closed my eyes to block it out, unable to ignore the creepy feeling. It is like Hades has designed this room to give an uncomfortable impression whenever I’m left alone in here.

I suspected he’s near, although I’m early from our normal meeting time. I still didn’t move, if he could see me, he might think I’m asleep and leave.

Instead of going, Hades moved closer.

The jolt of being lifted made me open my eyes to find I’m being cradled. Hades shifted the top of my dress down slightly to look fully at the new mark. He seemed to show some interest to it.

Looking at the mark, the circle was now a silver colour and inside it is a black tree covered in bronze and red leaves. My mind wondered to other things that didn’t involve decoding semiotics. It felt awkward enough with a guy knowingly staring at my chest and a tattoo I couldn’t really explain.

“What does yours look like?” I thought out loud. I peeked up at him and his soft smile. He moved his arms, and continued to remove his t-shirt.

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Writing Project- Goddess of Change- Chapter 9

Sitting up gasping for air back in my bed, I faced the realisation my mum had been trying to wake me up. Reactively, I clung onto her, still sensing the angry Hades I had left.

“What happened?” Knowing I had another nightmare only she didn’t catch on how bad it is.

“Pomegranate,” The only thing I managed to exhale.

“He got to you?” She sounded more horrified than I am. I’m not sure why she is balancing on petrified territory; she isn’t the one who has been playing pomegranate mouth tennis in a dream world with a real man.

“I didn’t eat anything,” I breathed suddenly feeling a surge of blood to my head and I began feeling dizzy again.

“He talked to you?” Why she found this surprising that Hades talked to me, I have no idea. I nodded my reply.

“I’ll have to get your fathers brother involved.”

“Who?” I knew little of my mother’s family before this whole news was dropped on me. Any news about father connections I got interested. I’ve found out that my dad may possibly be the God of Death, family history on that side looked pretty dark and slightly more interesting.

“Solomon is your fathers brother. He’s normally known as Hypnos.”

“My uncle has been treating me for night terrors? Hades is right. This is stressful.” I groaned falling back onto my pillows.

“He said what?” She protested.

“Mum really I’m too tired.” I wanted nothing more than to throw the quilt over my head, hoping I could get some decent sleep. Deep down I knew it is Hades wanting to finish our pomegranate session. The part of me, which still didn’t believe in this stuff, is telling me I’m tired due to lack of sleep. More irritatingly, there is also a growing part of me that wants to go to sleep just for another lip locking session.

“You cannot go back to sleep!”

“Fine, I’ll go to school and see uncle Hypno after.” I grumbled pulling myself up again.

“You can’t go outside. There will be at least two of Hades slaves waiting to kidnap you.”

“Are you sure that’s not paranoia?” I groaned. I am not willing to spend the rest of my days in this house. I’ll accept being off today because of Yuuki’s goodie bag packing, but more than 48 hours stopping in this house? I’ll become annoyed. The whole Goddess thing makes it worse, turns out I’m immortal! I guess I could start my tidying out my wardrobe, looking at it. It’s a mess.

“He’s trying to get to you through your dreams, chances are he has someone waiting for you to leave the house in this world too.”

“Can’t they storm the house?”

“The house is protected.” I didn’t even want to ask her to explain that. I sighed, sliding to the floor to dig through the pile of clothes at the bottom of my closet, while my mum disappeared. Half of the clothes, I didn’t even remember owning.

It couldn’t have been that long since I dug through this. Unless Yuuki had been buying clothes, she would never wear, then throwing them in here on her multiple visits. Worryingly, most of them didn’t seem like things she would buy. They were too plain and delicate; they were more like things I’d buy for myself than she’d buy.

Then I found the dress. Silky white chiffon. I fell back, nearly hitting my head on the bedpost, in horror, not letting the dress leave my sight. The chill struck through me. I scampered back pressing my back on the wooden board at the foot of my bed. This had to have happened before this protection or whatever they call it right?

I plucked up the courage, telling myself there is no reason to be afraid of clothes. With the first hit of the courage I went to check the bag I threw in my wardrobe. At the bottom of the purse, I found the silver and diamond necklace. A sense of dread hit me; the diamond being pink wasn’t an aspect of my nightmare. I doubted I imagined the diamond being a normal colour. I’m kidding myself, still part if me wouldn’t admit it.

