Do any of you know about that one painting with Aphrodite being born out of lava with a black swan by her side or did i completely hallucinate that? Been searching for a while but i can’t find it for shit.
Persephone:Roses are red, violets are blue…sunflowers are yellow…tulips come in all kinds of colors…daffodils are also yellow. Apollo: Was that supposed to be a poem? Persephone: No, I just like flowers.
*shyly whispers* do u think u could do another Greek Mythology story~
“Your tapestries are so
fine,” the merchant says in wonder, “that you must be blessed by the goddess
Arachne tosses her
head, braided hair falling over her shoulder like an obsidian waterfall,
“What’s Athena got to do with it? My hands wove these, not hers.”
The merchant blanches
and looks to the sky, as if expecting Zeus himself to smite them for blasphemy.
Personally, she thinks the king of the gods has better thing to do with his
time. “Ah,” he says weakly, “I suppose.”
He pays her for her
wares and she leaves, almost immediately bumping into a hunched old woman with
grey eyes. “Do you not owe Athena thanks for your talent?” she croaks, gnarled
hands curled over a cane.
Arachne is not stupid,
but she is foolish. They will tell tales of it. She looks into those grey eyes
and declares, “Athena should thank me,
since my talents earn her so much praise.”
She pushes past her and
keeps walking, ignoring the goddess in humans skin as she disappears into the
They will tell tales of
her hubris. They will all be true.
The next day she bumps
into the same old woman at the market. Everything goes downhill from there.
“Know your place,
mortal,” Athena says, grey eyes narrowed. There is a crowd around them, and
Arachne could save herself, could walk away unscathed, and all she has to do is
say her weaving is inferior to that of a goddess.
She will not lie.
“I do,” she says
coolly, “and in this matter, it is above you.”
She is not honest as a
virtue, but as a vice.
Athena challengers her
to a weaving contest. She accepts.
Gods are not so hard to
find, if you know where to look.
“It’s a volcano,” the
baker repeats, looking down at her coins, as if he feels guilty for taking
money from someone who’s clearly not all there.
She grabs her bag of
sweet breads and adds it to her pack before swinging it over her shoulders,
“Yes, I know. Half a day’s walk, you said?”
“A volcano,” he insists, as if she did not hear him perfectly well the
first dozen times.
“Thank you for your
help,” she says. He’s shaking his head at her, but she knows what she’s doing.
She walks. She grows
hungry, but does not touch the bread she paid for, and walks some more. The
sun’s begun to set by the time she makes it to the base of the volcano. It’s
tall, impossibly large, and for a moment the promise of defeat threatens to
But Arachne does not
believe in defeat, in loss. They will tell tales of her hubris. Those tales
will be true.
She ties a scarf around
her braids then hikes her skirt up and ties the material so it falls only to
her thighs. She fits work roughened hands into the divots of cooled magma and
begins her slow ascent.
The muscles in her legs
and arms shake, and her hunger pains are almost as distracting. Her once white
dress is dirt smeared and torn and sweat makes her itch as it covers her body
and drips down her back.
“What are you doing?”
Arachne turns her head
and bites back a scream, looking into one giant eye. The cyclops holds easily
to the volcano’s edges, even though her hands are torn and bleeding. She
swallows and says, “I heard you like honeyed bread. Is it true?”
The creature tilts his
head to the side, baring his long fanged teeth at her. She thinks he might be
smiling. “You’ve been climbing for hours. What do you want?”
“Is it true?” she
repeats, refusing to flinch.
“Yes,” he says, looking
at her the same way the baker had, “it’s true.”
“There’s some sweet
bread in my pack, baked this morning,” she says, “it should still be soft.”
His hands are big
enough and strong enough that it could probably squeeze her head like a grape. Instead
he gently undoes her pack and reaches inside. The honey buns look comically
small in his large hands, and he swallows half of them in one bite. He licks
his fingers clean when he’s done, and his smile is just as terrifying the
second time around. “I am Brontes. Why are you climbing my master’s volcano?”
“I’m the weaver
Arachne,” she takes a deep breath, “I need your master’s help.”
They tell tales of
They are not true.
He’s got a broad,
angular face and short brown hair. His eyes are like amber set into his face,
and his arms are huge, and he’s rippling muscle from the waist up. He has legs
only to his knees. From there down his legs are bronze gears and golden wire,
replacements for the legs destroyed when Hera threw him from Mount Olympus.
