I slammed the book I had been reading on my desk and glared at the woman in front of me.
“Go and tell that vampire to find his way out and if I ever feel his presence here again, I will create a cage in the deepest part of the ocean and allow him to rot there for eons,” my voice stretched and filled the study, making the messenger tremble slightly.
She nodded and ran out of the room quickly. I looked down at my clenched hands and sighed. I fanned my fingers and slumped back in my chair, letting my arms rest across my opened book. A small tapping sound interrupted my thoughts which only made me hang my head even lower.
“Leave me!” I ground out. Does peace not exist in a single corner of this underworld? A window to the far corner slid open and a short blonde man flew in slowly.
“Tough night?” A heightened voice came from him as he glided down towards me. I tilted my head slightly to watch him. My lifted eyebrow told him all he needed to know. “Okay, okay, sorry. Here’s the thing. There’s this vampire that’s been tryin’ to get in touch with you. I think you know who I’m talkin’ ’bout.”
I just kept staring, waiting for the part where he thought I would be intrigued by his information. He continues on. “He knows where Evros is, Hades. He heard about how you’re tryin’ to track him down. And how your stake in his life parallels his own plans. I think this is your best shot. His own kind is against him.” I was standing by the time he finished the last sentence. I stepped towards the middle of the floor and called my shadows to me.
Within another blink, I was standing in front of my river Styx and a very annoyed-looking vampire. When his eyes landed on me, he froze. I walked towards him and spoke low. “I hear that you can deliver me the location of Evros?”
His nod is nearly comical with how aggressive he moves. “I can! I can bring him to you. I just need some help, that’s all. He escaped a long time ago and I don’t know how strong he is now. I just need some more power,” he rushed out, his steps gaining closer.
My hand fanned out, this time without the intent to control an emotion. The vampire flung backward, like a ragdoll being carried off by a storm. I brought my other hand downward and called my bident to me. It materialized with a rush in my open palm.
“You may borrow this,” I began as he struggled to his feet again. “It will not behave the same, but it will enhance your…mediocrity. Once I change its form, it will calm its manner. A warning, vampire. I will not be able to sense it or call it to me once this is done. If you happen to lose it…” I let the threat hang in the air and allowed his own imagination to finish the thought. I only hoped he had more creativity than wit.
I closed my eyes and willed the change in my staff. The air shimmered for a moment and then a dagger weighed lightly in my hand. It hummed with anticipation at being able to roam. It was finally free to soak up glory once more. The target made its song all the more delectable.
I tossed it to the vampire who caught the blade with ease. “This is…pretty,” he uttered softly, admiring the dagger.
“Eloquent aren’t you?” I sighed. “Do not disappoint me, vampire. Just because one of your kind has remained elusive for so long, does not mean that you are so easily lost amongst these realms. I will have a few of my vassals join you, shortly. Now, leave.” I turned and began to walk back to my study. As I went, the vampire’s praises floated around the concave, stone walls, echoing along my path.
I sat down at my desk and allowed my forehead to fall atop my opened book. A small sigh escaped me and I could not help a shudder that suddenly made its way through my form.
“Persephone…when will you appear? It has been hundreds of years and you still have not come. Where is your soul? Why does it not come back to me?” My voice whispers, barely audible above the crackling of my fireplace.
Another knock at my door. “Enter,” I say with a crisp tone. Hermes saunters in and collapses on a violet sofa that sits across the room, nearest the window. “I’m waiting for some gratitude,” he says with a wink in my direction. I simply narrowed my eyes. He laughs and leans forward. “In all seriousness, Hades. Why isn’t she here yet? Every other god that has died has appeared within a century or so. How long has it been now?” He sat back, patiently waiting for an answer.
He wasn’t going to get one. I didn’t have the answers. Many assumed I knew all of death, but it was far from the truth. There were some things that eluded even me. Like her. Suddenly, a thought gripped my soul and hope fleeted its way to the surface. The fates! I had not even thought of them. It’s been eons since I last visited them, but they knew all. They might have some inclination to her whereabouts.
I stood and strode across my study to retrieve the scroll. I unfastened the string that held it together, unraveling the contents. Ink blotted letters split from their papyrus imprisonment and fell to the floor. They flailed slightly and then went still again.
“Moirai,” I said with determination. Hermes’ eyes went wide and he slowly stood up and walked closer to the window.
“I have never met the Fates and I continue to never wish to do so. I will take my leave. Have fun!” The window shuddered as he went through. Coward. I looked back over at the letters that had begun to froth and tremble as more erupted from the scroll. They rushed together and spun along the ground. Slowly, bare feet appeared. Then the hem of a powdery blue dress. Eventually, rounded grey eyes stared back at me.
“Which one is at the forefront?” I questioned the girl in front of me.
“We gave you this sacred scroll for when you happened upon lives of concern to us and lives that threatened the balance. Not to pull us from our duties when you feel lonely,” the child spat out.
“Ah, Atropos then. I simply-”
“We know not where she is. Now, we are busy. We have a thread that refuses to obey. We must see to this,” her curt words were harsh, despite her youthful pitch. I had suspected this answer.
“The powerful Fates are being troubled by a single human life?” I mocked immediately out of irritation. They had always looked down on everyone and made it wholly known.
“None of your concern, Zeus’ brother. This thread will be handled. This Sena has a troublesome future ahead of her. Many details to work through,” she spoke as she slowly melted back into droplets of ink, ensuring I could not ask any more of them. The letters wiggled along the floor and slipped back to the scroll, nestling into their papery home.
“I really detest them,” I grind out as I consider my next move.