Η Ανακάλυψη της Μητέρας
“The problem is that we all fall
for the false illusion that
the dark is supposed to scare us.”
-Clinton Sammy Jr.
The golden chariot of Helios rode in the vast blue, waking up the world from its deep slumber. The bright sun was high up in the clear sky giving his light to the rest of the world and informing them that a new day had just begun. Its warm rays of pure light gave life and color to everything on Earth as they made the darkness of the night disappear.
In the silence and peace of these morning hours, the sound of adorable giggles and happy laughter could be heard around the fields.
“You can’t catch me!“, a female’s voice echoed through the meadow full of blooming flowers as Persephone run as fast as her legs could carry her.
Hades smirked at her words, the corners of his full lips turning slightly up at the maiden’s laughing form. He ran behind her staying hot on her trails, not letting her out of his sight for a single moment. However, he refrained from using his full speed on purpose, letting the young deity run a couple of steps ahead of him and believing that she was faster than the God of the Underworld. Pffft...like there was even a chance of someone slipping away from Death’s grasp.
The Lord of Erebus and the young Goddess of Spring would meet secretly very often for the last three years while she was out in the fields and away from her mother’s watchful gaze. The two of them would play around the meadows until Persephone tired herself completely out and couldn’t run anymore.
She hadn’t said a word about their meetings to anyone -especially her mother. If Demeter had taken notice of this, she would never have the chance to see her beloved Hades ever again. Kore loved her mother deeply, but this fact didn’t mean that she didn’t care about her friends too.
Her mother was caring and affectionate -focused on nurturing and protecting her child as any other mother would. However, for a reason that Persephone couldn’t understand, Demeter wasn’t fond of men -especially when they were near her daughter. The minute she felt that her child was threatened, she turned into an overprotective shield -her divinity making its presence known as she turned into the powerful Goddess she was.
The young maiden would always tell different excuses to the Nymphs and her dearest brother, Hermes, so that she could run away from them to meet with the King of the Underworld. Fortunately, Demeter hadn’t found out about their meetings yet, or else he would have found himself in deep problems with the Olympians. Problems that the Spring Goddess didn’t wish to cause him.
“Look, Hades! I am faster than you!“, Persephone exclaimed happily as she watched him run slower than her. Her crown of flowers barely hanging on top of her auburn locks, which were flying behind her as a slight breeze caressed her flawless face.
However, as she turned around in order to face him, her feet bumped on a big rock that she hadn’t seen before. The young woman yelled out in surprise as she lost all her balance so unexpectedly. She closed her emerald eyes tightly and braced herself for the pain that would be caused by the harsh impact.
She was sure that the fall would leave a large purple bruise behind and a few scratches here and there. She would have to deal with them for the next days to come. Her mother would definitely scold her for running and not taking notice of her surroundings.
However, she never felt the pain of her collision with the hard ground as she expected. On the contrary, she felt herself landing on something soft and familiarly cold instead, making her eyes fly quickly open in surprise.
Hades had used his full speed the moment he saw her losing her footing and tumbling towards the hard soil. He caught her petite form immediately and exchanged their positions so that she landed on top of him instead of the hard soil. His strong arms wrapped her tightly to his muscled body as their breathing grew labored and their hearts raced a mile in a minute. The God instantly sat up, wanting to make sure that the young maiden was fine.
“Are you hurt, my sweet?“, He asked her worriedly as he assessed her small figure for any kind of red scratches or any other sort of injuries.
Persephone just shook her head negatively and hugged him back tightly, still shaken from her fall. Her small palms grasped his broad shoulders as she buried her flushing face into his neck for comfort.
Hades blew out the breath he was holding as he confirmed that she was not harmed in any way and that she was safe in his arms. He caressed her wild auburn locks slowly in a soothing way as he tried to calm her down.
“My clumsy love”, he whispered softly in her ear as he gave her blushing cheek a comforting kiss.
Fixing the crown that had fallen out of place on top of her head, he grimaced as the flowers decorating it died at his touch. Persephone shrugged her shoulders at the fact and simply made a move with her fingers, bringing the withered blooms instantly back to life.
“Hades!“, she said a few moments later, taking her face away from the comfort of his neck.
“What is it, my sweet?“, he asked her curiously as she gripped his defined cheeks with her small palms and looked deep into his silver eyes.
“You did it!“, she exclaimed loudly, giving him a bright smile that made his heart skip a beat.