“Had your look, girl?”
he asks, voice rough like he’s always a moment away from breaking into a
“Yes,” she says, and
doesn’t turn away, keeps looking.
His lips quirk up at
the corners, so it was the right move. The heat is even more oppressive inside
the volcano, and all around him cyclopses work, forging oddly shaped metal that
she can’t hope to understand. “You’ve gone to an awful lot of trouble to find me,
girl. What do you want?”
She slides her pack off
her shoulders and holds it out to the god, “I have a gift for your wife. I have
woven her a cloak.”
He raises an eyebrow
and doesn’t reach for the bag, “You believe something made with mortal hands
could be worthy of the goddess of beauty?”
They will tell tales of
They will all be true.
With a gust of wind the
oppressive heat of the volcano is swept away, leaving her chilled. In its place
stands a woman – more than a woman. Aphrodite has skin like the copper of her
husband’s machines and hair dark and thick and long. Her eyes are deepest,
richest brown, piercing in their intelligence. People don’t tell tales of
Aphrodite’s cleverness. That is because people are stupid.
“Let’s see it then,”
she says, reaching inside the pack and pulling the cloak from its depths.
It unrolls beautifully.
It’s made from the finest silks, and it shimmers in the light from the forges.
The hem of the cloak is sea foam, speaking of Aphrodite’s beginning, and up
along the cloak is intricate patterns it tells of her life, of her marriage and
her worshippers and escapades, all with the detail of the most experienced
artist and the reverence of her most devoted followers.
Her lips part in
surprise and she slides it on, twirling like a child. “Gorgeous,” Hephaestus
says, though Arachne knows he does not speak of the cloak. She doesn’t take
The goddess smiles and
Arachne’s heart pounds in her chest. She does her best to ignore it – Aphrodite
is the goddess of love, after all. It is only expected. “Very well,” the
goddess says, “you have my attention.”
Aphrodite’s attention is a heavy thing. “I have offended Athena,” she says,
“She has challenged me to a weaving contest.”
Their faces somber.
Hephaestus rubs the edge of a sleeve between his fingers and says, “Athena will
lose such a contest, if judged fairly. She does not take loss well.”
“I know,” she says,
“you are friendly with Hades, are you not?”
There are no tales of
their friendship. But she’s staking her life on its existence, because why
wouldn’t it exist – both of them even tempered, both shunned by Olympus, both
Gods hate being made to
feel lesser. It is why they say Persephone was kidnapped, why they say
Aphrodite cheats with Ares. It is why Athena will crush her when Arachne wins
the weaving contest.
“Clever girl,” Hephaestus
Aphrodite stares at her
reflection in a convenient piece of polished silver. Arachne assumes Hephaestus
left if lying there for that express purpose. “Very well!” the goddess says,
not looking at her, “when Athena sends you to the underworld, we will entrench
upon our uncle for your release.” She turns on her heel and points a finger at
her. Arachne blushes for no reason she can think of. “In return, you will weave
me a gown, one equal to my own beauty.”
A gown as exquisite as
the goddess of beauty. An impossible task.
They will tell tales of
They will all be true.
The contest goes as
expected. Athena’s tapestry is lovely, but Arachne’s is lovelier.
The goddess’s face goes
red in rage, and her grey eyes narrow. Arachne stands tall, ready to accept the
death blow coming for her.
The blow comes.
Death does not.
She is an insect. Even if she can make it back to Hephaestus’s
volcano, even if they can help her, they will not know it is her. She has no
hope left, no course of action, she should just give up. But –
She doesn’t believe in
defeat, in loss.
It was a terribly long
journey on foot, that first time. It is even longer this time, although now she
has eight legs instead of two. She makes it to the volcano, and creeps in
between crevices, until she finds out a hollowed room, one with a sliver of
sunlight and plenty of bugs to keep her fed.
Athena’s cruel joke of
allowing her to weave will be her downfall. Her silk comes out a golden yellow
color – it will look exquisite against Aphrodite’s copper skin.
It takes seven years
for her to complete it. She hasn’t left this room in the volcano in all that
time, and as soon as it’s done she scurries out back toward the village. She’s
a large insect, but not that large.
She arrives just as the
sun begins to rise, and leaves before the first rays have even touched the
earth, her prize tied to her back with her own silk.
Arachne doesn’t return
to her room. Instead she goes to the more popular parts of the volcano, hurries
and runs around terrifying stomping feet until she finds who she’s looking for
and scurries up his leg and onto his shoulder.
