I could easily get out of here, nip to school, pick a few things up and head back. Drinking the rest of my tea, I saw this as more of a test. If I could make it out the front door and the garden, then it couldn’t be that much of a problem. My mum had disappeared again; I ran across the hall heading to the front door.
When I got out of the gate, I figured it’s safe enough to walk. Gradually, paranoia swamped me, whilst my journey continued. Normally taking the back route to the school is left for emergencies, it’s a path in between two rows of semi-detached houses. No one would ever think I was going this way. That’s what I thought anyway.
I jumped out of my skin when I heard my name being sung out, there was no one around, but it gave me enough proof that someone knew I am here. Freaking out, I scrambled over the nearest fence before thinking of it.
I landed in the garden that had the sprinklers on. My attention got brought off the detail, I am getting soaked and onto the fact the owner of the house, is standing, staring at me looking unimpressed.
“Hi, Iris.” I muttered, unsure if I should be approaching her or climbing back over the fence. The seriousness of her face made something make sense in my head.
I wanted to groan out loud but I managed to hold it back. Iris, Goddess of… I looked around at the water shining off the sun… Rainbows.
“Who do you want me to call?” She probed. I knew the actual question is who do you want me to contact to collect you? Hades or your mother?
“Can you just forget this?”
“Get in my house. I’ll call someone.” She instructed. She is in charge of rainbows but she doesn’t suggest the sunshine, lollipop song with that attitude.
I have never been in her house; I only knew Iris through my mum. Iris’ hallway, which is where I stopped, is predominantly blue. I began to wonder if other rooms of the house were strictly block rainbow colours. Iris left into a different room, to get the phone.
Taking that to my advantage, I darted out of the front door.
I ran to the one place I figured I knew better than anyone. Once I got far into the maze of trees I leant back against a trunk, gripping my hair at its roots. I got distracted moments later. A few brown leaves dropped on me. It’s mid-summer the leaves shouldn’t be dropping.
Hearing my mum’s voice, I freaked. I could have continued to run on ground but I would get out of breath and be easier to get. I went with my strengths; I climbed the tree I had been against.
Someone decided, sometime in my childhood, to try and build a platform far off the ground. Either my subconscious predicted I’m going to do this and decided to make me run out of breath near this tree, or for once I’m lucky.
Once I got to stand on the platform, Iris, my mother and Hades were below me. It looks as if Iris called both, or one of them overheard I am on the run.
“Are you sure she went this way?” My mum asked Iris.
“She headed in the direction of the woods. I’m only guessing she could be here.” Iris informed.
Hades said nothing; he stood propped against the base of tree I’m standing on.
“Shouldn’t you be helping?” Mum demanded pointing at Hades.
“I could. But I’m enjoying this too much.” I could imagine the smile on his face. “Besides you wouldn’t like the deal I’d purpose.” He continued, this made mum storm off followed closely by Iris. Hades stayed by the tree, till my mum was out of eyesight, he then stepped forward.
“Are you going to stay up there all day?” Hades called. Out of shock and hoping he’d think he’s wrong, I stayed quiet. How could he know? I made sure I didn’t make any sound or sign of the possibility that I would be around here.
“Persephone.” He said, like he knew what I am hoping that I wanted him to think he is wrong.
“You can’t make me come down.” I shouted back.
“Sure. Honestly, you’re going to have to come down from there soon.” Tiredness and hunger, were all things he is probably hoping would bring me down. I had to find another way down from here. I slumped against the trunk of the tree, trying not to admit defeat.
“How did you know I’m up here?” I questioned softly. Come to think of it, this is about the second time he’s known something when I hadn’t given any sign. The first time, when we met in the red room, he knew I my thoughts were flustered and I wanted to be taken away from all this.
“Shinigami blood, remember. If you’re close enough, I’ll find you.”
“What about this whole thing, what makes it look like you are reading my mind?”
He gave out a short snicker, “I don’t find you that hard to read. When it looks like you’re over thinking things it is actually quite amusing.” Yuuki and Sophia had pointed that out to me before, to the point at exams they tried smuggling popcorn in.
“I can’t find her!” Demeter exclaimed nervously, marching back. Hades had a similar reaction to mine, only I had to hold back my laugh. I still listened into the conversation while looking for a place to go. Besides dropping fourteen feet down there isn’t anywhere to go. Going up isn’t really an option, I am afraid if I fell the height it might hurt more. My only other option, jumping onto another branch across from me seemed like the best option.
“What are you so amused about?” Mum demanded. I am calculating how far I would have to run and jump across this branch to get onto the next tree.
Something must have hinted to her to look up.
“Alexa!” She screamed. I am amazed that didn’t make me fall off. “Get down this instant!”
“I’m not coming down!” I yelled back, not sure if I should be going through my demands on what it will take to get me down.
Not that anyone would agree to my demands.
“Alexa, this is childish!”
“Yes mother, this is. But considering you seem to want to keep me at home for the rest of my life, you must want a child!”
I ran at that point, unnerving only when I leaped. My hands slipped on the rough wood, the bandage catching in the crevices probably saving me more, surprisingly the hand injury doesn’t hurt. Finally, I succeeded getting grip on the branch above and pulling my weight onto it. My mother’s anxiety showed at that point. I hadn’t made it to the branch I wanted but at least I’m still on a tree and not on the ground.
“We have to get her down.” Iris muttered, as I made it onto sitting on a tree arm. “Hades can’t you-.” Iris began to ask.
“What? And stop my fun? I haven’t seen Demeter squirm this much since 1816, when there wasn’t a summer.” He chuckled.
“Alexa! Please come down!’ My mum pleaded. I sighed, leaning back. If I came down now, that would be giving into them.
“Let’s leave her for a while.” Hades said. I peeked out to look below me. The women in the group were looking up at me with questioning looks, like they were expecting me to do something stupid. Hades isn’t making eye contact with me at all. Instead I got the sense, as he is staring at Iris and my mother, he is waiting for them to leave.
“Alexa. You’d better be home soon!” My mum shouted, I’ll give her credit, she had found her brave face, making it sound like we were on the phone and she is requesting me back from a trip to the shops.
I wanted to sigh in relief that they were finally giving up. Even Hades stunned me by walking away. Once the area underneath my branch became clear, I began to get suspicious that someone, who had left, would jump out once I got down. I knew I couldn’t stay up here for long. The width of the branch meant one wrong move and I would slip and fall off. On a snap decision, I began to climb down after waiting a while making sure no one is out there.
Every few steps, I kept looking back. That is my mistake, not looking where I am going. I ended up running into something, something turned out to be someone. I looked up to find, I had run into the side of Herk.
I can’t exactly ask what he is doing here. I am on the edge of the forest running into someone, who appeared to have been casually jogging on the pavement; I appeared to be the odd one.
“S-Sorry.” I stuttered. I guess he is unlucky. A moment later and I would have missed him.
He laughed lightly, before holding out a hand to drag me out of the shrubbery, “It’s ok.” He then proceeded to pick, what I could guess as nature life out of my hair.
“What were you running from?” He then asked as we began to walk forward down the path.
“My imagination,” I sighed stepping to the side to create a gap. The uncomfortable proximity feeling is appearing, angry that I had let him help me up.
“Having trouble adapting?” He asked. I paused to stare at him then groaned while rolling my eyes.
“Is everyone in this flaming town in this, apart from me?” I screamed, gaining the attention of an elderly couple gardening over the road. A strained look crossed Herk’s face.
“Well, not everyone. A few select people. It’s a small town, I can say about a quarter of the population of this town might have a connection to us.”
“Do me a favour. You’re strong, right?” I started; Herk did the vain thing of smirking as he glanced at the muscle on his arms. “Hit me hard enough on the head, to give me amnesia, hopefully, I’ll forget about this thing.”
“Not happening.” He laughed. “Besides, now you know, it will keep coming back to haunt you.”
I whimpered, falling back onto the slanted side in between the long grass that grew there.
“Leave me here then.” I groaned, defeated. He did the opposite.
“Come on lazy. I know you’re a modern-day Goddess but you still have a standard to keep up.” I really want to go back to the world where, “Modern day Goddess,” Is a compliment, not a job title.
I underestimated his strength or maybe I overestimated how much I weighed. He pulled me up and began carrying me down the path. I screamed as he tossed me under his arm to carry me comfortably. Normally, when been dragged backwards, I freaked because I couldn’t see where I am going. In this case, the proximity and the fact I couldn’t see where we were going, is the reason I felt like a lost wimpy kid facing the prospect of going in a haunted house.
“Herk. Please put me down!” I coughed.
“Calm down, Persephone.”