In a way, the chain looked more like a choker. I’m not sure if it’s Hades being sweet or trying to be funny. I wanted to test out if the chain is shorter outside the nightmare; this is when I knew I needed to occupy myself. I’m not sure what to do with all this, especially the necklace.

I decided on taking a break. I wanted time to stop for a few moments. My mind is too full and jumbled. I kept the necklace in the pocket of my hooded top, holding it in my fist while walking down the stairs. I didn’t want it falling out and somehow getting damaged. It felt stupid worrying about something, that didn’t mean anything to me. In fact, I should probably be trying to get rid of it.

The necklace came from him. It would remind me of Hades, and get my head even more screwed up.

The thought that if I stepped outside, I may end up being caught by one of Hades’ cronies didn’t really bother me. My mum is probably over exaggerating anyway.

When opening the door, I wasn’t exactly faced with a monster. She has been known to turn into one but the smile on her face said different.

“Yuuki? What are you doing sitting on my doorstep?” I knew Yuuki had a strange working mind but this must be in her top ten weird things she has done. She still has her hands she could have easily knocked. Actually, I wouldn’t have put it past her to bang her head on the door.

“I was bored.” She shrugged. I stared at her blankly.

“School?” I hinted. More to remind here she should be there, in an exam.

“Yeah, I was bored of school.” Again, my mind went blank.

“I’ve been fed up of school plenty of times. Loads of people have! They don’t just walk out! Wait. Why did you choose to camp out here?” There are plenty of places she could have gone. Probably less suspecting places she could have hidden. Chances are this is the first place the school would look if they were on a Yuuki hunt.

“I’m on a mission!” She sang. I was about the slam the door on her then. The last time she said that in such an optimistic tone, I ended up being tied to a fence.

“No. I didn’t come up with this one!” Yuuki hurriedly said, shooting to her feet.

“Yeah. Because that will make me have more faith in your plan.” Some stranger might be telling her what to do. Knowing her she might be doing this for some cartoon character thing.

“Come with me!” She reacted tugging me out of the house.

“Yuuki!” I hollered falling out of the door.

 

I didn’t step out into the front garden.

There’s no warm sun or green grass. Instead my slipper covered feet took steps on inches’ deep snow and into the cold. Even with the winter environment, there were pale albino children playing in the playground we were in.

One child stood out. On the swing is a tanned skin; black haired girl, looking amused at all the kids running around laughing.

“Yuuki. Where are we?” I asked, wondering if I should be demanding rather than being polite.

“I’m not entirely sure. I came here as a kid. Come on Clotho, wants to see you.” Yuuki tried to pull me by the wrist further into the playground. I still had question that needed answering before we went anywhere.

“What do you mean you used to come here?”

“It’s a weird thing. At times when I wanted to escape, I came here. Clotho, is in charge…”

“Clotho. You mean The Fate?” I asked peeking over to the girl dressed in red. She made no effort to blend in. Everything about her stood out in the snow, whereas the rest of the children almost blended into it.

It made sense. The shorthaired girl is Clotho. There’s no other reason, I could think of, why a child stood out from all the norms here. Although what didn’t make sense, Yuuki came here and her dark hair and dress sense didn’t fit in with Clotho’s apparent style for this, whatever it is.

Clotho is one of the three Fates and if I remembered is right, she is the one responsible for creating life.

“Yes. Err watch out. She has a bit of a temper.” Yuuki coughed, attempting to take me to the girl. While we walked none of the other kids took any notice. I doubted visitors here were a common thing… Especially visitors wearing slippers and pink and black pyjamas.

“You can leave us Yuuki.” Clotho dictated, waving her off. Clotho stopped rocking on her swing. “I know you have enough intelligence in you, so we can skip the introductions. I know who you are. You should have guessed who I am.”

“Where are we?” I muttered, glancing about again.

“We are in between places. In this place nothing changes, my sisters call it my sandbox. It’s the place I can create the strands of life and preserve them. These children carry the immortal life lines of future Gods and Goddesses.” So, technically we are standing in a massive cryogenic freezer.

“I came from one of these?” I pointed at the kids with a blank look on my face. If this is true, I have a feeling the only time some of the Gods and Goddesses did as they were told was before they were born in the real world.

