I envy them. The mortals. They live, they die, and some even know peace. But Gods? Oh no. There is no peace for us. Our love, our hate, our suffering goes on for eons. And, if you are bad, and I mean really bad, you get to experience it tenfold. Sometimes, you spend millennia in a box trying to claw your way to the surface that you never reach. And sometimes you are trapped in a 10×10 cell. So far down, below even Tartarus, that the only noises you hear are the wails and moans of the damned begging for a second chance that will never come. Hell. In every aspect of the word. 

It’s ironic looking back at it now. I used to come to the Underworld to hide from my father when I had done something I knew would get me in trouble. And now? Now, it is my final resting place. 

My mind often drifts off in this place, with flashbacks of the past and the ghosts that now haunt me. Time seems to wind faster. Granted, I can’t tell night from day. There are no windows here, no light, and if I try to count the days by the screams, I would be counting forever.

They never stop. The echo of large footsteps ring out endlessly above my head, the Hecatoncheires giants on their never-ending patrol. Doubtful it is needed, I don’t think anything could escape Tartarus now. Not after what I had done. My mind wanders again to the screams and yells, but not of Tartarus. No, this is all too familiar, a barrage of voices and stares of scorn from my once-beloved family. I mean, granted, I deserve it. 

It has been weeks, or maybe days, since the fight with my father and the subsequent business meeting.

And lost. Don’t forget, you lost.” And, I had lost as the voice loved to remind me.

I had been here for days, Or maybe it was weeks? Then dragged out to attend a meeting, if that’s even what you want to call it. Surrounded by everyone I once loved, after what I did, was more like a firing squad. My blind rage and vengeance never took into account what the Titans would have done to them. I didn’t care. Why would I? I had my eyes set on one target, and one target only. But, then again, why would I care? They all forgot about me. Moved on. Lived like I didn’t matter or exist. So why should I care what happens to them? 

That’s not true,” the voice echoed from another part of the cell. “Some liked you, even begged for your sentence to be lessened. Hell, the Goddess of Chaos took to your defense. And let’s not forget about The Iron Queen rallying to your side, pleading for rehabilitation. Please. There is nothing good left inside you to rehabilitate. I mean, let’s be honest, you would have let them all die for your mission.” 

The voice is right. I don’t deserve it. And I would have gladly traded their lives for what I wanted. I mean, why would I care? I have had no one for centuries. 

The funny thing is, I can’t believe Clio forgave you. I mean, you kidnapped her, released her mother with your Tartarus break out.” 

“Stop,” I begged, my head buried in my hands. 

Why?” the voice questioned. “It’s true. One of your oldest friends. Pfft, probably one of your only friends now, and you treated her like she was nothing.” 

I shoot forward, aiming for the voice that mocks me. My nails like razors as I scratch at the figment, but there is no one there, only darkness. My hands hit the stone floor, and I huff a breath murmuring to myself, “It’s not real. It’s not real.” 

The sound of heels, click on the floor around me, circling my huddled form. I close my eyes again, drowning out the sound as best I can. 

Oh, but it is. Funny, Eros wasn’t there. I guess he can’t stand the sight of you now, either. Oh, even funnier, Erebus didn’t even stay. Like, Gods, you certainly know how to pick people who don’t give a shit about you.” 

I curl tightly into a ball, covering my ears with my hands, my nails sinking painfully into the flesh behind them. But, it doesn’t stop the voice. I can still hear it talking to me. Taunting me. 

I mean Hades got his memories back and the first thing he decided to do was lock you up, too. Some friends, right? Quite ironic, given you tried to spare them when this whole oath shit took place. Now look, they throw you away without a second thought.”

My body begins to shake as I unleash more energy. My cell, however, does not. I’ve done this before; gotten angry, let loose, and all my power did was feed right back into me. It’s pointless, so I do the next best thing. 

My hand shoots out once more, swiping for anything, but only catching air. I pop up on my ass, scurrying backwards until I hit the wall behind me. No one is there, so why does it sound like it? My hands cover my face as I rock back and forth, words repeating over and over again. 

It’s not real. It’s not real. 

Again, the sound of heels echo on the floor, seeming to come through the front of my cell. Impossible, that door hasn’t opened in days. Or is it weeks? I lift my head, my hands dropping from my eyes, expecting nothing to be there, like always, but again, I am wrong. 

Black pumps emerge from the darkness, supporting long slender legs covered in tight leather pants. A red lace top drapes her front, the same color as her lips, and dark hair reaches past her shoulders in long loose curls. The voice, the taunting. This whole time. It was me. 

Well, I am more of the old you. Given you look absolutely terrible,” she replies, drawing closer. Her head tilts to the side as I push myself up further against the wall, shaking my head back and forth, trying to will the image away. It’s impossible. I must be losing my mind. 

“Lost, cracked, you name it. Did you really think that daring power display with your dear old dad wouldn’t have some ill side effects? Not to mention every time you let loose in here it all goes,” she stops, making a popping sound and gesture with her hands, “back in you. I wonder if the Goddess of Ruin can ruin herself? 

She stops, kneeling in front of me, making a fake pout. “Like you said, I guess it doesn’t matter now. You will spend eternity here, all because you chose revenge over everything else. Your family will move on. Again. You will be left alone. Again. There is no amount of power in this world that can save you now.” 

She stops abruptly, grabbing my face so that I meet my own eyes, the amber gold burning into me. “But hey, don’t take it personal, kid. Business is business.”

Atë (Amber Albright)
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