The late afternoon sun turned her hair into a fiery nimbus–a titian halo as she gracefully lifted her arms toward the summer sky, dancing to music only she could hear. Music he’d sent to her in a dream. Music that called to her–louder than the trees and flowers she was meant to tend. Louder than her mother’s voice–the voice who demanded her compliance, her servitude to the land.
Her dress, the color of ripening pomegranates, swirled around her ankles as she walked away from the snug, stone cottage nestled in the valley. With each step, the weather grew colder. The leaves around her changed from soft greens to vibrant golds, burgundies and oranges, flaming brightly against the painfully blue sky. She strode on. The sky faded as she drew closer to him. The blue, that once hurt to look at directly, darkened to a pewter gray as the leaves drifted from the trees, becoming dry and brittle before they even touched the ground.
He snorted. Her mother was in fine form today. The more the woman raged, the quicker the land died. His eyes on Demeter’s daughter, he knew it didn’t change anything. The woman could throw as many tantrums as she liked, but the girl, Persephone had clearly had enough. She’d been held hostage to the woman’s unfulfilled dreams for too long.
She drew her cloak more tightly around her shoulders as she continued to push forward, on her way, at last, to him. Sheep bleated in the distance. The overly sweet, sickly scent of rotting apples filled the air, clinging to everything. He wouldn’t be surprised if the sheep, looking for shelter from the buffeting winds, reeked of the decaying fruit.
Dark storm clouds roiled overhead, throwing needle-like raindrops to the earth. Icy wetness pelted his skin as he waiting, watching as she shivered under the onslaught. He’d warm her soon enough.
He was aware she could put a stop to this. If she went home, all would be forgiven as if it had never happened. He knew her mother well enough to realize the woman would simply pretend it had never occurred. Light and warmth would return to the land. He couldn’t let that happen. Persephone deserved more than a life of being a captive in her own home. To have more than tending her mother’s gardens and fruit trees. Her mother might be content to cut herself off from physical contact, but he knew Persephone wasn’t.
She wanted things. Things she couldn’t even name. Dark things. Things that made her body ache with needs she couldn’t describe, let alone explain. Needs that kept her awake at night and distracted during the day. Needs that twisted her dreams into writhing, pulse-pounding visions of equal parts torment and ecstasy. Needs that became more pronounced every time she saw him. Needs that made her cross from the land of the living and into the dead.
He knew that. He knew because he’d sent her those, too.
That’s it for me this week. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.