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The Mark of Hades
Writer Chloe Quinn
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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The Mark of Hades
A - A - A
Intro 2 3 4 5 6 7
Chloe Quinn
No Plagiarism!zzAPWjp2dJftDLTDI5vqposted on PENANA

Prologue copyright protection97PENANAKylN8e7mlP

Abe knew the smell of a hellhound; the stench of death, rotting and foul, and invading everything it touched. His old human instincts told him to run, that it was idiotic to be in the middle of a cemetery. It was feeding the hellhound. If he left it too long he’d have to call in to the council for backup. His comrades would never let him hear the end of it.copyright protection97PENANAyUo8KlsanF

Peering out across the vast cemetery he watched as the low mist swirled ominously amongst the tombstones, glowing beneath a full moon. Double-bad juju, as Ingrid might mutter. His hand hovered over his sword, twitching anxiously. He wouldn’t draw, not until the hellhound appeared. After all, he may have been immortal, but he wasn’t about to tempt fate. It had a way of stinging him in the arse when he least expected it.copyright protection97PENANATD8xo2a67F

“Come out, come out, wherever you are little hound,” he sang quietly as he made his way down amongst the tombstones. “I’ll make this quick.”copyright protection97PENANAwRdSFl7MHt

A shadow flashed in the corner of his eye. He spun to face it but it vanished out of view. What a quick little hound you are, he thought admiringly, and smart too. Normally, hellhounds were mindless servants of Hades, which was normal after a long time under his control. For one to be smart still, to be wary of him and not attack immediately, was rare, and meant it had only turned recently. He felt a stab of pity. Most hellhounds have no idea of their origin until they turn. Heck, how they even come about is a mystery; some say people strike deal with Hades, other say genetic like werewolves, a few even say they’re cursed souls. None lived long enough to be asked. They’d all been too far gone to save.copyright protection97PENANABgn0p8lRiJ

The shadow darted again, closer but still out of sight, out of reach. It seemed curious, lingering wisely just out of his range, and measuring him. Then, as he lifted his gaze, sensing the mist shift slightly, he saw it. Two luminous blue eyes from within the mist itself, a mere shadowy form of a large wolf, half hidden behind a tombstone. As it held his gaze the hellhound remained where it was. He took a step forward, it took two back. His hand brushed his sword and a low, feral snarl resounded before him.copyright protection97PENANAwcmFJLHTRP

“So, you know what this is, what I am.”copyright protection97PENANAyoHLhm7p9P

To his surprise the hound took a brazen step forward, snarling. “Hunter.copyright protection97PENANASL6gLvo6mG

The voice sounded female, though hoarse and thunderous. Power resounded in that voice. He stilled. Never in his long life had he heard a hellhound talk. It seemed impossible. Yet, he knew he wasn’t hearing things. The hound said what he was, knew his sword – maybe it even sensed all the lives claimed by it. It was possible.copyright protection97PENANAQTTdyCYgvQ

 “So, why did you stop here? I mean, points for the creepy factor and this is a usual haunt for your kind but I’ve been hunting you for three days now. You knew I was following you. So, why stop here?”copyright protection97PENANA54fMQx9YWi

He didn’t expect some sort of long winded explanation but he was curious. As far as tracking had gone it had been three hard days. The hellhound was quick and knew how to cover her tracks. It hadn’t been easy to find her but then, barely ten hours prior, he’d found more and more clues. At first, it had seemed like she was becoming sloppy, then it was obvious. She was drawing him in but why? So, he’d followed, somewhat cautiously and come to the cemetery.copyright protection97PENANANO3T4PpsWL

The hellhound circled closer, clinging to the shadows until it stepped into the moonlight before him. Black fur shimmered silver, the ends translucent as she shifted from paw to paw, uneasy at being still. Frost blue eyes stared back, watching him keenly.copyright protection97PENANA9MF2ZeFYub

It took a step forward, then another – the wind gusted suddenly through the cemetery. Her head pricked up suddenly, eyes narrowing. Her mouth peeled back, snarling low and viciously, and her hackles pricked up.copyright protection97PENANAPAf4n6Bw4x

“What is it?”copyright protection97PENANAPSmTMqIbTE

Death,” came the snarled response.copyright protection97PENANAW3rC5rQLpk

Abe followed her gaze through the low mist. A man materialised from shadow, clad in black leathers and a tattered cloak hung across broad shoulders. He felt that familiar chill snake down his spine. It had been two thousand years since he saw the figure walking towards him. He stopped a couple feet away when the hellhound’s snarls grew into furious barks, teeth gnashing together. She was holding back, however, though Abe didn’t know why. He felt confused, like he’d been cornered. Only, he didn’t know who was pulling the strings. The hellhound? Or the prick walking towards them?copyright protection97PENANAWeVbiiiUPm

“Hello Thanatos. Been a long time,” said Abe coldly. “How is the God of the Death?”copyright protection97PENANAsEeOy0fgc8

“Waiting for you,” he replied. “Now, step aside. I’m here to collect.”copyright protection97PENANAV9cmLiNB3c

