John Decarteret is lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his two sons and fiance. He started writing at the age of 29 after watching an interview of a famous singer on television. The singer said “Stop watching someone else live a dream for an hour, and spend that hour following your own dream” So he did. He sought help and advice from other writers and went on to write a full length book and several short stories before finding a publisher for his short story “A House Out of Time”.
“You got it, partner.” Her eyes lit up at my request, and she pointed a finger at me knowingly. “I got just the thing for you, and it hasn’t been festering in the bowels of an animal or come out of one’s backside.” She turned and began fiddling with one of the machines. It looked complicated for just coffee.
“Get me the Tartarus out of here, Charon.” I went to step aboard, but he thrust his oar in front of me. “Oh, the bloody greed of you knows no bounds. What do you do with these coins, anyway? You never bloody go anywhere to spend them.” I thrust a coin at him and pushed him aside to get on board. He never answered me, as usual. He just pushed us away from the foggy bank and took us across the Styx.
I wanted her to give herself to me willingly, to love me. Did I feel guilty then? Yes, and no. I was a very different god in the old days. I was arrogant and angry a lot of the time. I was no longer that god. As time drifted by, I became more open-minded about life. As I watched from the shadows of the Underworld, I began to enjoy the changing world above me.
The darkness played tricks with your perceptions. Colours danced in your mind’s eye because the brain took over. Damp air filled your lungs, and your feet squelched and cracked on the sticky, crunchy surface. Shadows were the only visible things breaking through the blackness and dimming the dancing colours.
I was unsure of myself for the first time in so long I barely remembered the feeling. I hesitated with my hand hovering over the door handle and felt a bead of sweat roll down the side of my face. I gritted my teeth and snarled. Bloody Furies think they can make me feel this way? They will pay the price.
When the gods left earth, so did everything, and everyone else, including the Furies. They were put under my charge to be kept in the Underworld, but they were difficult to control and were always trying to take over my job as torturer. I gave them some freedom in Tartarus to do just that, but only for one person, for one day. That was the deal. They had no purpose, and I gave that back to them. Now? Now they were who knew where.
I needed to spend a short time in the Underworld to make sure all knew I was still more than capable of smiting the lot of them. Fear up close was always going to have the greatest impact. I had kingly duties to perform.
I slowly circled him with my Bident in hand, smiling down at him. His eyes caught mine, and for a split moment, I could see fear. He knew that I knew something he didn’t want me to know. My face must have given me away.
I walked down the road with my eyes scanning every direction. I wanted my car back, but I was more concerned that the Keys to the Underworld were missing. That could be very bad. I needed to find the human stain.
Back in Black by ACDC blasted out of the speakers as I started the engine and floored the gas. I imagined my hysterical laughter trailed behind the car like the tail of an asteroid. A new era was about to begin. Lord Hades was back, and the world better watch out. The King had returned.