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Persephone Chapter 3: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Persephone Chapter 3: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

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Published by Ben Lacy
Two human thugs find out what happens when they cross Persephone, plus Persephone gains a worshipper.

Next chapter: Meanwhile, back in the Underworld.
Two human thugs find out what happens when they cross Persephone, plus Persephone gains a worshipper.

Next chapter: Meanwhile, back in the Underworld.

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Published by: Ben Lacy on Sep 26, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PersephoneChapter 3: Barking Up The Wrong TreeBen LacyCopyright © 2009 Ben LacyAll rights reserved
Sculpture of Persephone by Carl Marx Kruse, 1916, photo by Lienhard Schulz, 2007 
Recap: Persephone has successfully escaped the Norse Goddess Hel’s invasion of theunderworld. Unfortunately, she’s a long way and a long time from Olympus.*************I walk along the road. Periodically, one of the horseless carriages zooms by at speeds Iwould not have thought possible of mortal conveyances. At first, I had thought they were drawn by invisible horses, but this close, I would have sensed their essence. Given the fumes beingemitted, I now suspect they are pure machines inspired by my brother, Hephaestus.The first two zoom past me. I see faces through the clear windows staring out at me inwonder, but they still don’t stop. The third carriage, goes by even faster then the other two, butthen with a loud squeal comes to a quick stop and suddenly starts backing up toward where Istand by the side of the road. I watch curiously as two youngish looking men step out and startwalking toward me. They are both dressed in extremely well fitted black leather jackets. Theywear, tightly wrapped around their legs and lower body, a blue material made from cotton, a plant that was just starting to be used by man when last I walked the mortal world.The men stop in front of me. I dislike the disrespectful expressions on their faces even before they speak.“Damn, is the circus in town?” the right one asks. As with the trolls, the language isunfamiliar but I understand him perfectly well.“Who cares?” his friend replies. “She is incredibly fine.”“Yeah, but you’ll need a ladder.” At first, I don’t quite follow his meaning, but then Irealize I’ve made a critical mistake. Unlike, my father, I rarely pretend to be mortal and I’vedone nothing to disguise myself. These two men appear to be tall for mortals, but I am well over a head taller.“Hey baby, why don’t you come with us?” I ignore him. I should have changed myform. I’ll stand out too much and be easily recognized by Hel’s forces. I should hide, changeshape, and then come back to this road and find some mortals to shelter amongst. Unfortunately,these two have already seen me.
“Hey babe, get in the car,” he grabs my arm and his tone changes from disrespectful tomenacing.“Mortal …” I stumble, struggling to form the appropriate words in an unfamiliar language, when a phrase floats into my head. I’ve never heard it before, but it seems strangelyapt. “Mortal, you are barking up the wrong tree.”“Ha,” he starts to laugh, but I’ve already wrenched my arm free. I backhand him acrossthe face. He spins in the air and falls to my feet, unconscious. His friend swings his fist at me, but I grab his arm with my other hand and toss him into the side of his … automobile … theword comes to me. He bounces off it and also falls to the ground.I walk up to him. “Be grateful that the Covenant protects you from the full extent of mywrath else you’d be turned to weasels already.”I’m about to walk away, when something about this automobile catches my attention.It’s a smaller, lower slung vehicle then the others I’ve seen drive by. Its swooped body gives it asleek ominous appearance, and it’s painted an unusually glossy bright shade of red with whatappears to be a Phoenix painted on the front. None of that though is what concerns me. The back of the car has some kind of compartment with a lid on the outside. There’s somethinginside that isn’t … right.I pull on the lid but it won’t open. I now see what I take to be a small keyhole. I work my fingers under the lid’s lower lip just below the lock, brace myself against a bar extrudingfrom the bottom of the vehicle and pull up. The metal is thick and sturdy, but the lock snapswith a good tug. The lid pops open and inside I see the body of a young mortal girl. She’s badly bloodied, her face is a mass of bruises, and her clothes are in shreds around her. I touch her armgently. She’s dead.I can tell it was a horrible, slow death too. “Poor child, what did these monsters do toyou?”Much to my surprise, her spirit pops up from her body, and says, “I was hitch-hikinghome when they offered me a ride. I should have known better. They took me down a dirt roadand pulled me into the woods. Then they took turns …” Her voice breaks up. Then one of them

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