Just a little something I found. I'll be putting this up in small parts.
The laughter of the nymphs reached my ears as I lay in the tall grass enjoying Apollo’s light. Kalypso sat beside me, her golden hair spread out around her as she weaved flower stems together in a wreath. The aroma of roses, crocuses, and violets mixed with irises and hyacinths surrounded me and I smiled sleepily, content in my grassy bed. I looked up, blinking as someone blocked my light and found Artemis, standing with her hands on her hips. Her toga accentuated her athletic curves and her black hair flowed behind her in the breeze.
“Persephone, there is a boar further in the forest that I wish to hunt. The others follow me. Do you wish to join us?”
I shook my head and stretched my arms out. “I think I shall rest here for a while. Apollo’s rays are so warm that I can barely keep open my eyes. Kalypso may wish to accompany you.”
The nymph nodded, smiling and laid her flowery crown on my breast. She stood, dusting her dress off and joined hands with another of the nymphs.
Artemis leaned forward, kissing me on the cheek. “Rest well, cousin. We shall return triumphant.”
She set off in a graceful sprint towards the mountain. The nymphs’ laughter once again filled the meadow as they ran behind her. Soon their voices faded, replaced by the songs of small birds. I drifted into a light slumber, listening to their chirping.
The sweet scent of a flower woke me as it drifted on the wind. It was unlike anything I have ever smelled before. I sat up peering around the meadow dazedly. Unable to locate the source of the smell I climbed to my feet and the green waves of glass, using my hand to shade my eyes from the sun. A small amount of time had passed and Artemis had not yet returned from her hunt. I was alone in the meadow.
Intrigued by a flower would have such an intoxicating perfume, I followed the trail of the scent through the high grasses. I passed the roses and violets without a second glance, for I was quite familiar with their aroma. This was something new and I wanted to learn everything I could about it. The scent of the flower led outside the meadow and I paused, uncertain of whether to wait for the others or continue my search. This meadow was protected by my mother, for she feared my being alone. Even here she had me accompanied by Artemis and the nymphs for Artemis was skilled in battle and had a strong dislike for men. I sighed, torn between my curiosity and the inclination to obey my mother. Knowing Artemis, she would be on her hunt for the rest of the day. When she returned there would be no time to investigate my flower.
With a nervous breath, I stepped out of the protective confines of the meadow. I gained more courage with every step towards the forest as I tasted independence for the first time. I slowed my pace, admiring the way the shafts of sunlight hit the trees. The scent was stronger towards a small clearing and I stepped in eagerly, searching for the source. To the left of the clearing was a group of tiny white flowers. The shafts sprung up several inches with four or five snowy blossoms each. I knelt down taking one of the delicate blooms between my fingers.
“The Narcissus.” A man’s voice murmured close to my ear.
I jumped back startled, dropping the flower. My gaze traveled up the gold trimmed ebony toga to the cold pale face of my uncle. His black hair was slicked back and fell to his shoulders. His lips held a stiff smile, as if they were unused to such an action. That smile did not travel to his gray eyes, which traveled with icy calculation.
I backed away from him in silent uneasiness, searching for an escape route. I had seen very little of this uncle as my mother discouraged much interaction with my male family members, but he always frightened me with his aloofness.
“He waved his hand to the collection of flowers. “It is called the narcissus. Beautiful, aren’t they?”
I turned to run and found him in my path, holding a bouquet of narcissi to me. “Please, stay for a while? I would like to speak with you. Do you really wish to end your exploration so soon when you have only begun to have your first taste of freedom?”
I paused, biting my lip. While I was very wary of men, I did not want to end my little adventure just yet. Sensing my wavering attitude, he took a step back and motioned to a obsidian and gold chariot, pulled by a large black stallion. “Have you seen the mountain from an aerial view? It is a wonder that you should experience at least once. Shall we take a small tour?”
I stared at the chariot. What was the harm in one little ride? I nodded my head. My curiosity had overcome my wariness of him. I took the flowers and stepped into the chariot. There was very little room for two people, so when he stepped into the chariot he pressed close to me. His arms came around either side of me as he grabbed the reigns. I shivered as I felt his warm breath of the back of my neck.
He flicked the reigns with a “Hyah!” and the stallion reared and leaped into the air. The horse’s hooves made no sound as it galloped through the sky. I gave a gasp of amazement as we rose higher and higher. The large mountain covered by a blanket of green trees and the peak was capped with snow. I started down below as we circled the mountain and spotted the meadow. From here it was a bright emerald patch surrounded by the deeper green of the forest and brown of the mountain. I could make out small bursts of color which I guessed were the flowers.
So caught up was I in the wonder of seeing the area from the sky that I was completely taken by surprise when Hades abruptly reigned the horse into a fast decline. I began to struggle in horror as the ground rushed closer and he pulled me against him in a strong grip. He spread the fingers of his other hand apart and the earth split into two.
“No! Let me go! Please!” I beat my fist against his chest.
“Silence child! You should feel honored. I have chosen you to be my queen.” His voice was now coldly arrogant and he tightened his grip on me.
I screamed and covered my face as we passed into the crevice. Darkness surrounded me as the earth swallowed us.
To be continued next week in The Underworld.