Saturday, January 19, 2013

Prompt: Retell a Myth

Hera watched, hidden by the old, overgrown grove that still held a whisper of her sacred grace. She watched as Demeter danced, the raven-haired mother swung her arms wide in the open field. Flowers bloomed beneath her every step. She watched as Persephone played. The golden-haired child wove grass and flowers into a crown and handed it up to her mother. She watched, and darkness filled her heart.

“It should be my child,” she whispered to the grove. Zeus would not give her a child to love. Never again.

Her envy, her despair, dripped like poison to the forest floor, into the scorpion’s burrow beneath her feet. The scorpion drowned in her hate and scrabbled from its lair, seeking prey, a target, revenge for a thousand years of loneliness. Hera watched with narrowed eyes as it scuttled across the field towards the laughing child. She could have called out a warning. She could have stopped it. But she was choking, drowning, in her rage. She let the child die.

Hades appeared, drawn from his temple by the death of a demigod. He reached Persephone even before Demeter and cradled her limp body in his arms. He didn’t look up at Demeter, didn’t ask, didn’t tell. He pressed the pomegranate seeds past Persephone’s lips, under her tongue. Even from afar, Hera hears his urgent plea. “Quickly, child. Quickly now. You must eat these if you want to live again.”

[to be continued]

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