Book of Hades
The darkness that I saw that day was strange. I had a feeling my brother Zeus was behind it, but I was not certain. I still have no idea what it was, or if it was just my imagination, but I have said before I do not believe in coincidences, and there were many that day. I hoped the darkness was not the evil from Tartarus that it appeared to be. I still have no idea, but it was nasty.
I saw it again. The darkness. I was at a bar when I got an alert on my phone. I opened up the app to my cameras to see what was happening. I saw a shadow cut through the atmosphere like a knife cutting butter. It was undeniable. Everyone saw it. The souls all stopped and looked around as the darkness enveloped them. I returned home with my Bident leaving my previous plans and car behind, appearing in my throne room on my throne. I stood up slowly, horror filling me.
Ever since I returned to Earth, I have felt weaker, powerless to prevent the most simple of issues. Was it just a case of me being away so long and things changing? That did throw me off, but I am Hades. I am strong. But at that moment, I felt like a human, powerless, weak, inferior, and out of my depth. How do you stop a shadow? You block out the sun, of course. But in the Underworld, a shadow is not formed by objects that block the light. They are from darkness, hence them being shadows. This thing was not something I recognized or knew how to control. It changed shape and moved like water.
I watched it glide like a slick and cover everything. The small amount of light that was visible suddenly snuffed out like a candle in a breeze. What is its purpose? Why is it here? Is it dangerous? So many questions and very few answers. It being dangerous was the one question I was positive I knew the answer to if the incidence of my previous encounter with it was anything to go by and not just a day filled with bad luck.
Whatever the reason for its being, I needed to figure it out so that this did not happen again. It needed to be contained. Tartarus was the only place for it. For all I knew, it came from there in the first place. If one more thing escaped me, I would explode with fury. I needed help. There were many occupants in the Underworld, and many were very powerful. They could all help me stop this before something sinister happened. I thought about a few, in particular, my old friends Thanatos and Hekate. Normally, I needed no help in the Underworld. I am all-powerful, but maybe they had some answers that were eluding me. Thanatos may have seen this thing before, and Hekate may have some magic or knowledge that would help.
I stepped out onto my balcony at the top of my palace and looked out towards Hekate’s Island. It was her personal space in the Underworld.
“Hekate!” My most powerful voice boomed across the Underworld. The echo caused the ground to shake and the air to tremble. “Find Thanatos, and both of you get over here!” My voice hammered all around, and my anger and frustration tested the strength of my realm to its limits. I know she heard me. Everything in the Underworld heard me. I wondered if the shadow invading my realm was sentient enough to hear.
I took my Bident from my inside pocket and removed my suit jacket. It was brand new, and I didn’t want it to get ruined. I placed it down and jumped from the balcony, free-falling through the damp air and fog. I landed with a smash, causing a huge crevice in the ground like a meteorite had hit. Dust and fog shot into the air after impact, causing a cloud to appear around me. Every soul suddenly snapped to attention, their gazes pulled from the shadow that was spreading like a virus. They scattered at my sudden appearance, chaos breaking loose. But that problem could wait. I had a much bigger problem to solve.
I walked through the terrified crowd of souls who dashed out of my way as I approached them. My path cleared ahead of me. Nobody and nothing wanted to get in my way. I was biting down and grinding my teeth, something I had started to do to help keep my anger under control. I stood and waited for Thanatos and Hekate to join me as panic was erupted in the Underworld. I didn’t care about that. They were already dead. But that black nothingness was something to be feared.
Thanatos came out of the nearby shadows with a determined look. “Mr. Hades.” He stood beside me as the shadow seemed to grow and weave its way towards us.
“Tell me you have some idea what that thing is.” I pointed my Bident at it, but Thanatos just shook his head. “Where is Hekate?” I asked him and received the same shake of his head. “We need light. That’s surely the only thing that will stop that thing from doing whatever it is doing.”
Thanatos looked at it closely and tilted his head. “Agreed. It’s not alive or dead, but moves.” He seemed puzzled, and he was not the only one.
“Hmm.” I agreed. “Let us see how it reacts to this.” I held up my Bident, ready to strike the shadow with a beam of light. “Ready?” I asked Thanatos, who nodded and stood beside me with his scythe in hand, ready to react to whatever happened next. I aimed at the darkness, letting my power surge through my body and into my right hand. It zipped into my Bident and blasted out in the form of a blinding white beam of light that penetrated the blackness in a perfectly round circle. The shadow appeared to shimmer and vibrate, a most curious reaction to something that was neither alive nor dead but simply existed. I moved the light and tried to eradicate the blackness, but it returned like water spreading. It took a second, but gave me a chance to see through the gap. The wall it had devoured was flat and appeared smooth, like it had erased what it enveloped. My fear spiked.
“What now, Mr. Hades?” Thanatos asked as the shadow calmed itself and continued to grow, blacking out my realm.