“No. Like the first six, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, Aphrodite and Hera, your lifeline wasn’t created years in advance. For us Fates you were unplanned. We can’t give someone with immortal blood a human strand. Before you ask, humans come from a template that always changes. Their strands can be created in an instant without any second thought. Immortals need templates what don’t change. We use these, picking off the immortal strands, add certain aspects to their fates.” Clotho will give me a headache. Everything she said could have deeper meaning. It’s like decoding a Bronte novel in English Literature. What’s wrong with saying immortals hate change?

She jumped off the swing, while I’m secretly trying to figure out why she is telling me this.

“Anyway, that’s the book of answers on background.” Out of nowhere, she grabbed the end of my hair and yanked me down so I am face to face with her. “Your questions are more aimed on the present and the past.” She mused studying my face. “I could tell you the things that are planned for you. What we planned and what Hades is planning. And the possible effects of those plans.”

“But what would be the point in telling me them? You won’t let me change them.”

“So, you will know what will be expected. Every God and Goddess gets told their power; they are expected to use it wisely. We tell those what may happen to their lifespan if they don’t. Which reminds me. I have to give you something before you leave”

“But what am I expected to do? I have no intention of becoming Hades’ prisoner. I’m not even sure if I am the person you are all after!”

Clotho harshly pulled me to the ground. In the normal world, I’d be embarrassed about getting my butt kicked by someone nearly a foot smaller than me.

“Look, whether you want to or not. Your life is intertwined with his. He has chosen you to be Queen of the Underworld, not some prisoner.”

“What?” I coughed. Queen? I run away from people, I can hardly say I like most people I just tolerate them!

How am I supposed to be queen?

I feel like hyperventilating. Someone had served me, possibly even employed me, to do the worse possible job they could give someone like me.

Clotho, allowed me to sit up. I should be rocking backwards and forwards. The fact that I am sitting in snow doesn’t bother me as much.

“Queen.” She nodded.

“I can’t be Queen of the Underworld! I’m an accepted socially difficult person and I’m happy with that! I can’t even defend myself, what if something happens?” That’s how Hades is going to make me suffer isn’t he? Going to get other power hungry people to pick on the newbie.

“That’s up to you. So, I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, there will be people who may get in your way for the title. You’re expected to change a lot of things.”

The world began to spin again.

“He can find someone else to do the job!” I screamed. The only thing that stopped my quick breathing is Clotho slapping me around the head.

“Do you think we would let you choose that? Do you think he would let you choose? Even if you choose to run for the next few centuries, he’s not going to give up. And if you do run, I won’t hesitate to intervene.” She threatened. I came up with the theory that this place would be flooded; the water molecules were frozen with fear at Clotho’s attitude.

It felt selfish to think of it, but didn’t anyone care what I wanted?  I don’t want to spend the rest of eternity in the Underworld. Same as I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in the town I was born in. Being told to stop in both places for certain amounts of the year doesn’t sound attractive either. Clotho, suggested immortals hated change. I wonder if anyone I know took that fact into consideration when they were planning the, “Let’s keep everything a secret from Alexa,” Idea.

That’s when I started to feel sorry for Hades. He did have to live in the Underworld. Ok, he could travel, come to the living world but he’d always have to go back the Underworld. The rest of the Gods and Goddesses could choose where they lived.

“Now, I have one last thing to do.”  Clotho, declared as she clicked her fingers. One of the children ran quietly over, showing no pain as she allowed Clotho to pull some of the girl’s hair. I stared at Clotho, the white hair transformed into sharp gold needle in her hand.

Speechless. Please tell me she is going to start some embroidery. It is clear as she held it closer it isn’t a sewing needle. Clotho, shooed the girl away before commencing to scare me further.

I thought she was about to stab my eye out; she instead pulled strands of my hair out. Unlike albino girl, I did flinch at Clotho’s brutal action. If anyone is going to pull my hair out, I’d rather it be myself. And I’m probably heading that way due to stress.

I decided not to say anything. I watched as she pulled out a glass goblet, which somewhere appeared with the silver liquid still in it. Clotho dropped the gold pin with a strand of my hair wrapped around it into the glass, where the liquid slowly began to turn gold. Metallic gold not whiskey amber gold, talking of whiskey, I may consider drugs.

“You need to drink this.” She said handing me the stuff.

