Today’s Positive Adjective:
a) marked by or disposed to doing good
b) organized for the purpose of doing good
“It isn’t like that. You’re mistaken.”
“You want me to believe scores of authors, spanning centuries wrote the wrong story? Sorry, I’m not buying it.”
“I had hoped you were seeking the truth. Did I misunderstand? Yet you are painting me with the same bad press Zeus has been slinging for eons.”
“So, this is your brother’s fault?”
Hades rubbed his hand across his face and wondered at the wisdom of granting the interview. Persephone thought it might be a good idea to clear the air, to give the mortals a glimpse of the real god, the true Hades. He sighed, aware Annabeth was watching his every move.
For a mortal, she was intelligent and rather pretty, except she smelled like a moist, living human. The sound of her beating heart was distracting, and her breathing… Hades tried not to shudder. It was obvious she had done her homework. He also realized she had formed an opinion and changing her mind wouldn’t be easy.
“How’s your cell reception?” he asked.
Startled, Annabeth dug the phone from her purse. She held it above her head, rotating it in one direction then another.
“Nothing. No bars.”
“Yeah, we’re pretty isolated. Always have been. If you hadn’t noticed, this is a busy place. You know people are dying to get in.” Hades smiled, hoping his lame joke would have an impact. When Annabeth didn’t respond, he shrugged and continued.
“I’m sure you have the statistics. Let me assure you it is a lot of work to process those souls daily, twenty-four seven as you say. No vacations. Ever.” Hades paused letting his words sink in.
“So, when my dear brother started his smear campaign, it was months before I heard about it. You know why he did it?”
“No. Why?” Annabeth tilted her head, wary of his motives.
“You realize Zeus has a little problem?”
“Problem?” Annabeth’s eyebrows knitted together as she searched his angular face.
“Everyone loves Zeus. Don’t they? He’s got the looks, the thunderbolts, and the bad habit of stepping out on Hera. His escapades have caused more than a few problems. Wouldn’t you say?” Hades watched the light bulb illuminate in Annabeth’s brain.
“What’s that have to do with you?”
“Deflection,” Hades paused. “Zeus would get Olympus in an uproar. Hell, at one point they were ready to oust him. Athena helped him. A brilliant plan really. She used her shield to deflect their outrage here. On me. By the time I heard, the storm was over, and Zeus was the darling god again.” Hades shrugged leaning back against his throne.
“You’re a patsy?” Annabeth’s right eyebrow lifted as she spoke.
“I’m just saying, Persephone and I have been together forever. Any stories about me stepping out on her? No. I would never do that. And the story about me abducting Persephone? That’s another of Zeus’ concoctions. She loves me, and I love her. She’s my queen, my equal here. I care about the wellbeing of all the humans who cross the river, and I work hard to serve them. The Underworld’s purpose is to tend mortal souls. We subject no one to inequality.”
Annabeth remained silent for a long time. Hades watched her consider his words, weighing them against the stories and her extensive research.
“Let me get this straight,” Annabeth began, “You want me to believe you’re a benevolent god, a faithful and loving husband, and an equal rights advocate?”
Hades nodded as she spoke. When she finished, his smile stretched from ear to ear.
“I think you’re discovering who the real devil is.”
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer