Author's note: My inspiration for this came from Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. I've always loved the... Show full author's note »
“Persephone! Persephone! Where are you?”
I ran down the hall searching for my wife. The eerie feeling that got when I ran down the familiar halls was worrying. The skulls that decorated the halls seemed to follow my every move.
I ran into the throne room and there sat my throne and Persephone’s both empty. The Furies were there arguing about a new form of punishment and I really didn’t care to hear about it right now when I was searching franticly for my wife.
“I say we take those who murder and throw them in a pit of cacti and if they try to get out more cacti grow forever pricking them and causing unbearable pain!” said Tisiphone. She seemed very proud of herself for coming up with that weak punishment.
“No you idiot! That’s way too pathetic!” said Alecto, “Why don’t we just give them a basket of cookies and send them on their way to Elysium and call it a day Tisi.” She said that with sarcasm dripping in her voice.
“Oh will you two shut up for once!” demanded Megaera, “Don’t make me come over there and break you two up again.”
This started another argument amongst the three of them. I sighed with frustration and left the room. I went outside to look for Persephone out there. I stepped into the chilling air and walked down the path to the Fields of Asphodel. Persephone sometimes would wander down there when she had an argument with her mother and I would find her there and bring her back to the palace to sort things out.
The black dirt was covered with a fog this morning and the dead trees were virtually invisible with all the spirits crowded around them. The spirits usually got out of my way when I walked into the Fields of Asphodel but today they ran up to greet me, mumbling such bizarre things.
One young girl dressed in 1920’s attire came right up to me and said in her whispery far off voice, “Who visited you?”
I stopped and stared at her. ‘Who visited me?’ nobody visited me today…in fact nobody’s visited in weeks. “What do you mean ‘who visited me’ little girl?”
“There was a man that came through here early this morning and he said he was visiting you.” She looked me in the eyes as she said this, which was brave of her because nobody dared look me in the eye when they spoke to me, not even the Furies.
“What did this man look like? Was it another god?”
“No it wasn’t another god. I’ve seen all of the gods and he wasn’t one of them. He was tall and colored, he had a cloak on so I couldn’t see his face. He asked for directions to the palace, I could tell he hadn’t been here before.”
“Did you see him leave?”
“I don’t remember…” her eyes unfocused and I knew she was having a flashback from her life. The dead in the Fields of Asphodel did this regularly. I snapped my fingers and her eyes focused again and she looked at me confused. “L-Lord Hades! What are you doing in here? Is there something I can help you with?” She bowed deeply and stayed there waiting orders.
I sighed. Whatever she was going to tell me was lost and she probably would never remember that conversation or the man. I turned and returned to the palace.
“Alecto! Tisiphone! Megaera! Front and center...NOW!” I barked.
Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera appeared before me and bowed in respect. “What can we help you with today master?” they said in unison.
“This morning there was a man that came into the palace and said he was looking for me, did you see this man?”
“No sire, I have seen no man in here,” answered Megaera.
“What did this man look like?” asked Alecto.
“I don’t know. One of the spirits in the Fields said there was a man that came through there this morning looking for me.”
“A spirit told you this?” she asked skeptically.
“Yes, do you doubt my judgment?”
“No! No, not at all!” she said hastily. Her sisters snickered at her embarrassment. She shot them a nasty look and stuck her blue tongue out at them.
I cleared my throat before any more arguments erupted. “Megaera,” she stiffened when I addressed her, “go fetch me Cerberus.” Megaera left immediately after the words left my lips and returned shortly with my 9 foot, three headed dog. He barked excitedly when he saw me and bounded forward to give me a big slobbery kiss.
“Ugh, gross Cerberus. Cut it out! Sit!” He sat obediently and awaited my next order his tail wagging furiously. “Hey watch the tail you’re gonna knock something over if you don’t watch it.” His tail was dangerously close to knocking over one of the candelabras with lit candles.
His tail slowed down and he started to whimper. Drool dripped from one of his mouths in big, slobbery globs getting all over the rug.
“Are you ready to do some tracking?” He nodded all three of his heads and three times the drool flew out of his mouth and hit the walls. His middle head barked and the other two followed suit. “Alright boy, do you wanna know what you’re tracking?” More slobber flew against the walls as he wagged his whole body. The candelabra flew against the wall as his tail hit it.
He stood and barked, ready to go. “Persephone! Go find Persephone, boy!” As soon as I gave the order he turned and took off towards the Fields of Punishment. I got in my chariot and followed him all through the Fields and through to the River Styx. Once we reached the River he stopped for a moment and sniffed the air and the ground. He circled and searched the area carefully.
Then he did something I’ve never, in my whole existence, seen him do. He lay down.
If he lay down that meant the search was done. He had found what he was looking for. But Persephone wasn’t here. I got out of my chariot and walked over to him. He was whimpering softly. I knelt near his left head and pet him. “Where is she Cerberus?” He stayed where he was.
If she were anywhere he would’ve lead me to her, but he just stopped. Even if she were, by some crazy incident, dead, he would’ve found her. This meant that she didn’t exist. She was gone.