“It’s gold.” I stated.

“It’s pure ambrosia. Normal ambrosia, gives immortality, although in large quantities, it can even kill a God. This is pure ambrosia; even one drop can kill instantly, however for someone such as you it will properly awaken you as a Goddess. A God and Goddess’ can only drink it once in their life. It’s only made for these occasions, albeit, it is usually given to children. By your age, they are properly trained on how to use their abilities.” A girl with the physical appearance of a seven-year-old is talking me down.

“Does that mean I’m human now?” I asked, merely curious of my chances of survival and of a normal life if I can get out of here.

“Both your parents are Gods.” She stated, making it obvious she is thinking I’m stupid. I’m taking that, as I’m not human. “And as I have explained, you weren’t made from a human strand.” I could be an immortal human?

“I don’t want to-,” I muttered shaking my head.

“Do I have to force you? Remember, I am more of a threat than nearly anyone you will meet.”

My hands shook as I took the cup. Keeping my eyes on her.

“What will happen, if I drink this?” I would have issues with anyone who told me to drink some strange drink.

“Your Goddess powers will develop fully. This is how you will find out what you are the Goddess of. Each God, Goddess, will get a mark, on their chest that depicts that.”

Maybe having proper powers wouldn’t be so bad. I might be able to protect myself.

This is supposed to happen. I might not want this but it is apparently in my blood that I had to become this. The Fates would chase me down and make me drink the ambrosia, if not Hades may find a way and make me drink it. Forget chocolate covered strawberries, I’m seeing ambrosia covered pomegranate seeds.

With that thought, I brought the goblet to my lips. One deep breath and the liquid, which tasted like honey, ran down my throat.

I felt burning throughout my body, making me inhale in discomfort. The feeling gradually became a warming feeling. Until, a stabbing pain arose from the left side of my chest.

“What is this?” I coughed clutching my chest able to feel my frantic heart beat.

“I didn’t say it would be a painless process.” She shrugged. “You can go.” She announced going back to her swing. The laughs of the playing children became louder as she walked away, like she had them on low volume. Clotho gestured to Yuuki to go sort me out, while I argued internally if I could be having heart trouble.

I scrambled off the ground grabbing Yuuki’s hand. Like how we got here one blink and I’m back on my doorstep.

“Why did you take me there?” I demanded, throwing off my hooded top, scratching to find out the searing pain scratching into the top of my chest.

“I have to obey her! She basically owns my ass. She probably explained to you about how immortal life strands get kept in those stasis children. What do you think happen to those Stasis Children once they become useless? I am one of those children. If you put a human strand in a stasis child, you get some sort of sprit. Ok 99.9% of sprits aren’t made like that but I am.” As much as I wanted to grill her some more, the scratching on my chest became a more distracting tingle.

I gasped in horror after I pulled down the neck of my top. Noticeably, on the pale skin, is a bronze circle, framed in black swirls that were growing and reached out across my upper chest. Inside the circle, however, is still empty.

“Alexa! You should be inside!” My mum exclaimed throwing open the door. Grabbing my hoodie, I pushed past her.

“What happened?” Mum questioned Yuuki.

I continued into the living room the throwing myself face first on the sofa. They were out of ear shot for the next few moments. I soon heard footsteps then a hand stroke the back of my hair while someone sat down on the edge of the sofa beside me.

“I’m sorry.” Mum muttered softly.

“What did she do to me?” I mumbled pulling my face from the dampening pillow, before wiping my eyes.  My mum kept stroking my hair, as she explained.

“She’s activated your Goddess side. It’s always been there, you have seen evidence of it, but now you have your full powers, and gold blood running through your veins.” She said in a calm motherly voice. “You have to understand, this would have to have happened sooner or later, a child born to two gods is born immortal and with some gifts, usually they see the Fates when the child is young so they can be taught. With your birth, I had to keep you hidden. If you had gotten your powers as every other child got them, more of the Gods and Goddesses on Mount Olympus would have known about you. Clotho, because she had already made a special acceptance for creating your life string she also kept you secret.”

“It’s like Poseidon said then? I shouldn’t exist?”

“Persephone, you were specially made, you exist more than any of us.”

We sat; well I laid, in silence. My exhaustion from the shock and burning, I soon found myself falling to sleep.