“Huh,” Brontes looks
onto his shoulder and blinks. “What on earth are you?”
She cautiously skitters
down his arm, waiting. He bends closer and lightly touches her back. “Is – is that
a piece of a honey bun?”
She looks up at him,
waiting. It’s her only chance, if he doesn’t remember, if he doesn’t understand
His face slowly fills with
a cautious kind of wonder. “Arachne?” She
jumps in place, being unable to nod, and Brontes cautiously cradles her in his
massive hands, “We must find the Master immediately!”
She jumps down, landing
in front of him and running forward. “Wait!” he calls, and she makes sure he’s running
after her before skittering back to her corner of the cave. It’s almost too
small for him to enter but he squeezes inside and breathes, “Oh.” He stares for
several moments, and Arachne climbs her web and waits. Brontes shakes himself
out of his reverie and uses his powerful wings to bellow, “MISTRESS APHRODITE!”
There’s that same
breeze and she’s in the crevice with them, “What was so important, Brontes,
that you had to yell?”
Arachne sees the exact
moment that the goddess sees the gown, golden yellow and glimmering, made
entirely of spider silk. “Beautiful,” she says, reaching out a hand to brush
down the bodice. Her head then snaps up, “Brontes, where’s Arachne?”
She warms at that, that
Aphrodite knew it was her weaving even though she hasn’t been seen in seven
They’ve told tales of
They are all true.
Brontes points at the
web, and Aphrodite steps over and holds out her hands. Arachne crawls onto the
goddess’s palms. “Athena is more powerful than I am, I cannot undo her work,”
she says, “but I know someone who can.”
Then they are in front
of a river. A handsome young man stands there waiting with a boat. “Goddess
Aphrodite,” he says, “we weren’t expecting you.”
returns, “I need to see Persephone.”
The man’s face stays
cool, and for a moment Arachne fears they will be refused and she will be stuck
in this form forever. Then he smiles and says, “My lady is of course available
for her favored niece.” He holds out a hand to help her onto the boat, “Please
come with me.”
Arachne weaves a dress
for Hades’s wife as a thank you, and returns to her volcano.
“I can take you
somewhere else,” Aphrodite says, “you don’t have to hide here.”
Arachne pauses at her
loom. She has lived in this volcano for seven years. It’s her home. “Would you
like me to leave?” she asks instead.
Aphrodite scoffs, “Of
course not! How could I dress myself without you here?” She’s wearing the
spider silk dress Arachne spun for her, and she’s working on another for the
goddess now. Aphrodite runs a gentle finger down Arachne’s cheek and for a
moment she forgets to breathe. “You are the finest weaver to ever exist.”
She looks up at the
goddess, “Then as the god of crafts and goddess of beautiful things, where else
would I belong besides with you and Hephaestus?”
To declare your company
equal to that of gods is the height of arrogance and blasphemy.
They tell tales of her
“An excellent point,”
Aphrodite murmurs, and tucks a stray braid behind Arachne’s ear.
Hestia comforts the children of broken homes, she appears to
them as a school councilor that always has cookies. They cry in her arms, and
she lets them stay with her for as long as she can. She stopped calling home,
stopped making strongly worded comments to the parents. All there is left are
broken homes and suffering children.
Hera sits next to her sister, holds her hand and thinks
about the broken marriages that lead to broken homes. She listens to the
couples yelling at each other while she walks on the streets. She holds the
crying women, she listens to the hopeless men. All of the power that a goddess
of marriage possesses cannot help the people who were betrayed by their closest
After a long day, Demeter sits on the ground in her garden, holds
a cup of tea in hands that have dirt all over them. She wishes that more people
would remember what is under all of the concrete. She feels the dying of her
world, and curses those who do not care for it.
whoa ok step back, daedalus built a cow suit for a woman who wanted to fuck a bull and that's why the minotaur WAS A THING? I DID NOT KNOW THIS
I honestly think that I’d be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t tell you about the time Daedalus enabled rampant bestiality, so allow me to clear this gap in your knowledge.
Anyone who doesn’t want to read a poorly retold myth about a man who built a cow suit so realistic that it totally fooled a magic bull into laying down some absolutely quality homo-bovine dick and siring a minotaur should probably press J on their keyboard right now, but honestly if that synopsis doesn’t do it for you then you should probably just quit Greek mythology all together.