“Don’t call me that!” Why is he calling me that now? Many people at school, especially in my form, knew my middle name. They knew, never to speak of it, never mind say it to my face. “Put me down!” I demanded, trying my best to hit him, only my modesty made me avoid hitting is butt. It isn’t long before we reached the end of the street that led onto a field.
Herk threw me onto the ground. My self-restraint on my anger began to crumble, getting to be fed up of the treatment I had been through the past few hours.
“Who are you?” I screeched. Believing the name, ‘Hercules,’ is a cover to get on his good side. Ok, to me he was another person up till a few days ago. If I did come into this mythology belief thing easily, it would be a common first thought Hercules is probably a good guy… Judging him from the Disney movie anyway.
He came closer, I tried to move back only to run out of space because of a wooden fence. On the bright side, at least it isn’t an electric fence. I gulped; he got closer and knelt on his knees.
“I’m on a job from someone who wants you to stay away from Hades.” Hasn’t everyone seen me trying to run away from him? Consider me warned, I’ll try and stay away from him! You’re going to have to deliver him a similar message though!
Herk, grabbed my chin smirking.
I flinched and attempted to smack him away only to fail. His hand then began to wander up my thigh. My reaction is to tell him where to go and kick him in the leg, which gained me an evil glare.
“She told me to keep an eye on you, but I guess I deserve a bit of fun. Your blood at the moment could cause quite a bit of chaos in the mortal world.” That threat boiled under my skin, he’d come here to bring me a warning and he is throwing the whole world into the plan.
“Don’t touch me.” I sneered, batting away his hand; it seemed useless trying to push his full body away.
“What are you going to do? You probably don’t even know what your power is yet.” He grinned. I snapped at that point. I wasn’t born with a short temper. There is probably a good reason for that.
“I have had enough!” I screamed at the same moment I kicked my legs from under him and shoved him back with some unknown strength. “I am fed up with you people messing with me.” I yelled, standing over him with one foot holding him down.
The thought, “Could I get away with murder?” Crossed my mind, going as far as to imagine snapping his neck. Well he did want to torture me I call this self-defence. Pretty sure Gods and Goddess’ before me have killed for less.
He can easily knock me off. I’m not sure if he is petrified or just unable to move. His chest showed no signs that he is breathing, but there were still signs of life in his eyes, that for me is enough to go on.
“Since this whole bloody thing started it has been one gigantic torture Alexa moment! If I include you, I’ve had two possibly three attempts on my life! I do not care if I am immortal!” I fumed, pressing my foot down on him further. I could have gone on. Out of nowhere, I got hauled backwards.
“Persephone, calm down.”
‘Let me go! I need to kill something!” I shrieked; kicking with every step back Hades took. Thanatos is in front of me helping Herk, who took a big gulp of oxygen.
“What were you doing?” Thanatos commanded.
“She was trying to kill me, the insane-.” He gained a few angry glances for that.
“Insane?” I mimicked through gritted teeth. Hades clamped me further down holding me against him as I struggled more to attack Herk. I elbowed Hades in the stomach, making him inaudibly hiss in pain but he still didn’t give up. “That was self-defence moron! Unless you can come up with some proof, pinning a girl up against a fence saying, “You were going to use her blood to throw the mortal world into, chaos,” Doesn’t seem like a threat in this age!”
“What?” Hades’ restraint is off me but he was in front of me before I could launch myself forward.
“It was a joke.” Herk tried to laugh. Fear crossed Herk’s face as Hades stepped forward.
“You should know we do not take these kinds of threats lightly.” Thanatos said calmly. “You’re old enough to know, threatening anyone with a close connection to the three brothers has its consequences. Threatening to take a new God or Goddesses blood is enough that Zeus will be involved.”
Herk has ticked two boxes there. Messing about with Hades, Poseidon or Zeus? Check off the box Hades and then tick the other thing Thanatos mentioned.
“If you are lucky, he will decide your punishment.” Hades sneered grabbing Herk by the throat. “If I get to decide I won’t hold back. You know I’m the more imaginative one.” He smirked evilly. Even I felt a shiver, when Hades said that. It was enough to send my, “Ms Hyde,” State running to the back of my head.
“Take him.” Hades announced, aggressively shoving Herk back towards Thanatos, who then disappeared.
“I could have handled myself.” I said stubbornly, before Hades could turn to me.