“You caught me!“, she looked at him with adoration in her gleaming emerald eyes.
Hades smiled lovingly down at her and kissed her softly on her forehead, moving a few stray hairs away.
“I will always catch you, my love”, he murmured to her as he rested his chin on top of her head.
“No matter what”, he vowed -a deeper meaning hiding behind his simple words.
Persephone blushed at his words and looked around the field too shy to meet his eyes. She knew that his words were true and she trusted him with her life. Hades was always kind, honest, and loving towards her and they always did whatever she wanted when they met. He had given her no reason not to trust him and had become a very dear friend to her. She couldn’t understand why everyone else despised him so much and stayed away from him like he had the plague.
She had overheard her mother once speaking about him with her younger sister -Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. She could still remember her aunt’s words as she labeled the God of the Underworld as “a dangerous threat for the immortals’ survival”. Hades wasn’t one of them, even though he had the same blood running through his veins. He belonged to the Underworld, not to Olympus.
According to Athena, Hades was feeling bitter about the way Zeus had treated him. He was the eldest brother of the three and therefore, he had the right to choose first which kingdom he would rule. Zeus and Poseidon had hurt him deeply when they betrayed him. They basically exiled him in the depths of Earth and forced him to rule a lifeless kingdom full of darkness.
No matter how perfect his cold facade was, he surely hated his brothers for their betrayal. Athena believed that Hades was a cunning man -a man that would wait centuries for the right time to come in order to get his revenge. He was a danger to Zeus’ reign and therefore, he was a threat to everyone. Not only because the smallest of changes would disturb the balance in the world, but also because the Olympians weren’t sure how he would treat them if he became their King.
Her mother had passionately characterized him as “a murderous and bloodthirsty traitor, who had the nerve to plot his revenge against his own family”. Aunt Athena had agreed silently with her, but she had chosen not to directly insult the God of the Dead but to just state some general truths that surrounded him.
Athena respected his position and was well aware of his power, but she made sure to stay away from his business -barely ever meeting him. According to her, the Lord of Darkness was the coldest person she had ever come across with and she didn’t want to do anything with him. The fact he resided into the Underworld where she had absolutely no reason to be, helped her remain far away from the God of the Dead.
Persephone had frowned at their conversation, not understanding why they talked in such a way about him. From what she understood they barely knew him and therefore, they couldn’t possibly judge him correctly. How could they come to know him when they never tried to approach him?
She had spoken to Hades about it, wondering why everyone was acting like this when it came to him. He was anything but a monster and had a heart made out of pure gold. She couldn’t understand why people feared him so much.
“I am not the best of Gods, my sweet”, he had admitted to her looking shamefully away from her. He was too scared to face her and see the hate for him appear in her beautiful face.
“I am the King of the Underworld, a place of dead souls and darkness. I am bound eternally to its coldness and deathly silence. I am different from the immortal gods of Olympus and therefore, I have no place among them. I’ve done terrible things during my time and I am capable of even worse. My place is in the dark and lonely abyss of the Erebus and not in the bathing sunlight of this land, where you belong.”
“Nonsense!“, Persephone answered him. She gave him a quick unexpected kiss on his cheek which made his eyes widen at her boldness.
“Being different doesn’t make you an outcast, Hades, it makes you unique!“, she explained to him, “I cannot see the revengeful God in you that my mother has described. All I see is a friend who is always there for me, no matter what!”
He gazed into her emerald eyes, seeing the honesty swirling inside of them.
“You are always kind to me -doing me favors when you do not have to! You are always making me smile and feel happy! You are looking out for me -protecting my clumsy self from tripping over my own two feet!“, she blushed at the last fact as he smirked down at her playfully.
“Being different from everyone else isn’t a mistake, but a blessing. It makes you stand out!“, she smiled at him, “I wish I could spend more time with you...but my mother would never let me.”
His silver eyes softened at her words.
“I just really enjoy your company”, she stated truthfully, “You are not like the rest of the Gods -like my mother, the Nymphs, or even Hermes! I just wish I could get to know you better...”
The God froze on his spot, shocked at the unexpected admission of the young Goddess. How could a maiden of eighteen years be more understanding than Gods that have lived for centuries? How could she accept him so easily when she has seen his darkness and not cower away as the rest of the Gods did?
“You are my friend, Hades!“, she looked at him seriously, “And I like you just the way you are!”