So, Minos is this guy who manages to achieve the dual feat of being both King of Crete and an incorrigible asshole. Also, the first achievement is a really tenuous one, because Minos has like a billion brothers and he’s basically Malcolm in the Middle and all his brothers are better looking than him and they have way better abs and it’s really awkward every year at Christmas because they’re all “could you pass the stuffing, Minos? Also you’re totally stuffed because I’m going to be king one day haha suck it, right on” and so Minos starts to get really worried that he’s going to lose the throne to one of his more lustrous-locked brothers and then he’ll be stuck with just the one achievement of being an incorrigible asshole and so he has a little brood and he comes up with a plan.
One day, he goes up to Poseidon, god of the sea and all things wet (or at least that’s what he tells girls at the Olympus nightclubs) and he’s like “hey, Poseidon, could you do me a solid?” and Poseidon is like “no bro but I can do you a liquid” and they have a little manly giggle and then Minos says “no but really, I need a favour” and Poseidon is like “well, you just gave me a golden opportunity to mock the states of matter, I’m 100% up for doing any favour you want” and Minos says “well, you know how I have loads of brothers” and Poseidon is like “you mean the better looking ones?” and Minos pouts and says “looks aren’t everything, but yes, those ones” and Poseidon is like “go on” and Minos says “well, I need them to stop trying to steal the throne because it’s getting really annoying and also I can’t sleep at night any more and it’s driving my hot wife insane, could you maybe show that you totally support me being King of Crete? That way, they’ll definitely stop being dicks at Christmas” and Poseidon just nods and says “I have a great idea for how I can do this”
and Minos is like “wow, are you going to send down an army of merpeople and slaughter all my brothers in a righteous and watery battle?” and Poseidon is like “no” and Minos says “are you going to conjure up a giant tidal wave and make it destroy all my brothers’ homes but leave my palace totally intact?” and Poseidon is like “no” and Minos says “well, are you going to turn all my brothers into mermen?” and Poseidon is like “look, I’m going to send you a bull”
and Minos just blinks and says “a bull” and Poseidon nods and grins and says “yes, a bull” and Minos says “THAT’S bull” and Poseidon points behind him and says “no, THAT’S a bull” and then he brings out this fucking phenomenal bull. Like, this bull puts all other bulls to shame. It’s glowing white and it’s as big as two ordinary bulls and probably twice as virile. It’s basically overcompensation in taurine form. Anyway, this bull is so bitchin’ that immediately, all of Minos’ brothers are like “wow, nope, you can keep that throne, we don’t want Poseidon to sic his sick bull on us” and basically Minos lives happily ever after with his incredible bull.
Until eventually Poseidon shows up at Minos’ palace and says “hey, Minos, you know that really awesome bull I lent you a while back?” and Minos is like “what bull” and Poseidon is like “the magical snow white bull which gleamed in the Cretan sun like limestone and Apollo’s cheekbones” and Minos is like “oh, THAT bull” and Poseidon is like “yes, that bull, now where is it because I’m having a bull party next week and I really want it back” and Minos says “well, here’s the thing, and it’s kind of a funny story really and I’m sure we’ll laugh about it later, maybe we could even laugh about it now, ha, but anyway all jokes aside I’m keeping the bull” and Poseidon is all “like fuck you’re keeping that bull, it’s my best bull, this is bullshit” and Minos is like “that’s one of the hazards of keeping a bull, maybe you’re not cut out for it” and Poseidon says “you haven’t heard the end of this, Minos, you have made a very powerful and watery enemy” and he leaves and Minos goes and, like, pets the bull or something, I don’t know what you do with bulls.
So, Poseidon goes back to his soggy lair and formulates a plan, and he eventually comes up with something straight out of Quentin Tarantino’s brie-induced nightmares. He goes to find Aphrodite, the goddess of love and afternoon delight, and says “hey Aphrodite, first of all you look delectable and secondly I need you to help me make a woman bang a bull” and Aphrodite is like “I honestly hate this job sometimes, but you’re right, I do look delectable, tell me more” and Poseidon is like “I had this really sweet bull and I lent it to Minos so he would think I liked him and now he won’t give it back and so I need you to make his wife fall in love with the bull, it’s a foolproof vengeance plan” and Aphrodite says “you are a god” and Poseidon says “yes” and Aphrodite says “why can’t you just, you know, take back the bull with your divine power?” and Poseidon is like “look, are you going to make this woman fall in love with the bull or not” and Aphrodite is like “fuck yes, that sounds hilarious, consider it done and I want front row seats” and Poseidon is like “you are my favourite niece and occasional lover, I owe you one”
Back to the palace at Crete, where Minos’ wife, Pasiphaë, is lounging about on a contemporary equivalent to a chaise-lounge when she suddenly gets this unmistakable urge to do the do with a bull - but not just any bull, her loins quiver only for the bull in her husband’s barnyard. Instead of doing what most people would do when they realise they have an insatiable urge to make tender love to a bull and immediately committing herself to months of therapy, she thinks “I know what I have to do” and she picks up the contemporary equivalent of a phone and calls Daedalus, inventor and architect extraordinaire.
