The Sweet Divide

“They won’t notice, trust me. Besides, even if they did, my mother loves me too much to toss me out into the wild.”

Persephone smirked at her nervous attendants, the worrisome lookouts they were. She was perched on several wooden crates behind the settlement, where the rest of the settlers slept fitfully. Turning her attention back to her work, she slipped bars of power out of the holster that kept the generators running, and pocketed them. The lights flickered on the other side of the camp, and the humming of the generator lowered to a dull, fuzzy roar. Triumphant, she leaped nimbly down from her spot, beckoning her attendants to follow as they crept into the darkness.

It had been two years since Apollo had quit the pantheon. He was, he said, sick of the twisted games they played in Olympus, and wanted nothing to do with the gods or humanity. As his last act of defiance, he decided to cast a plague upon the Earth before going into hiding. His reckless act caused the Earth to be plunged into darkness, as well as killing millions and effectively creating a subspecies of mankind that lived in a half diseased state. They barely functioned as people, and were shunned by healthier humans. The gods had a dry joke after that: even when the worst is upon them, mankind still insisted on separating themselves from each other.

Persephone envied Apollo sometimes. She wished she had the ability to walk away from mankind, go into hiding with Apollo and perhaps start a new life. She was caught up in her thoughts when suddenly her leg went through a rabbit’s hole. She gave a stifled yell, sinking up to her waist as her leg squelched through the ground. Her attendants gave a yelp and went to help her up, yanking on her arms and she tried to squirm free from the ground. The goddess’ face suddenly filled with utter horror, and she renewed her struggle in earnest.

“Someone has my leg! There’s a hand on my leg!” 

Her panic grew stronger as the attendants started losing their grip on her, and slowly Persephone sank into the the ground with a final screech that they knew echoed in the settlement. The last they saw of her was her fingers wriggling wildly before the surface smoothed out and resumed its normal appearance, as if nothing had happened.

“I had hoped she would learn.”

The attendants jumped, and turned to see Demeter standing behind them, arms crossed and a grim look on her face.

“M-Ma’am? What happened to Lady Persephone?” 

Demeter gave the attendant a hard smile. 

“Why, her new home, of course. If she insists on trying to sabotage these people against my wishes, then she will learn to obey authority in another manner.” She took a deep breath, closing her eyes. “She is to wed my brother.”

A chorus of tiny gasps made her eyes flicker open, and they cowered slightly. “Do not think I take this lightly. She will be with him for most of the year, returning once for a handful of months to apply her new knowledge to the people she has wronged here. Let us hope she takes it seriously.”

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