Father and Son

February 14, 2011
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On the night of his sixteenth birthday, he was awakened by a cold breeze, sending chills up and down his spine. He turned his head slightly to look at the window; it was closed. He heard the door creak open, sending a beam of light across his room, and a figure appeared in the doorway. ‘Who could it be?’ he thought, ‘Is this a dream?’

A raspy voice came from the shadow, “Christopher, in a few days you will be turning sixteen and on that day, you will come down to the underworld to join me, Hades, your father.”

Christopher was in shock; he did not know what to believe. “Bu...But, I thought that gods weren’t real; isn’t that why it’s called Greek Mythology?”

“NO!! That is just what some people think. You must not listen to them. You are the son of Hades. You are the prince of the Underworld! And now you will come down and help me with all of the lost souls,” Hades screamed at Christopher. “Goodbye, son, I will see you sooner than you think….”

Everything was spinning, and then there was darkness. Christopher felt hot and he was drenched in sweat. He could not believe what he had just heard. All he saw was darkness. ‘That was definitely a dream,’ he reminded himself. But little did Christopher know that he would be forced to go to the Underworld sooner or later.

The next morning Christopher went to school in his usual manner: got dressed, ate breakfast and bushed his teeth. When he walked outside to the bus, he had the feeling as though someone or something was watching him. He turned around and nothing was there. This same situation happened every day, until his sixteenth birthday.

The alarm clock went off, “BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!”Christopher jolted up out of his bed, knowing that he would feel someone watching him that day. He walked into the kitchen where he could see his mother making his birthday breakfast: all types of eggs, crispy bacon, freshly squeezed orange juice, toasted bread with butter and delicious chocolate chip pancakes with syrup. His mother turned around. “Happy Birthday, my love! My goodness! You’re sixteen years old!”

“Thanks, Mom.” He sat at the counter and ate every part of his gourmet breakfast. His mother definitely made sure he was fed well; as he left Christopher could barely walk down the stairs.

When he got to the bus Christopher felt cold and sharp winds swirling around him. He saw an old lady coming at him. She was getting faster and faster, and then she started turning into a large bird. Christopher stood still as he watched this woman’s arms turning into large wings.

He started running, faster and faster. His legs were burning, but he knew he had to keep running. Christopher knew a secret alley coming up, but he was afraid to go in because he had a gut feeling that he should stay with people. He ran into a crowd. He saw the woman; she was still coming at him, so he started walking farther and farther into the crowd of people. He was out of breath; he looked around to see where that strange bird lady was, but he could not find her. Christopher had finally had gotten away.

He ran back to his apartment, got on the computer and searched Hades and the Underworld. He clicked the first link to a website; he went down towards the bottom of the page, then he stopped. He saw a picture of the bird that had just come after him. It was called a Fury.

All that Christopher had been told was a lie. There were mystical creatures and gods out there. Christopher knew what he had to do. He packed his back pack with snacks and left. He did not know where he was going; all he knew was that he had to get away.

Christopher had been walking for hours when he saw the woman again. He started to sprint when she called out, “STOP! I am not here to hurt you. I am just here to bring you to your father.”

He kept on running when he looked back she was gone, but when he faced forward and she was there. The lady turned into the Fury and grabbed him by his hair, dragging him to a nearby tree. She ripped out a bush and started going down and down, dragging Christopher with her. Christopher was screaming and crying, begging her to let him go. He asked her where she was taking him, what was happening. Christopher could not see anything. It was pitch black and smelled like fresh dirt. He was cold and scared and prayed for his life that he would live.

They finally stopped moving. He could hear her talking to someone. She pushed Christopher onto what seemed like a boat. “To Hades,” the woman told someone. They were on the River Styx that he remembered from reading about the underworld.

They finally arrived at Hades’ castle. Christopher was trembling and he knew exactly what he was going to say to his father. Christopher was brought to Hades, sitting on a large throne with his three-headed dog, Cerberus, next to him. Hades started to say something, but Christopher interrupted him.

“Hades, I do not want to be your son, and I do not want you to be my father, but I cannot change that. You are a cruel man who loves to count how many dead people are in his realm. I do not wish to be a part of this, but I am assuming that you have brought me here to help you. I do not want to help someone who is rude and mean. You cannot hold me here forever like you were going to do to poor Persephone. I do not care if you kill me now because I have said my piece.” Christopher was out of breath.

Hades was in shock that someone would stand up to him like that, but he was also impressed, “Son, yes, I have brought you here to help me, but for the right reasons. I would like you to help the people in the Asphodel Meadows. They are sad and bored and have nothing to do. I am proud of you, my boy. You will stay here three times a year. You will choose which times and I will not force you anymore, but you must remember that you cannot run away from your own fate. You are the son of Hades. You should be down here with me, helping with all of the lost souls that are here, but you do not have to be down here right at this moment I guess. With that, you may now go and I hope to see you soon.”

Christopher was shocked at what Hades had just said. Before he left he said thank you. He would not mind being a part of his father’s life. It would be nice to have a father figure to look up to now. Hades was happy that Christopher had stood up to him and so was Christopher. He would feel confident when he came down soon. He decided to come down the following month. Hades was right; he could not run away from his own fate. He was the son of Hades and he would be proud.

In the end, Christopher turned Hades in to a gentler man. Of course their father-son relationship was difficult; but they both got through all of the fights and arguments. Surprisingly, a few thousand years later, Hades let Christopher become the new God of the Underworld and because of Christopher, a better, happier underworld was created for the nicer people who have died, but for the evil souls that came down, Christopher was just like his father: mean and cruel.

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