A first person account of the story of Persephone and Hades
Since the Day I was born I had lived with my mother Demeter on earth, among the flowers, trees, and laughter of mortals. We were content and very happy.
One day while wandering through a field of flowers radiant as the sun, with thoughts of love in my head, I came across a lone blossom I had never laid my green eyes on before. Unbeknownst to me Hades had been hit by the arrow of Eros and fell in love with me, then plotted with my father, Zeus, to marry me.
I bent down towards the rare flower, the curls of my long black hair falling over my shoulders. As my fingertips grazed the velvety petal a great chariot drawn by fearsome stallions thundered toward me. My scream had just left my lips when I was pulled into the chariot by strong arms, and a hand cupped over my mouth.
Before long the man who had abducted me, who I soon found out was Hades, and I sped into a great crack in the earth, down into the deep, dark, pits of the Underworld. As we drew closer thoughts raced through my mind.
"Who was this dark and mysterious man?
Why was he taking to the damp,
day less realm of the Underworld?"
Soon my thoughts changed from confusion to despair.
"How long might I be in the Underworld?
Would I ever see my mother or the radiance of the sun again?"
Then an odor, one I had never smelled before, reached me. It was strong and overpowering, and growing ever stronger the deeper we went into the moist earth. Soon I could not take it any longer and fainted.
When I came to I found myself on a magnificent stone bed with a down mattress and red silk sheets. Then from out of the darkness and shadows came my captor. He came towards me and I looked up at him with wide eyes. I shrank back in fear as he extended his hand towards me.
A look of hurt and despair shone in his grey eyes. At once I felt badly for what I had done, he had meant me no harm, I knew. I reached out to him but he had already turned and started out of the room.
Weeks passed and I rarely saw Hades and never spoke with him. I stayed in my room, alone, except for the occasional visited I received from wandering, but harmless, souls of the dead. Meanwhile, so I am told, up on earth my mother searched endlessly for me.
Upon the eve of my third month being in the Underworld Hades visited me once again. Although he was sullen and his face seemed thinner he was handsome, I realized. He was tall and broad, strong. He was fairly young, thought older than I, with dark hair, pulled back, and grey eyes that lit up whenever he looked at me.
"Persephone," he spoke in a deep voice, for the first time addressing me, "I want you for my wife, which is why I have taken you from your beloved mother and fields of flowers. I pray that you will hold no ill will toward me, and that one day you may forgive me and grow to love me." His voice was full of sincerity and warmth and I found my heart fluttering slightly to the sound of it. Hades mistook my silence as rejection and with sorrow in his eyes turned to leave.
"Wait." I whispered my voice cracking slightly for I had not spoken in those three months. I rose from the silk sheet of the bed and took his hand. "I will be your wife, Hades Lord of the Underworld."
Turning to me, his eyes bright, he took my pale hand that held onto his and placed a kiss on it. "Come with me, my Queen. I shall show you to your throne."
We arrived in a vast stone room with a roaring fire in the center and two great stone thrones. A small smile placed itself on my lips as we entered. Long red tapestries draped the walls that, upon closer inspection, had intricate pictures and designs upon them.
"Here you shall be treated as my equal, my Queen." I took Hades warm hand and held him tightly. Although I missed the sun and my mother dearly, I knew I could be happy here; I had found the love I longed for.
It seemed all too soon a year had passed and Hermes, messenger to the Gods, came sent by my father. As I found out, my mother, in her despair, was refusing to let the plants on earth grow and was killing all the cattle, and would not stop until I was reunited with her.
"I will come back for you once I have harnessed the horses, m'lady." Hermes said to me before setting off for his task.
I immediately ran into my room, tears beginning to well up in my eyes. I had grown to love Hades and did not wish to leave him. I missed my mother and the flowers, but I enjoyed the cool air and musty earthy smell of the underworld.
"My I come in, my Queen?" Hades' voice was shaky. I simply looked up at him and held out my hand. He took a sat beside me on my bed and held me tightly.
It took close to an hour for Hermes to collect the stallions of the underworld and harness them to the chariot. In that time Hades and I lay together in a sweet embrace. As we left the room and walked down the dark halls, for what I thought would be the last time, Hades' reached into his robe and pulled out a pomegranate and handed to me.
"A memory of my love for you, my Queen."
I took it gratefully and with tears in my eyes said goodbye. Then before stepping onto the chariot I took one of the sweet deep red seeds of the pomegranate and ate it.
Back on the surface of earth the light of the sun stung my green eyes and the smells of animals and rotting flowers and foliage made me nauseous. My head swam from the odors. The ground was barren and the earth full of death because of my mother's search for me and neglect of the harvest. It made me long for Hades and the underworld.
"Persephone!" My mother's cry shattered the deathly silence. I turned and she stood before me, her eyes tired, yet shining brilliantly. I embraced her tightly and tears sprung into my eyes, I had missed her terribly. "Daughter, before our happiness overwhelms us, you must tell me truthfully, while you were in the Realm of the Hades, did you ever eat? For if so Zeus has said that you must remain there forever.
An odd feeling of rejoice and misery filled me, for I had eaten the seed of the pomegranate, which dropped out of my hand and scattered on the ground. My mother saw this and knew that I had, gloom covered her beautiful face.
At that moment my grandmother, Rhea, came to us.
"My dear daughter," she spoke to my mother, "I have made a pact with your brother. Your dear Persephone will stay with you, but only in the seasons of spring, summer, and autumn. Then Persephone shall return to her King, and the world will become cold and desolate, creating winter."
My mother was overcome with joy and held my hand tightly. All the while a small smile placed itself on my lips, it would not be the last time I would see my King, Hades, nor my mother. I was content with the agreement, and have lived wonderfully happy both in the Underworld and on Earth.