Persephone Chapter 4

1/23/2017 House of Geekiness 0 Comments

I'm excited to share with you my own retelling of Persephone (whose name I mispronounced for years!) This myth has many versions but always left so much to the imagination (and believe me, my imagination went wild). I'll be sharing parts of the books as I write them (alternating between Arabesque and Persephone), so please be patient with any errors you may find, as these are first drafts! Start reading the first chapter here.

About the book

Chapter 4

The last incident had been terrible.  Ares, the god of war, had thundered into the field where she and her mother were harvesting wheat, in his battle chariot.  Fully armored, the god had not even removed his helmet, and practically ordered Demeter to surrender her daughter in marriage to him.
Demeter did not seem to be the most powerful of goddesses, but she was formidable in her anger.  Even the god of war fled from her wrath.

Persephone’s favorites had been Hermes and Apollo.  Hermes, the fleet messenger god, had been the first to seek her hand, and consequently, the first her mother had deemed “unfit” and chased away.  He had swooped down and begun teasing her as she gathered flowers, snatching the flower she had just picked, and flying a little ways off, his winged shoes fluttering, waiting with a mischievous grin to steal the next flower.  All too soon, her laughter alerted her mother. . .

Apollo had met with little more success.  He had come to her just after sunset, while she and her mother slept.  She had awakened to a beautiful melody as he sang and strummed his lyre.
Apollo was by far the most handsome god to seek her hand.  Persephone nearly swooned remembering his golden hair and brilliant eyes.

In a self-emanated, soft light, he had serenaded her with ballads as she blushed.  He whispered several verses of poetry addressing her beauty and how glorious life would be as his wife.  He said that he would carry her away in his chariot of golden light, and the sun itself would not shine as brilliantly as he and his bride.

He had taken her by the hand, and began to lead her away.  She had been all too willing to follow.  Just before they reached his chariot, one of Apollo’s impatient, fire-breathing horses stomped, and snorted, a blinding stream of fire shooting from its nose.  Of course, Demeter had awakened, and chased the radiant god away.

The fair-haired, violet garlanded daughter of Demeter stared in wonder at her latest gift.  Hephaestus had presented her with a mechanical bronze horse that fit in the palm of her hand.  The horse strutted around atop her hand, and blew gentle kisses of steam as it whinnied at her.

Only moments ago, the crippled blacksmith god had appeared, bowed, clumsily taken her hand, and stuttered his offer.  His meaty hand was hot and grimy.

Persephone had met him only very few times before, yet her initial impressions of him seemed correct.  While he was down-right ugly; a fact that none could dispute, he had a quiet and gentle manner that pleased her.  He had been thoughtful enough to discover her little-known love for horses (her uncle, Poseidon’s creations).

Hephaestus had wisely chosen to present his marriage proposal when her mother was away, but did not linger long enough to risk her return.  She was grateful for this, as incidents with prior suitors and her mother were far from pleasant.

The shy fire god had tunelessly muttered a few virtues of becoming his bride, and how he admired her.  Feeling pity for the awkward god, she smiled sweetly, graciously thanked him for his gift and compliments, and said that she would consider his offer.
He had retreated quickly thereafter, offering neither kiss nor bow nor handshake in his haste.
Lost in thought, Persephone startlingly realized that the bronze horse had begun to nibble on one of the violets of her garland.

How charming!  She thought, and pulled another off to feed it.

She soon heard her mother approaching, and sought a suitable hiding place for the horse.  She was not sure what her answer to Hephaestus might be, she too did not wish to anger her mother, nor lose this gift.

Persephone hid her gift, the only she had so far managed to retain after her suitor had left her side, just as her mother arrived.

“Hello, my dearest,” her mother smiled warmly.

“Mother!”  They embraced.

“Oh how I’ve missed my dearest, my sweet daughter!  How did you fare whilst I was away?”

“Splendidly, Mother.  I had the most interesting conversation with a dryad. . .” she started.

Demeter’s eyes blinked in confusion, and Persephone followed their gaze.  Behind her, the bush that she had hidden the horse beneath had caught fire.

“What is this?” he mother exclaimed as she picked up the small horse.  Her eyes suddenly flashed in anger.  “Where is he?”

She stomped about searching.

That stupid god!  Persephone thought.  Perhaps I should have guessed, since he is the god of fire, but he could have at least told me that the horse breathed fire!

“Hephaestus has already left, Mother.”  I said sullenly.

She rushed back and gripped my shoulders tightly.  “Have you made him any promises?  Given him any vow?” she nearly screamed.

“No, Mother. . .”

More coming soon! Read more about my projects here.

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