Inspired by the concept and by my book, The Mark of Hades.
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The Vengeful Goddess
Sucker for pain – Lil Wayne
She sat in the darkness of her cave, stoking the smouldering remnants of her fire, her mind weary, thoughts loosely clinging together. Whispers nudged her mind, taunting her, teasing her. Dangerous, pretty lies. She ignored them and shoved the fire again. Fire spluttered briefly, then choked out again. Anger surged through her, sending energy skittering across her skin in black ribbons. It sharpened and thickened within her; then, just as it rose till it’s crescendo, she heard the scrape of footsteps at the mouth of her cave. She jumped to her feet, throwing a bolt of energy into the fire, killing it completely. Darkness consumed her but, within seconds, her eyes caught the details; the rough, grey stone and the dusty floor.
Her onyx eyes, cold as death, stared at the corner that obscured the entrance. The footsteps scraped again, slow, limping steps. A figure stumbled around the corner, catching on the wall. A man. Young (well, perhaps everyone was to her), his eyes unfocused, a mouth ajar, gasping for water. She wondered how long he’d been wandering, out there, in that ever changing prison.
He looked up, seemed to see her, even in the dark.
She snapped her fingers. The smouldering fire crackled dully to life. “You’re in my cave.”
“Please, do you have any water?”
“You’re dead. You don’t need it.”
He paled. “What?”
“Dead. Not even in hell. You’re in Tartarus. Welcome to the deepest pill of hell’s own hell,” she said with a practised smile.
The smile fell as he seemed to struggle to grasp the truth. She sighed, irritated and strode forward. In a flash she had out her knife, cold and familiar in her hand – she’d long given up knowing how she did somethings and knew others. It came and she took it.
He saw the knife, froze. She didn’t even blink as she drove the blade into his chest. With a silent cry he dissolved into dust, his fractured spirit scattering into thin air. He’d reshape eventually. Hopefully away from her cave. She hated stray human spirits that bled in from the Underworld but she couldn’t stop them, not since she didn’t know where they came in. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t find it. The place beyond her cave kept changing, destroying any sense of direction. It was why there were no cells in Tartarus. It was a prison unto itself, an unforgiving land full of demons and nameless goddesses like herself, a few hellhounds, and even her – the unnameable one, a human who’d earnt enough fear amongst the gods to warrant her imprisonment here. She hadn’t seen her and the goddess felt happy about that.
A sudden explosive crack split the air. She raced out to the cave’s mouth, stopping, her feet on the cusp. She peered out through narrowed eyes. Smoke billowed in the distance.
Another trap, maybe?
Or something to kill, to eat, to possess. Her demon spirit rejoiced, cried out to hunt. She stepped across the threshold and –
Memories exploded within her mind. She doubled over as her mind was a whir of images, of names and memories. It was over as it had come. She straightened up. Her eyes bled an icy blue as a cold, wicked smile twisted her cruel mouth.
Eris, the Goddess of Discord and Chaos, had awoken.
“It’s about time.”
She leapt forward and dissolved into a plume of smoke, sprinting across the shifting landscape.
May Olympus burn, she thought, her laughter cackling eerily out across that desolate world.
Something laughed back. It wasn’t hers. She laughed harder.
War, indeed. ns 22.214.171.124da2