The hellhound shifted a fraction closer to him. It started to dawn on him. Had she seen him as the better option to Thanatos? She didn’t know him but maybe she thought he might be able to do something. It was far more intelligence than he was expecting. Far more than any hellhound he’d met before. She glanced up at him with those far too knowing eyes, judging him. Trusting him, too, though quite reluctantly, eyes seeming to say, don’t make me regret picking you. copyright protection97PENANAWZrRaKatEZ

The clever hound had backed him into a corner. Bureau protocol stated he should step aside and let Thanatos claim her. On the other hand, he hated Thanatos for a myriad of wonderful screwed up reasons, so one-upping the God of Death by denying him the collection of a hound for Hades was sorely tempting.copyright protection97PENANAP7E4Vc5ath

“I’m probably going to regret this – you know what? I’m not. I take that back,” declared Abe. “She’s with me.”copyright protection97PENANAjoqvKcOxNR

“No, she’s not. She’s using you to ignore what must happen. Besides, you’re only going to kill her,” he said calmly.copyright protection97PENANAKKQcC1WMuB

Those are my orders but pissing off the council I can live with. What is really rewarding, however, is denying you. Childish I know but I’m petty like that. Besides, this one doesn’t want to go with you and besides, I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress – or hellhound in distress as the case is,” Abe replied breezily. “So, unless I’m mistaken, given I’ve already staked a claim on her as a living person, you can’t touch her.”copyright protection97PENANAMjIqoDDtO6

Thanatos scowled; an ugly expression on a usually dark and beautiful face. Death was beautiful, if not anything else. His mouth, after a moment, pressed into a tight line before relaxing into a deep, irritated sigh. Then he smiled, a Cheshire cat that had all the cream.copyright protection97PENANAL8ucEfosNc

“She won’t be bound to you or anyone. Why do you think Hades sent me personally to collect her? Your word will only protect her for so long. It’s not permanent.”copyright protection97PENANAjyW9KybGkF

“I know but do run along little God. This one isn’t yours or Hades today.”copyright protection97PENANAh7Z0ynEbRt

It looked like Thanatos wanted to fight it but he was bound. He had rights over death and the hellhound was a creature of one. Yet, when a living soul claimed ownership, especially one who still held enough unpaid debts with the right deities, the God of Death’s hands were bound. So he bowed with a stiff smile, then rose, dissolving into a plume of smouldering ash, carried away by a gust of wind.copyright protection97PENANAiCBMPg2dIP

Alone, the hellhound looked up, just for a split second, then took off. Abe stepped forward.copyright protection97PENANAp2nmc7UnOf

“If you run he’ll just come after you and I can’t let you leave, not alive anyway,” he shouted after her.copyright protection97PENANA26n16VpK6g

At the tree line she stopped dead. A low, resonating snarl ripped through the trees. Slowly, she turned and latched those cold, furious eyes on him. The anger radiated off her in thick, heavy waves.copyright protection97PENANAeoTPbJ5dWO

“Leave me.copyright protection97PENANA3mQqI3yDqm

“I can’t. If I fail the council will just send someone else and we both know Thanatos will return. The only way you’ll be safe is if you’re bound to someone living, which will keep you from Hades and may be enough to make the council happy to keep you alive.” He swallowed hard. “Look, I can’t die, so I’m your best chance at someone living that Thanatos can’t kill. Unless, you think you can find another like me in the time it takes for him to find you again?”copyright protection97PENANATttguzbUki

She snarled again at him and dug her paws into the ground. “Die.copyright protection97PENANAbyH5oTOu7L

“You’re welcome to, if that’s your choice. Look, if you want to live, be my partner. I won’t command you to heel, I won’t control you. You’d have a life, a place to learn how to control what you are. So, what do you say? Live as my partner, be enslaved by Hades or die before you leave this cemetery. Your choice.”copyright protection97PENANAia79BQc9uD

She stalked slowly towards him, her teeth glinting dangerously in the moonlight, threatening in low, vicious snarls. Reminding him of what she was, that though he couldn’t die, she could still hurt him. She stopped right before him, almost as tall so that those dangerous eyes stared nearly straight back at his, and stopped snarling.copyright protection97PENANAwn6ZEBzQvU

“Live,” she growled and, with a final short snarl, bowed her head.   copyright protection97PENANA8GtQMRJAlQ

Comments ( 7 )

Emoddess - Now that it's rewritten, I gotta say that it's better than the previous one :D
6 months agoreply

Chloe Quinn - It’s tying in with how I’ve decided this arc will go with Fay. For this book anyway. 
6 months agoreply

Emoddess - This seems like an interesting story! One thing though, it kinda sound to me like although Abe suddenly had a thought of offering something to her, it seemed like he was eager to save her (that's just the impression that I get from the dialogue) but the reason is not yet clear (like why does he want to do that out of the blue?)

What I mean is it sounded quite rushed on his part when he offered to save her and be his partner or suffer. Maybe it feels a bit odd when I read it (not really a big deal though so no worries I guess). That aside, I think the description of the story flows pretty well. Keep it up :)
6 months agoreply

Chloe Quinn - Yeah, I'd like to re-write this part. Stretch it out a fraction but thank you for the comments. I look forward to hearing further from you :)
6 months agoreply

Emoddess - @Chloe Quinn, :D
6 months agoreply

Chloe Quinn - @Emoddess, a new rough draft version up.
6 months agoreply

Emoddess - @Chloe Quinn, Alright! :)
6 months agoreply