She’s all “hey, Daedalus, we have patient confidentiality, right?” and Daedalus is like “I’m not your doctor, so no” and she’s like “well, I’m your Queen, so how about you say ‘yes’ instead and I tell you what I want?” and Daedalus is like “my lips are sealed, tell me what you need” and she’s all “well, there’s this really rad guy and I totally want to just lay him down and lick chocolate sauce off his body, but there’s a hitch in my plan” and Daedalus says “yeah, you’re married” and Pasiphaë says “yes, and also he’s a bull” and Daedalus is like “do you mean he’s well hung or” and Pasiphaë is like “look man you gotta help me on this, I need me some sweet bullocking and only you can help me” and Daedalus says “I’ll do what I can, but I hope you have a damn good shower at your palace because I may need to use it for about 6 weeks afterwards” and she’s like “done, now get over here and get me some”
So Daedalus turns up and helps her, and in the blink of an eye, he’s built her this monstrous wooden cow suit. Now, the myth is not exactly clear on the mechanics of this bovine sex toy, but it’s established that Pasiphaë gets into the cow suit and goes to find her bullock beau and they make sweet, sweet cattle love all day and all night. I do not know how she manoeuvres herself inside this wooden furry abomination and frankly I do not want to know, but whatever she does is 100% successful because 9 months later she gives birth to another furry abomination. The good news is that he’s a healthy, bouncing baby boy. The bad news is that he is half baby and half bull and also he has this really annoying habit that most newborns don’t have of eating people, which means that Minos is the definition of Not Impressed with his new stepson, so he does what any sane human would do in this situation, and he calls Daedalus.
Daedalus says “I’m in the shower, what do you want?” and Minos is like “look, my wife has committed a slight indiscretion and I need you to take care of the result” and Daedalus is like “she fucked a bull and she’s had a grotesque hybrid baby, hasn’t she” and Minos narrows his eyes and says “how do you know?” and Daedalus says “just a stab in the dark, mate, I had no hand in this at all, literally none, just let me wash my hands a minute and I’ll be right back” and Minos is like “just build something to trap that devil spawn, because it’s started to eat my servants and I never even wanted a stepson anyway, it’s just one more claim to the throne isn’t it” and Daedalus is like “dude, give me a week and it’ll be done”
and so Daedalus constructs this impenetrable labyrinth that’s so impregnable that Daedalus nearly gets lost on the way out, and they lob the minotaur tot right into the middle of it, and that’s that.
Except then the minotaur starts demanding the sacrifice of seven young men every year, who are tossed into the labyrinth and forced to play a fatal game of cat and mouse with a grotesque superpowered man-bull creature that will ultimately devour them, flesh from bone, at the heart of a labyrinth that only he can navigate, but that’s a story for another myth. Or The Maze, starring Dylan O’Brien, out in a multiplex near you.
y’know, I know that tumblr gets a lot of shit for being obsessed with a Persephone, how they make her into something that she’s not supposed to be and misinterpret the actual myth etc. etc, but honestly? The fact that the people who are changing Persephone into who she has become to tumblr– the young woman who claims agency over herself and isn’t half so helpless as men would make her out to be,
the woman who licks her fingers after every pomegranate seed, the woman who walks into hell with sunlight in her eyes, flowers in her hair, and hard ambition in her heart, –the people who do that are most often teenage girls themselves. It’s an act of reclaiming a piece of what’s practically pop culture and adapting it to the times, just like myths have always meant to be. It’s taking the story of a victimized girl and making it the story of a queen.
What's your take on the world ending for the Greek Gods? Or when they cease to be relevant to mankind, and what happens to them? Would Athena, Aphrodite and Artemis take the streets and march for Pride? Would Demeter be the manager at a zoo?
