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.
I stand and stretch my body, feeling my joints crack and connect. I reach for the gray sky and let out a howl to let the Underworld know I am alive. I expand my wings far and wide. They sting, and I flinch. Not yet, I am not able to fly just yet, but I already knew that. I am far too weak in both body and mind.
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.
“Hello,” I say again, but no one responds. Yet, I don’t feel alone. This house has life inside of it, despite the decomposition. The Underworld is full of hard to explain energies. At times it is best not to force an explanation. Energy has a funny way of eventually explaining itself.
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.
Mr. Hades sighed heavily and said, “He is too powerful to be left alive, and a final solution needs to be put into place. You are the only one who can carry this out for not only us, the gods, but the mortals who are in danger. You know full well what your brother is capable of.”
The air burns my skin and pierces my airways. Normally, I’d travel through the night or with the aid of my wings. However, I am too tired to command much of anything at all. I must walk and wander as if I am another soul seeking the unknown exit. I am seeking the comfort of a past life and normalcy. What could be more mortal than that?
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.
“I was put to task to come up with a way to deal with our brother by Mr. Hades. I have spent months weighing my options as I listen to his victims’ never-ending cries for justice inside my aching, throbbing head. He is beyond Dikê’s touch and yours. So I came up with the final solution,” I confess.
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.
Revenge and vengeance fed from themselves, one act creating the need for more. In the hands of mortals and gods alike, it was a neverending cycle of destruction and despair. It was only by my touch that balance and justice were achieved through revenge. And only because I wrought it so, only because I thought and knew the price, only because I controlled my power.
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 was suddenly frozen in place, unable to speak. I knew I must look crazy to him. A dark, unbreakable dam holding squalls of emotion behind sharp blue eyes and pursed lips. I wondered if he could see the goddess behind the youthful face, feel the ancient power pulsating through me, begging for release.
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.