Even before Zeus had betrayed him Hades was drawn to the dark. It called his name when he slept. He knew it wasn’t normal. None of the others were as fascinated with dark places and dark feelings as he was. He’d tried to resist it. Surrounded by his brothers and their friends, he could go for long stretches of time without dark thoughts or dark moods, but it was getting more difficult now.
Zeus had given him the Underworld as the spoils of ‘war’, after tearing down their parents’ iron fisted rule, but Hades knew it wasn’t his to give. Still, the dark corners of it pulled at him, whispered to him, comforted him. He’d started to feel comfortable there. Days would pass as he sat under a black sky, devoid of stars. But he was lonely. He needed company. All too often his mind would turn to the one thing he craved more than the darkness.
Since they were children he had been enamored with her, but she had shunned him at every turn. He knew though that was darkness within her. He’d seen her in battle when the titans fell. She had a dark instinct and she was drowning it with light.
Hades had spent the last few hours formulating a way to draw Persephone to him and as the darkness had filled his mind, he had formulated a plan. Making his way to the one entrance to the outside world, Hades called to any dark creature that might be near, to come to his aid.
As he reached the rocky opening to the light filled domain of Zeus, a raven settled on the branch of a nearby tree. Hades called it to him and whispered in its ear.
“Collect a blossom for me and bring it here.”
The bird flew on dark and glossy wings, returning quickly with a deep purple flower in its beak. It dropped the delicate bloom into Hades up turned palm and returned to its perch in the tree.
Taking the flower in his left hand, Hades pressed the finger nails of his right hand into his own palm until it drew blood. Holding his hand above the bloom he let one drop of his blood land in the heart of it; sending a small breath of pollen into the air. The blood soaked into the flower’s centre and the bloom darkened in colour. The scent of Hades blood would draw Persephone to him, the way the smell of her enemies blood drew her to the battlefield. He would appeal to her dark instincts and she would be his.
Sensing that its job was not complete, the raven hopped onto Hades’ forearm and stretched its head toward the dark flower. Hades gave up his grip as the bird took it in its beak.
“You know what I want,” he whispered, “take this to her and return to me when it’s done.”
The raven bowed his head and once again took flight. Hades smiled. Persephone would his by night fall and he would no longer be alone.
To be continued…