It had been some time since the so-called business meeting, and being locked in Tartarus had already felt like years. I had grown restless and probably a little mad. My form dissipated once more, turning into a large cloud of black mist as it swirled and danced in my cell, hurling against walls and door. I bounced off of everything I touched, the cell holding me at bay. No matter how many times I rammed myself at that fucking door, it wouldn’t budge. 

“Why would It?” echoed the voice, “I mean Erebus sealed that door pretty tight. Part of your shadows mixed with his and..,” a clapping sound echoed in the room following the remark, “no escape for you.” 

My shape solidified as I landed; one hand on my knee, the other on the floor. I was out of breath and exhausted. I had used too much power. I always did. My head throbbed like it was being cracked open, and then I would pass out for god-knows-how long. All it did was exhaust me. I had been trying to escape for days now. Or was it weeks? I would shift and ram myself over and over, and still, nothing changed. 

I moved to the front of the door, punching at it with my fists, over and over. The voice was right. It had been right for a while now. There was no escape for me. 

You know it’s kind of hot if you think about it. A part of him is now mixed with a part of you. He took a sliver of your shadow to bind you in this place. I mean, it’s your shadow. You can’t be parted from it, and you can’t leave it behind.”

Shut up!” I yelled, spinning to an empty, darkened cell. 

The damn voice! It had been going on for days now. Or was it weeks? I never saw who carried it or could identify the person speaking, but it was always in here with me…taunting me. “You stepped through that threshold, and you didn’t even see it did you? Distracted by a lost battle and pretty words, while a part of you was taken. Gods, no wonder you lost.” 

I swung my fist around, connecting with the stone wall and not a person at all. I moved my hand back, flexing my fingers, the wall streaked with red, but not even chipped. With my other hand, I examined my now bloody and broken knuckles. It didn’t hurt, not like the time I broke my hands and wrists to get the shackles off of me. I watched as, one by one, my knuckles popped back into place, the skin healing over it once more. Only this time, it was a tad bit slower. 

“Tsk tsk, that’s not good. Looks like all that power you’ve been using is slowing you down. Or maybe it is the lack of food you’ve been consuming.”  

Sighing, I turned, letting my back hit the wall as I slid to the floor. I shifted my weight, drawing my knees to my chest as I folded my arms and rested my head on them. I stared at the door, the door that would never open again. Shadows danced and twined together, a seal over the large metal entrapment. The last little remembrance of the Primordial who sealed me in: Erebus.

A part of my chest stung at the memory. He had taken a piece of my shadows, intertwined them with his own, using them to create the seal on the door. He had used my power against me, and I hadn’t noticed until now. It made it so others could enter, but I could never escape. And the funny thing was, it hurt me, like an act of betrayal. But who was I kidding? I had trapped, fought, and even gotten him shot, yet I was hurt over something so simple. 

I would never see him again. A part of me, even now, even after all of this, wondered if he would even miss me. My eyes stung at the thought. 

“No one would miss you,” a voice echoed from my left. 

I shut my eyes tight, drowning it out. It happened more often than not here. The silence of my cell cut off by that same damned voice, but it was right, like always. 

Why would he? I deserved it, if not worse, but yet it still stung. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t felt some emotion being around him, which, yet again, was ironic. I had known him all my immortal life but never like this. It didn’t matter now. None of it did. 

“You want to know what I think?” the voice beckoned. 

I responded; my voice hoarse from the hours or days of screaming, “No.”

“Too bad. I am going to tell you anyway. I think it’s hilarious that you set out on a mission to release the Titans, tear your family apart, start another war, and kill your father, and then on top of all that you have the audacity to crave the one thing you will never have.”

My body shot up. Once more in a cloud of black mist and smoke, incorporeal, as I raged, screamed, and tried to destroy the cursed room. Once again, it didn’t work. I was like a caged beast that wanted to rip any and everything in front of them to pieces, except the only damage I caused was to myself. After what felt like several hours, I finally fell to the ground, whole, panting, and crying. Crying because I was frustrated. Crying because I was tired but didn’t want to sleep. Crying because I knew that damned voice would return. 

I laid my arm over my eyes as I sobbed again, still angry. 

“Do you want to know the one thing you want but will never have?” 

I laughed, actually laughed, as the voice returned almost on command. Rubbing my hands over my face roughly, I shouted to the blackened room. 

“Yes. Please tell me, oh great and annoying figment of my imagination.” 

“Love.”

My next laugh sounded maniacal. 

“Are you fucking kidding me right now? If you are the voice in my head, then you know full well that I love no one.” 

“The Goddess of Mischief is a…” it paused, its voice changing to something deeper, manlier. “Ladies and gentlemen, can I have a drumroll, please…” 

Noises like a game show audience soon filled my cell, clapping and hollering. I rolled over, covering my ears, but the sound didn’t stop—only increased. 

“That’s right…a LIAR!” The sound of cheering and laughing soon followed before dying down to complete silence.

I hadn’t realized I was murmuring to myself, asking for it to stop, but it didn’t listen, it never did. The voice soon came back, closer this time, and feminine once more. “Think about it, cupcake. If you didn’t love anyone we wouldn’t be in this predicament, now would we? We could have stayed in Fiji, Mexico, Brazil, Europe. The list goes on. But no, you wanted to come home. And when you did, when you saw them, laughing, joking, and living like you meant nothing, it drove you mad.” 

I didn’t say anything, just sat there, my legs tucked under me. My hands dropped from my ears, lying face-up on my lap as I stared at the door once more. 

“And then he showed up. Found you first, so you locked him away. Then he found you a second time. You two had a bond over what? Sunsets?” The voice barked laughter, the sound cutting into my subconscious. “Don’t make me laugh. Although speaking of laughing, the really funny part is, for the first time in thousands of years, you felt something for someone that wasn’t yourself, and you will never see him again.”

I didn’t move or lash out. My anger subsided; my body tired.

“I call that growth, you know, minus the whole doomed-from-the-start thing. Don’t worry, though. I’m sure he’s forgotten all about you and is probably under several women now. Assuming he likes to be ridden. He seems more like the dominant type don’t—”

I didn’t hear the rest of whatever the fuck the voice was saying as once again, I repeated the same process of hurling my incorporeal body like a battering ram against every part of the cell. The sound was probably drowned out by the hollowed yells and screams of Tartarus. 

Or was that me?

Atë (Amber Albright)
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