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Persephone - Chapter 1: Out of Hell

Persephone - Chapter 1: Out of Hell

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Published by Ben Lacy
Persephone - Chapter 1: Out of Hell

First chapter of my new novel. Persephone (of mythological fame) is ambivalent about her role as Queen of the Dead and wife of Hades and hates living in the Underworld. That is until she is forced to flee with her young son to the mortal world when the armies of the Norse Goddess Hel attack.

If people like it, I'll post chapter 2 in which Persephone comes to our world and battles a frost giant.
Persephone - Chapter 1: Out of Hell

First chapter of my new novel. Persephone (of mythological fame) is ambivalent about her role as Queen of the Dead and wife of Hades and hates living in the Underworld. That is until she is forced to flee with her young son to the mortal world when the armies of the Norse Goddess Hel attack.

If people like it, I'll post chapter 2 in which Persephone comes to our world and battles a frost giant.

More info:

Published by: Ben Lacy on Sep 10, 2009
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11/28/2013

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PersephoneChapter 1: Out of HellBen LacyCopyright © 2009 Ben LacyAll rights reserved
 Proserpine
, depicted with her pomegranate, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti,1874) (Tate Gallery, London)
 
By order of the Gods, by vows of marriage, and for love of my child, I live in Hell sixmonths of every year. But time passes differently in the realms of the Gods and a space of months seems an eternity.At least here, in the Elysium Fields, I can still make things grow. As my young son runs by, I wave my hand and violets spring to life around him. He gasps in delight and begins to pulloff the buds. Collecting them into a bouquet, he hands them to me and then dashes off to chasethe shades that stroll along the river bank nearby. He amuses himself running through thereinsubstantial forms. Caught in their own afterlife experiences, they pay him no mind, if they caneven see him.I can solidify them and talk to them if I wish, but at the moment, I’m not in the mood andeven the Queen of the Dead can grow tired of speaking with the dead. Instead I watch my son.I’ve never felt like I truly belonged here, but my feelings were never part of the equation. Now,though, I can’t help but wonder if even the nicest place in the underworld is the place for a livingchild.I’ve toyed with the idea of sending him to my mother when I’m here, but being herewithout him would be even worse then being here before he was born. Plus, my husband wouldnever allow it. I’m certain there will be a fight when it is time for me to return to the land of theliving and I try to take the boy with me.Hades is not an evil God, but he is one of the old Gods. A harsh God for a harsh job.The standards of morality, the rules of paterfamilias, the codes of conduct, all come from adifferent view that no mortal can relate to. I can tolerate it because I understand that world but Iam young as Gods go and cannot enjoy my life here.My son continues to run through the fields, the spirits continue to wander, the light shinesexactly as it always has casting neither warmth nor shadow, nothing has changed – but I know itwill soon be time to return to the palace. One more day will have passed – or will it be a year.Regardless, I rise and begin to walk toward the boy.Then he disappears. A huge foot rises up from where he stood and a deafening soundfollows in a place where a whisper can seem as loud as thunder. There are more crashes and the
 
sky is filled with massive bodies landing all around. I scream and charge the foot that’s crushedmy son, “Zagreus! Get off my son you monster.”As I approach, the foot rises and the body it’s attached to steps away. The footprint isdeeper then the length of my arm. I stumble into it struggling to keep my feet. Dust iseverywhere and the unnatural light that keeps the Elysium fields in perpetual early morning isdimming. “Zagreus, where are you?”“Mommy,” I hear a faint voice cry. That I can make him out in the incredible din canonly be attributed to my enhanced senses. I leap to the other side of the foot print. There I seehim laying a good 10 feet from the pit. He must have been brushed aside just before the giantlanded.I grab him up and pull him in tight to my chest. He’s crying and clinging to me. I justwant to keep holding him but then I realize we’re not out of danger. I look around. The Elysiumfields have been invaded by a horde of monstrosities. Giants roam the fields, stamping the forestinto the ground and throwing bouldesr into the river Styx causing it to back up into the upper fields. Soon the water will spill over to where we stand.I take a closer look at the giants, at first I had thought the Titans had escaped. The Titansthough were beautiful beyond measure. These are coarse, gnarled things, wearing heavy coatsand lumbering gracelessly through the woods laying waste to everything around them.While I’m gawking, I realize that other, smaller figures are heading directly for us. Idon’t know what’s going on here. I need to find Hades. Holding my boy tightly, I run towardthe forest, at the first tree, I turn directly into it and in a manner I cannot describe in words, Ireappear in a long stone corridor. This is the lower level of my personal quarters in the Palace of Dis, the heart of the Underworld.I run down the tapestry lined corridor. The pictures of the gods and titans look down onme, their eyes following me as I run deeper into the palace. I would have fled to Olympus, butunfortunately, the magic that binds me to this place is still in effect. At the end of the corridor, Iturn to head for the throne room and run right into a band of goblins. Squat but powerfully built,I recognize their race but not their tribe. These creatures are dressed in heavy furs, topped with

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