Short Story: Nightshade and Pomegranate, Part Two


“Zeus,” she said, her voice small.

“Where is the Goddess of Spring?”

“In the gardens,” Calypso said. Zeus nodded to her, and she scampered off, escaping the ire or desire of the King of Olympus.

“You heard her, brother,” Zeus said, his voice dark. Without looking, his shadow peeled away from itself, and a secondary shadow walked away, silhouetted against the wall. It crept up to an open window, and slunk away outside.

“What is that horrible stench?” Demeter asked, annoyance across her face. Zeus approached her, attempting to calm the nervous mother.

Persephone sat outside in the gardens, alone, still cultivating multiple bushes. A shadow came over her, tall and dark, and she turned towards it, and had to contain her excitement. Hades stood before her, his physical form materializing out of the shadow that he had arrived in. His tall, slender frame came into reality, his pale, gray skin and gaunt face looked down at his love with adoration and affection.
To Persephone, Hades smelled like autumn leaves and his shadow was a deep shade of black she was never able to get her flowers to achieve.

To Hades, Persephone was like a cherry blossom tree in bloom: timelessly young, elegant, and floral.
Hades took Persephone into his arms, holding her against him. “I’ve come to claim you as my bride. I’ve come to bring you to the Underworld.”

Persephone looked at him, beaming with excitement. “I want to be there with you, I want to go there now.”

Hades approached the flowers and bushes that Persephone had grown, and from it he crafted a crown of Pomegranates, Roses, and Nightshade flowers, a floral crown symbolic of their love and matrimonial bond. Hades loved Persephone more than anything he had ever known, her beauty was beyond any other Goddess in existence now, or ever to exist, and he was willing to do anything to have her as his Queen. Gently, he placed the crown upon Persephone’s head.

Zeus edged towards Demeter.

“What do you want?!” She said, her voice harsh. She didn’t trust the God of Olympus, the man who would go to great lengths to disrespect his wife and sleep with anything that moved.

“What is so bad about letting your daughter make her own choice?” He asked, his voice soft.

Demeter looked at him with daggers in her eyes, she bit her lower lip in anger.
“Let my daughter, the Goddess of Spring, lock herself in the Underworld to be the Queen of the Dead?! What kind of mother would I be if I allowed her to do that?!”

At this point, all of the Gods were looking at the pair, their eyes boring holes into Demeter. Demeter’s eyes flicked around the room, she saw that Persephone was nowhere to be found.

“You all smelled him, the stench of death he brings with him!” She cried, whipping around the room, looking for her daughter. “You all know he came tonight, snuck in the manor behind my back, and yet you all laugh in my face and console me with your feigned kindness. Where is he?! Where is my daughter?!”

It was at that moment that the room fell into hushed whispers, everyone’s eyes darting back and forth.

Within a few more moments, the back doors to the garden swung open. In came Persephone and
Hades, wrapped in each other’s arms, a crown upon Persephone’s head.

“I’ve chosen my suitor, mother,” she said, happiness written across her entire being. “I wish to marry Hades!”

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