Hades’s Goblet: The Story of Shadow

January 11, 2009
By Lucia Chen, Novi, MI

Long ago, when the earth was still tender and young, there was an enchanted forest where emerald leaves rustled silently, lush green grass glistened with dew, and joyous nymphs frolicked among vast fields of fragrant flowers. Among the nymphs was a girl called Shadow, a creature so exquisite that the ever-swaying branches would pause to admire her radiant beauty. Yet, underneath all that beauty laid a cruel heart blackened with greed.

There was a rumor making its rounds through the forest. Nymphs whispered to each other that Hades, the king of the Underworld, possessed a magic goblet that contained all his great power and wealth. When Shadow caught a whiff of this tale, her dazzling cerulean eyes were marred by a frightening greed, and her stunning smile was spoiled by sheer nefariousness. The branches that had once halted in her presence rotted as the greed that emanated from her every pore assailed them.

One lovely spring day, Shadow was out gathering flowers when the ground began to quake and a deep rumble filled the forest. Suddenly, the earth ripped apart to reveal Hades himself in all his godly glory. Springing behind a conveniently placed boulder, Shadow proceeded to spy on the great ruler of the Underworld. Hades strode past her, his black cape billowing out behind him like rolling thunderclouds. After retrieving a hidden sack of gold coins, he returned to his realm of the dead.

With panther-like grace, Shadow jumped into the chasm after him. She crept surreptitiously after Hades, her eyes wide with a mixture of wonder and fear as they passed moaning ghosts and the fiery pits of Tartarus. Shadow gasped when he finally arrived at his jewel-encrusted palace. He threw open the doors and proceeded to his equally-jewel-encrusted throne. There, sitting regally upon a velvety violet cushion sat an exquisite goblet decked out in crimson rubies and delicate diamonds that sparkled brighter than the sun. Shadow’s eyes glazed over as thoughts of wealth and power danced about in her twisted mind. As sacks of gold cart wheeled through her head, Hades came to an abrupt stop and whirled around, catching Shadow in her own sly trickery.

The god’s shrewd, black eyes narrowed with fury as he snarled, “Who do you think you are, to have the pluck to follow me, the all-powerful Hades?”

Even as panic overtook her, Shadow held on to her pride. Lifting her chin, she announced, “I am Shadow, the most beautiful nymph of them all!”

Laughing cruelly at her statement, Hades hand closed over her throat. “Let’s see how beautiful you’ll be after I’ve thrown you into the pitiless flames of Tartarus, or would you prefer Cerberus’s three merciless jaws?”

Petrified with fear, Shadow managed to choke out, “P…p…please have mercy on my p…poor soul and spare m…my life!” She lost all ability to form words as Hades’s powerful gaze met hers.

“Oh, do not worry,” Hades replied with a contemptuous sneer, “What I have in mind for you is a fate much worse than death! From this day forth, you shall only be able to follow the footsteps of others, as you have followed me! Now be gone, you wretched fool!”

Before Shadow had a chance to object, Hades snapped his bony, white fingers and she found herself in her beloved woods once more. Fat tears of sorrow rolled down the nymph’s cheeks for she knew that she would never be able to pursue her own paths -- she was cursed to an eternity of following others.

Even today, people can still see Shadow, the beautiful nymph that was overthrown by her own greed, as she tags along with others, never able to break away.

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This article has 3 comments.

billybobjoe said...
on Jan. 23 2009 at 10:27 pm
good job

SkyD said...
on Jan. 21 2009 at 7:04 pm
It's very, very good!! A nice little story of how we have a shadow. Very creaive, you are.

Dean Koontz said...
on Jan. 21 2009 at 1:07 pm
Very good. Too bad it wasn't longer.


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