“The way you were handling it; he would have died. From the looks of things, you didn’t even know you were killing him. I don’t think you are ready to handle the emotional responsibilities of killing someone yet.” He said turning to me and then placing a hand on the side of my face. Immediately any negative emotion that remained melted away. It is like as he delicately stroked the skin of my cheek he was erasing the angry part of my mind. What he said slowly made sense. If I had been responsible of killing Herk, once my head had cleared and I realised what I had done I would have been a wreck.
“Who is he?” I finally inquired, wanting to know the truth of who had been in my class for the past decade.
“He’s a follower of the Underworld. God’s occasionally prolong the lives of their worshipers to sort out their work on earth… That man who brought you to me in the enclosed temple is also in that league…” He then paused, thinking for a second, “Let’s go for a walk.” Hades suddenly said. I’m surprised and confused, isn’t this supposed to be the moment where he forcefully tries dragging me off to the Underworld? He smiled taking my hand, walking me back down the road I had been carried down.
“It’s your birthday in one day, right?” He asked. The old gardening couple glanced up. This time, instead of giving a look in disgust due to my behaviour, they seemed more nervous. My theories were they either knew who Hades is or Hades’ gives off an aura and it spreads to the nearest living thing. For my sake, I’m hoping the first. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to cope trying to accept the actual existence of auras and people actually being able to feel them.
“Yes.” I sighed. Following him back into the woods. To others, a man leading a girl into a forest may seem like cause for concern. Weirdly, I didn’t feel suspicious about it with him being here.
“You don’t seem excited.”
“I’ve been told I’m going to live forever. Birthdays hardly seem a big thing now.”
“Enjoy them when you can.” He laughed lightly, “Or else you’ll definitely be in trouble when you get to my age.”
“Yeah, the age thing doesn’t make you seem too attractive.” I giggled; he pulled a face. Distracted in my laughter he pulled me down onto the grass.
“So, I’m not attractive?” He said his form hovering over mine.
“I didn’t say that!” I pouted. Even if I could help it, his arms either side of my head meant I couldn’t exactly look anywhere but his face.
“Oh, so I am attractive?”
“I didn’t say that either!”
“Really, Persephone you could hurt a guy’s feelings.” I gave him an unimpressed look for using the P name. “I’m not calling you anything different. When we are alone anyway.”
“This has turned into a weird walk.” I noted.
“I guess it has.” He said, looking up then moving off me.
“Fine, I guess, you are attractive then.” I shrugged sitting up. Hades turned his head in break neck speed, showing a menacing yet seductive smile. I tried to look scared but the captivating smile, made me eager in anticipation.
I wanted to live in that cloud where Hades put me in my head; at least I would stop worrying. I’m not sure I could cope with living in that cloud all the time, especially when it means my body would have to live in the Underworld.
“Stop in the Underworld with me.” He smiled; he knew he had me under his spell.
I almost agreed to go.
“I don’t think I want to.” I mumbled, almost inaudible to ears as I shook my head. Hades let out a sigh of frustration making me jump slightly.
“Damn it, Persephone.” He growled, I guess he was certain flirting and seduction would work. “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do this. Start saying your goodbyes. Because I’m getting you and I don’t care if you have decided or not.” He kissed me, forcefully like to leave a mark before leaving me on the ground shocked and scared.
Somehow, I wandered home not realising where I am until my mum spoke to me as the door clicked shut behind me.
“I have to head out; Zeus needs to see me about… that incident that you were involved in. I’ll be back later. Food is on the side, try and get some sleep. Do not go out.” She yapped, moving around while fussing with her coat and ensuring her appearance is perfect. It showed how much attention she is putting in her appearance considering she is telling me to try and get some sleep.
“Be careful, okay.” She smiled, softly pecking me on the forehead before leaving. I slumped into the kitchen passing whatever my mother had cooked, which she left on the island, and headed to the cupboard with the chocolate spread. Once grabbing the jar, ignoring any cutlery and began dipping my fingers into the chocolate. Well, I’m the only person who really eats it anyway, so my chocolate spread, and my germs, my DNA.
I crawled up to my room with my, ‘dinner,’ not looking forward to tonight’s sleep. I am tired enough to admit I needed to sleep but I am also debating going on a caffeine binge till I’m sure Hades might have calmed down.
The tiredness ended up talking me into a, “Five minute,” Nap thinking it wouldn’t hurt and I would wake up in a short while.