His eyes filled with tears, but he did not let them escape. Her acceptance had made a weight that was settled for years in his heart disappear.
“My sweet, sweet love”, he caressed her porcelain cheek gently, “You cannot imagine how happy your words make me.”
“However, you have to understand that not everyone sees me like that”, he tried to explain, “Adults deal differently with their problems -especially Gods. We do not let the world see our soft side or our raw emotions. You, my dear, are the only one who gets to see this side of me.”
“But why?“, she furrowed her eyebrows in confusion, “Why am I the only one allowed to know? Why do you let them call you a monster when you are anything but this?”
The God shushed her gently as tears of anger gathered in her eyes. He tried desperately to calm the distressed girl down.
“It’s not fair!“, she sniffled slightly.
“People take emotions as a weakness. It is better to be feared and respected as if I am a beast, instead of being walked all over as if I am some powerless God”, he stated matter of factly.
“Then, why did you let me see this side of yourself?“, she asked in confusion.
He smiled down at her lovingly and wiped away her fallen tears.
“You, my sweet, are very special to me.”
She cocked her head to the side in confusion.
“But I have nothing special”, she disagreed.
“Oh, but you do”, his eyes sparkled in delight, “You have taken my dead heart in your small hands and made it beat again after millions of years of loneliness.”
The young maiden looked down at her empty hands in confusion, not understanding what the God meant. Her innocence made him smile as he kissed the inside of her palms softly.
“But I’m not holding anything?“, he just laughed at her response.
“Do you know what this means, my precious Persephone?“, she shook her head negatively and waited for him to answer.
“It means, my love, that it beats only for you”, he whispered in her ear.
He placed her small palm above his beating heart in his chest and let her feel the black organ hammering against his rib cage.
“One day when you are older”, he smiled at her, “You will understand.”
Persephone blushed as she remembered his words. He always made her feel special and she was feeling so blessed to have him in her life. She would do anything to keep him by her side, even if it meant lying to her loving mother.
Returning back to the present, she cringed to herself as she looked around the field of flowers. Half the field was destroyed and the flowers had lost their color and petals. Hades always had this effect on her mother’s plants, when he passed by them. I mean, it was logical that the flowers became dead when the God of the Underworld was in their presence.
For some reason, this fact didn’t scare her off as it should but made her even more curious about him. Persephone knew that Hades was the God responsible for the dead and that he had powers unimaginable from the rest of the Gods. However, she couldn’t bring herself to be scared of him or stay as far away as possible. Unlike the rest of the Olympians, his darkness intrigued her rather than terrify her, making her inquisitive about him.
These past three years that she came to know him were the best of her short life. He had become her best friend and the person that she loved the most besides her mother. She couldn’t imagine a life without him. She needed him to be close to her.
She hadn’t realized when her crush on him had started and she desperately tried to hide it. She knew that she wasn’t supposed to like her friend in this way and therefore, never told him. She couldn’t afford to lose him as he had become a vital part of her life.
“I probably should fix the field before my mother returns”, Persephone unwillingly announced, disturbing their peaceful moments.
“Can’t it wait for a few minutes?“, he asked her, desperate to be with her just for a bit longer.
He wasn’t ready to let her go just yet. He wanted to enjoy her company for a few more moments before he had to return back to his kingdom and his duties. She was surely a better company than the residents of the Underworld as well as his loyal servants.
“My mother will be looking for me soon, Hades”, Persephone smiled sadly at him.
She didn’t want him to go away but knew he had to. She was content by the fact that at least she got to be around him for even this short period of time.
“Shhh, my sweet”, he stood up and hugged her short form.
“There is no need for you to be sad”, he lovingly said to her wiping away her fallen tears as he couldn’t bear to see her cry.
The sight made his heart clench painfully and demanded of him to make her feel better.
“I’ll see you again tomorrow”, he kissed her softly on her forehead as she hugged him tightly before he left.
She looked up to him with her tearful orbs, gracing him with one breathtaking smile.
“Do you promise?“, she asked in a small scared voice.
The God of the Underworld smiled down at her small figure.
“What in Zeus’ name is going on over here?!”
They both instantly froze in each other’s embrace as her mother’s booming voice was heard across the half-dead meadow.
Turning around, Persephone’s breath instantly stopped and Hades form went rigid in surprise.
They had been discovered.
End of chapter 5!!
Title Translation: “The Discovery of Mother”
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