Time passes. The world changes. Temples fall. People now
speak their names as if they are fairytales.
The gods are dead.
Apollo’s chariot lies broken and forgotten in the ruins of a
city no one knows the name of anymore. He watches the sun crawl across the sky
of its own volition, without him to push it forward.
“Do you miss it?” Artemis asks him, appearing by his side. They stand at the top of a sparkling glass
building, almost the same as ever. She walks among the mortals more than he
does, she always has, and She’s dressed like one of them. Tight clothes and half
her head shaved, sparkling gems curling up the delicate shell of her ear. She
looks like one of the teenagers that fill his concert stadiums.
He thinks of the way his chariot threatened to escape his
grasp every morning, the oppressive heat of the sun beating down on him, the
burns and the undercurrent of fear that one day he would lose his grip on the
reins and plunge the world into darkness.
Apollo leans his head on his sister’s shoulder. The sun
rises slower without him, but it rises just the same. “No. Not really.”
Hephaestus’s workshop has evolved with the times – from a
volcano base to a modern lab, but always a workshop bursting with creation. The
cyclopes are still his best assistants.
Aphrodite steps over discarded parts and expertly walks
around frantic cyclopes carrying bubbling concoctions. Her dark hair is swept
up in a bun and she wears chunky glasses and a blood red pantsuit that almost
hides the fact she’s the most beautiful woman to walk the earth. “I have a
client, try not to blow up the house. Again.”
“Yes dear,” he says, but doesn’t looks away from his
soldering. She hadn’t expected him too. His prosthetics are off and on the
floor besides him, and he’s seated on a too-tall chair to compensate for the
loss of height.
She reaches out and carefully touches the corner of his eye.
Crow’s feet have started to work their way onto his face. They’re getting old. “It’s
the couple that’s fighting because he wants kids and she doesn’t want to carry
any kids but doesn’t want to say that. It would probably be easier if I just
told them to adopt and threw them out the window.”
“Yes dear,” he repeats, sparks flying. A few land on her,
but she doesn’t burn. Of course.
She moves her hand up and pushes it through his hair and
resists the urge to pull him from his work and abandon her own so they can make
out on his worktable. “I love you.”
Aphrodite turns to leave, but Hephaestus grabs her wrist and
pulls her back. He holds up a single copper lily, the edges of the petals still
glowing with heat it had taken to shape them. He carefully slides the stem into
her hair so it sits at the base of her bun. He grazes her bottom lip with his
thumb as he pulls his hand back to his side. “Yes dear.”
She makes imprudent deals to control an earth that no longer
falls under her domain, and she enacts her revenge against the mortals in
whatever way she can. They have forgotten her, forgotten the earth, and in
their ignorance they seek to destroy it.
She shakes the bedrock and splits it open, but still they do
not learn, and as the temperature of the earth rises so does her temper.
The sea is not hers to command, her power is of earth and of
earth alone, and even now she gave more than could afford to lose to keep her
grasp on it. But these mortals do not learn.
Demeter goes to the sea and makes an inadvisable bargain. She
goes to the crumbling remains of Olympus and makes an even worse one.
Typhoons and hurricanes whip across the land. If they seek
to destroy her, she will simply destroy them first.
Hera sits on a pure white couch in an elegant mansion,
smiling for the journalist seated across from her.
“What do you think is the most influential decision you ever
made?” he asks, “If you could pinpoint the success of your business to one
moment, what would it be?”
She tilts her head as the light of the camera flashes. “Why,
divorcing my husband, of course.”
“Would that be your advice to young women hoping to be as successful
as you?” he asks, “To not get married?”
Hera thinks of thousands of years by Zeus’s side, and how
little it got her. She thinks of Hestia’s men, and Artemis’s women, of Hephaestus’s
love for Aphrodite, of the way Hades softened the sharpest of Persephone’s edges.
She says, “Do not get married to someone who makes you less
than you are. If you are not a better person for being together than apart,
then do not be together. It’s as simple as that.”
Simple, but not easy.
Leaving Zeus was the hardest thing she’s ever done.
Persephone isn’t forced to spend half the year on the mortal
earth anymore. She goes when she pleases, which isn’t often.
Sometimes she’ll sit by Artemis’s side while she brings a
new life into the world and holds the warm, wriggly child first. She visits
hospitals and makes the flowers bloom out of season, and spends long hours
sitting under the sun and feeling it’s warmth touch her face.
