I attempt to answer, but I pass out. When I wake, I am in my bed, in my cabin in the Underworld. My mother busies herself in my kitchen, Nem sits at the foot of my bed, and Ky’Elli, the small beast, lays across my legs asleep and snoring. Nem is holding a silver canister with Mrs. Hestia’s handwriting on it.
I run my fingers through my hair and give it a little pull as I cry out my frustrations. This piece has been hard enough to write as is without distractions. I am having trouble connecting with Thanatos lately. Where the hell was he, anyway? Wasn’t I still his scribe? Didn’t he pick me to create his new-age mythology?
He reaches out with lightning speed, grabbing the side of my head and squeezing. Black ooze rains down on my face, then springs to life, crawling like worms pulled from the dirt as it moves over my face. It leaves cold slimy trails on my skin as it forces its way into my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. I let out a gargled scream to the blue sky as the blackness of the ooze pulls me down into new nightmares.
His magic brought it to life, giving it an internal red glow that grew stronger, forcing it to shudder out a single beat. Then he dropped it into my gaping chest. It immediately attached, as if grateful to be reunited with its goddess.
I couldn’t let him stay here. While the realm he created was beautiful, it was lonely and cold. I knew what happened to the souls in Propalyia. Eventually, they all flung themselves over the gates, only to be impaled, and returned to their homes. They hated me for it, which was why I kept my distance, why they moaned throughout the forests. Every human desires peace, and there was no peace in Propalyia.
I’d loved it, lost for a time in a world of intangible fantasy and never too deep emotions, until inevitably, I’d craved more. I’d let my guard down, enjoying him way too much, and despite my best efforts, I realized I was falling in love. So naturally, I ruined everything.