This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Hades, home of the dead and the damned, where a never-ending bronze wall surrounded a place eternally covered by three layers of night. It was these boundaries, along with the river Styx, which separated the Underworld from the Upper Realm.
Despite the darkness that surrounded the Underworld, it had an eerie blue glow, provided by thousands upon thousands of floating balls of hellfire. There was no breeze, no noise of animals, just the dismal groans of the Shades of Asphodel, and the tormented screams of the damned that populated Tartarus. The Underworld was covered from edge to edge in a thick fog; a person would have to know the realm intimately in order to get anywhere safely.
Out of the fog, in the east, a pillar of rock rose up, and at its summit sat a dark and imposing, gray stone castle. This was the home of Hades and Persephone, King and Queen of the Dead. From there Hades saw everything that went on in his domain, and made sure that everything ran smoothly. The castle faced west and south, looking towards the center of the Underworld. For it was at the center that the elliptical shaped entrance to Tartarus was located. Tartarus was located far beneath the Underworld, and the tunnel like walls amplified the screams and moans and complaints that issued from it.
Walking around the entrance were the three Hecatoncheires, the hundred-armed giants, the ones who were tasked by Zeus to guard the dismal prison, making sure that the Titans imprisoned there never escaped.
From deep within the pit, the cries of the damned wailed, calling out for forgiveness, screaming in pain and terror, or cursing their fate as they were forced – once again – to push a boulder up a steep hill.
As the curses died down, and the unfortunate soul went back to his punishment, three cloaked and hooded figures – coming from three separate directions – stepped out of the fog to stand at the lip of the pit, looking down at those ignorant enough to earn the wrath of the gods.
After a few moments of silence – watching what was going on beneath them – the figure on the far left spoke, “Do you think it will work?” Even though his face was hidden it was obvious he was nervous, one could just make out his fidgeting hands from beneath the billowing sleeves of his robes.
“Well I don’t see why it shouldn’t. We’ve taken all necessary – and unnecessary – precautions we could think of…” answered the one on the right. He stood with the confidence that his fellow lacked, head held high and posture proud.
“And some we even made up.” agreed the one in the center. The third didn’t seem as confident or as nervous as his fellows did. It was almost as if he didn’t care which direction their scheming went. He crouched down over the edge of the pit to get a better look at those inside.
“Exactly, so there shouldn’t be anything we haven’t thought of.”
“Yes but Th-“
“Do not say my name you fool! Someone may very well be listening.”
“…My apologies, br… forgive me.”
“Just don’t do it again, understood?”
“It’s not like anyone will be able to hear us over Sisyphus’ complaining anyway,” muttered the figure in the middle, tossing a rock into the pit, but neither of his companions heard him. The cloaked figure snickered as he listened to the man once again curse the gods and walk down the hill to retrieve his boulder.
“Good. Now, we all know what must be done?”
“Yeah whatever,” The center figure’s attention had moved on to a man being spun on a fiery wheel. He put a hand to his mouth to stifle his laughter, not wanting to bring the wrath of the guards, or the man on his right, down on him.
“Good. Just remember redirect the Forgetful one first. Let me know when it produces a strong enough affect, and I will start on Phase Two.”
“Excellent.” The man on the right rubbed his hands together gleefully, “By the time the His Majesty realizes what is happening here and in the Upper Realm he will be too late to stop it.” As he was turning to leave he paused. “Oh and one more thing, make sure that our dear baby-brother does not do anything out of the ordinary that will tip-off those in power, or else it will ruin everything.”
“Right, I’ll make sure he knows his role.” The one in the middle cracked his back as he stood up from his observations, and mocking, of the damned. What fun was being a god if you could not mock those beneath you, anyway?
“Good. Now let’s go before someone discovers us here.”
Just as quietly as they had arrived the three figures faded back into the fog, retracing the way that they each had come, to avoid the notice of the guards. It would not do if someone could place them at the scene, then all their planning would be for naught, and they could not have that.
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...
the unedited writer: It's a guilty pleasure. The characters are brought to life and you find yourself loving them worrying for them and so on. The plot was serious but at the same time it had a light tone that didn't make you depressed as other drama genres. 5 stars for me
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
Christopher Chew: Been a while since reading was this fun. The plot was easy to follow and built at a gradual but good pace. The dynamics between each character were interesting and kept things fresh and exciting, very much so that you would forgive it for not going deeper into the back stories of each character. ...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...
Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...