Hades left his realm rarely before, and even more rarely
now. More people are being born than ever, meaning more people are dying than
ever. Their realm is massive, comprising of all the dead of several millennia.
Hades and Hecate spend their days as always – desperately trying to expand the
realm so that they don’t all have to live on top of each other.
“Have you heard?” she asks one day, seated on his desk and
leaning across it so he can’t work on the latest draft for another level of
their realm. “The gods are dead.”
He gives up on attempting to tug it out from underneath her.
“Are they? That’s odd, none of them are here.”
Persephone doesn’t bother to hide her smile. They haven’t
figured it out yet. Maybe they never will. But when death comes for them, as
death does for all, it will be to Hades and Persephone’s door they are brought.
Hades himself will usher Gaia and Amphitrite into the underworld, when the time
That time is not today.
“Darling, I really do need to work on this,” he
ineffectually tugs on the map again.
She pushes him back into the chair, climbing on top of him
and pressing their foreheads together. “No, you don’t.”
“No, I don’t,” he agrees, and obligingly moves his head so
Persephone can nibble at his neck. He manages a whole thirty seconds before
going, “I mean, I really do, Hecate said if I didn’t have a plan by the time
she leaves for the mortal realm tomorrow, I’ll either have to wait until she
gets back or do it by myself, and I’d really prefer to do neither–”
Persephone kisses him to shut him up, twisting and pushing
them through the realm so they land on their bed. “I’ll help you finish it
later. Focus on me now.”
Hades doesn’t answer, but he does flip them so he’s above
her and reaches below her skirt, so she’ll take that as agreement.
Hestia sits around a bonfire, watching a group of teenagers
get drunk and dance around the flames. They’ll never be younger than right now,
never feel as much love for each other as they do right now.
She is besides an old man who warms his hands from the fire
coming from an abandoned trash can.
She lies on a bed as a girl lights two dozen candles around it
as a surprise for when her lover gets home.
She watches a young man make dinner for his boyfriend for
the first time and burn the chicken on both sides. They eat it together anyway.
She sits on the kitchen counter when a sister takes out a
pie from the oven, made special for her little brother’s birthday.
She is there when a father ticks the thermostat up high in
freezing dawn of morning so it will be warm by the time his wife and children awaken.
Most people don’t have hearths anymore. But there is warmth,
and love, and for Hestia that is enough.
As their names fade from existence, as his name is called
less and less on the battlefields of mortal men, the more Ares sleeps.
He falls asleep in too tall trees and on park benches. He
sleeps in seedy motel rooms and naps in every one of Athena’s libraries. He
sleeps curled up on a chair in Aphrodite’s office, and on the floors of a lot
of veteran resource centers. As fast as he can tell, that’s the most they help
Still, his favorite place to sleep is the underworld.
He goes knocking on Orpheus’s door, who is always willing to
play for him. “Hades is here,” Eurydice says, “Would you like to me to go get
He shakes his head, “Persephone is home. I wouldn’t want to
Eurydice and Orpheus share the same look of faint disapproval,
but neither of the say anything, for which he is grateful.
He lies in the soft grass of the garden Persephone made, and
lets Orpheus’s playing lull him to sleep.
Later, he’s woken by strong arms picking him up and holding
him against a familiar chest. He doesn’t even have to open his eyes to know who’s
holding him. “I can go,” he yawns, his actions at odds with his words as he
pulls himself even closer the warmth coming off the king of the underworld.
“No,” Hades says. “Stay.”
Ares lets out a content sigh as Hades presses his lips to
his forehead, and he’s not great about touch, about people laying their hands
on him and getting in his space. But Hades has always felt safe, felt like
pale pink bubblegum, diamond-studded tiaras, selfies always on point, screeching along to the radio, twirling around in a new dress, cheesecake, pastel orange sunrises, sunflowers, oversized sunglasses, sparkly lip gloss.
singing in the shower, classical music, seashell necklaces, waking up late, reading on the porch, lazy summer afternoons, sandy fingers, too much eyeliner, worn flip flops, dark blue, walking around barefoot, warm bubble baths.
collecting violet wildflowers, stardusted nights, wineglasses, laughter like bells, planting seeds in a garden, long shadows, running faster than the wind, moonlight glinting off silver necklaces, fireflies, plum-colored lipstick, weaving flower crowns.