“We need help,” I said with more fear than I would like to admit. “I need Zeus and Poseidon. The three of us should be able to stop this.” Thanatos tilted his head at me curiously before nodding his agreement once more. “Watch over that thing until I return. Not sure what you can do but give it a try anyway,” I said before patting him on the shoulder and leveling my Bident. I readied myself to do something I have not done for a very long time and took the elevator that led to the God Complex.
I stepped into Zeus’s office. He looked up from behind his desk as I appeared before him. His eyes widened with slight shock and a hint of amusement.
“Brother!” he said loudly, standing up with a wide smile on his face. “It’s about damn time you showed up!” He approached me with his arms stretched wide in welcome. He slammed them on my shoulders, giving me a friendly, if somewhat violent, greeting.
“Hello, Brother,” I said quickly, trying to get past the playful beating we would normally inflict on each other. “I have a problem in the Underworld and need yours and Poseidon’s help,” I spoke calmly but with urgency. He was alone, and I was pleased. I did not want to see anyone else in these circumstances.
“What’s the problem this time?” he said in a fatherly and knowing manner as he turned away like everyone brings their issues and problems to him to sort out. Which I supposed they did.
“I have no idea what it is. It’s like a huge shadow covering my kingdom, and it’s growing. It’s devouring whatever it covers.” He smiled at me like I was making a bad joke he did not understand. I looked at him seriously, and his eyes narrowed in thought.
“Fine.” He conceded. “Return, and I will join you momentarily with Poseidon.” I nodded, returned to the Underworld, and awaited my brothers’ arrival.
Thanatos was in the same place I had left him and gave me a knowing look when I appeared beside him. “Still spreading, Mr. Hades,” he commented.
“So I see.” I looked out to see the darkness covering almost everything around us, and realized some souls had been lost in it. “My brothers will be here in a moment.” As I finished my sentence, Zeus and Poseidon appeared.
“I see you still haven’t decorated, Brother.” Zeus shook his head, and Poseidon nodded as he looked around with a grimace. They have never liked it in the Underworld.
“Really?” I asked him, completely shocked. “Now?” I motioned around at the shadow that was so close we could smell it—if you could smell shadows, of course. “My taste in decor can wait. Besides, this is the Underworld where dead people live. What do you expect? Pretty pink colours and a day spa? Just help me if you please. Hello, by the way, Brother.” I quickly added to Poseidon.
“Hades.” Poseidon nods. “Looks menacing,” he replied casually, looking disinterested as he stared at the blackness.
“Indeed. We need to blast that thing with light.” I pointed my Bident at it and nodded to my brothers, who both followed my lead. Zeus took his lightning bolt in hand, and Poseidon his Trident. Thanatos stepped away from us. We must have looked fearsome. We pointed at the blackness, and with a look sideways at each other and a slight grin, we blasted our weapons at the shadow. Memories of times gone by flashed through my mind. I had not stood side by side with my brothers in a fight for such a long time.
“We look like the Ghostbusters!” Zeus yelled over the sound of our attack, amusement and laughter filling his voice.
“Who?!” I yelled back, not knowing what he was talking about. He never answered, just shook his head and laughed. We spread it with brilliant flashes and strikes of blinding power, puncturing the shadow and leaving gaps of pure white. We were faster with our strikes than the darkness was at spreading out, and within a few moments, the shadow was cut into three sections that we each extinguished. Half the Underworld was now a blinding white. The walls looked like chalk, and the ground was scorched with streaks.
“There you go, Brother! We brightened the place up for you! You’re welcome!” Zeus grinned at the mess that was left behind.
“Are we done?” Poseidon asked, still grimacing as he looked around and seemingly eager to leave.
“Yes, of course, Brother. Thank you,” I said kindly. He just made a noise and quickly vanished from my realm.
“Any idea what that thing was? I have never seen anything like that before,” I asked Zeus.
“No,” he answered casually. “It’s been fun! But it looks like you can handle this from here. Don’t wait so long to visit next time.” He also vanished and left me standing in a half-white Underworld.
Thanatos came back over to me. “That was quite a sight, Mr. Hades,” he said.
“Yes, I imagine it was, my friend. The three kings standing together and eradicating that….thing.”
“Thanatos?” I turned to him, confused.
“Yes, Mr. Hades?”
“What in the name of Tartarus are Ghostbusters?” He shrugged his shoulders. “Well, I suppose it doesn’t matter, care to help me fix this place up?” I asked him as I let out a long breath.
“Of course, Mr. Hades.”We spent the next few days ridding the Underworld of all that white. The souls did most of the work, and it turned out not to be that bad. It seemed the white was just a layer of some kind of dusty substance that wiped clean although the walls were flat, that needed fixed, ragged walls were much more the feel for the Underworld. Maybe it was actually chalk? I don’t know, but I am pleased that the shadow is gone, and it was quite fun seeing the family again. I look forward to the next time we meet.