peaking out of its chrysalis—
Persephone: The myths have it wrong. Hades didn’t trick me into eating his pomegranate. I tricked him. Power over death? A chance to save Teleus?
Persephone: Yes, Teleus. Great-grandson of Ares? Nothing like Ares, except if you’re threatening an innocent. Anyway, Hades was my way to save him. You’d be surprised how a few flowers can brighten up Tartaros. Fire, this. Ashes, that…
Homer: What did you do? How did you trick Hades?
Persephone: Hades hated Teleus, denying him loyal servants in Tartaros. Gosh. Well, anyway, when they grabbed me in the field, I screamed. I pouted. I even slapped Hades. Mother played her part well, even causing a famine over my loss.
Homer: Your mother, Demeter? Yes, those were hard times. I’m sure the audience remembers that famine and all the death that followed.
Persephone: One night, while Hades was playing with his dog, I snuck up on him, dressed in lingerie and carrying a pomegranate.
Homer: Ah, the pomegranate.
Persephone: So, Hades takes one look at me and drops the 3-ring chew toy—Cerberos loves fetching that toy. I tell him that I’ll eat it if he does one thing for me. I place his hands on the bottom of my slip. Predictably, he says he’ll do anything. The whole Underworld is mine if I’ll take that bite.
Persephone: Yes! And then I put him in a headlock. Me for Teleus. Call off the hit.
Homer: A headlock? What happened next? Did Hades call off the hit?
Persephone: It took a few hours of sexy Underworld jiujitsu, but he finally caved. And I ate that infamous seed, sealing our deal.
Homer: And Demeter went to Zeus to ask for your release.
Persephone: Yes. It’s not like Hades was going to admit that I beat him in combat. And now I can live topside with Teleus for 8 months a year while Hades sulks. I even get Cerberos every other weekend. He loves the park over on 8th. When Teleus enters Tartaros—hopefully not for a very long time—I’ll stay there longer. Maybe even embrace the whole Queen of the Dead thing. Who knows? I’m still young.
Homer: Yes, you are. Well, there it is, folks. You hear it from Channel 7 first!
a royal flush—
rewriting mine, too
Colleen M. Farrelly