Chapter 1 : pomegranate gelato
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Author's Note Kalina (psychée; Elesphyl) gave me the prompt. Molly (SnitchSnatcher) cheered me on. Rita (the_tofuubeaver; llyralen) read it first. Thank you all, and enjoy this really weird thingy, written in half an hour and finished at midnight.
And as she sleeps, she dreams of you.
That is why she whimpers in the night. Because you draw her there, too. Just as you drew her into your arms. You don’t hear her cries, because you leave long before her spinning head hits the pillow. Do you regret leaving so early, when still the night is young? Do you want to show her all the things you know and love and desire? Yes, you do. You want her to be a part of that life that you keep hidden and secret and lurking. But then you need to bring her back where she belongs. Not in your arms, or your nightmares, or your dreams, or your bed. Here. There is no fun in burning a moth’s wings without an open window watching.
And when she settles back in her bed and nestles there with your gilt lies running through her head, she wants you, too. And you know it, and you like it. So you come back the next night, and the next night, and the next night, and you bring her to hell and back. A night with Hades, a morning with Demeter. Oh, your little Persephone, she is a bright one, a pretty moth. She sleeps the day away to ready herself for you. For you.
She doesn’t like pomegranates, you know. Persephone. She tried them in a dessert, an ice cream of some sort. She made that face of hers, that one that is carved into her skin when she falls asleep. Distaste.
People enjoy this?
Demeter answered, Of course they do. It’s delicious.
Again that face. I cringed.
Your little moth teetering on the windowsill, staring at the stars and telling me, That’s your constellation, you know. (I didn’t see.) Are you blind? That one. An-dro-med-a. See? Your name. (I still didn’t see.) You know, I don’t have a constellation. You should be grateful to have stars named for you, you stupid ungrateful little–
She never understood that these were not mosaics in the sky, that as high as she flew, she would not caress the bright tiles. She does not understand that she cannot touch them.
But you would let her try, wouldn’t you? You would lie to her and embrace her and call her your butterfly. Fly, my darling butterfly, go see your precious constellation and anything else that strikes your fancy. Bring me back a star, bring your captor, your Hades, a star.
And she would. Right up until the last second, she would grasp at the stars that so transfixed her. And she would ask, demand, curse, beg for one to surrender so that she can please Hades so that he won’t burn her wings. That would be before she realizes her wings are burnt already, and the stars have no hearts and wouldn’t care, and then she would fall.
And I wouldn’t know it. Because she flew off the windowsill, that bright little moth, and found herself in hell, with pomegranate gelato. And she would fall asleep in your embrace, her wings smoldering and her mouth sour, and would make that face.
And you would smile, because you are Hades, and you are the reason she fell.