Punica Granatum

By KittyBell All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance

Blurb

Daughter of Goddess Demeter and the God Zeus, Queen of the Underworld, known for her naive yet kind nature, as well as her beauty. She caught the eye of Hades, the God of the Underworld, who wanted nothing more than to make the beautiful maiden his wife. After struggling to take Persephone away from her mother, Hades finally had the love of his life at last. He assumed that once Persephone swallowed the six seeds of the pomegranate that she would be his forever. However, it was not the case. Kore Caras has always been aware of her talented green thumb, although while the people of her town know her to be a talented florist, there is so much more to the young woman. At an early age, Kore discovered her talent among plant life, how she could make even a wilting flower bloom at her will. Running a successful floral shop in town, everything seems to be going smoothly for the young woman as the days of summer draw to an end. But everything starts to take a drastic turn when Kore discovers what appears to be pomegranate seeds outside of her front door.

Prologue

The soil of the Earth became disturbed as something below clawed at it in desperation to break away. A clearing remained silent, not even the simplest of chirps as the winter had been long and harsh, causing most creatures to hibernate or migrate until the hopes of spring returned. The overcast sky helped reiterate the chilling atmosphere as the rays of the sun were blocked from offering any sort of warmth to those on the ground. Dirt continued to shift, a crack forming through the ground as if the plates were shifting drastically in a rapid manner. It appeared as if an opening was forming that would lead to the center of the Earth. However, the opening did not lead to the center of the Earth, it would bring someone to a much darker place.

A hand shot out, dirt trapped under their fingernails from all the previous clawing to reach the surface. While the fingers were long and had once appeared to be dainty and feminine-like, the blood seeping from the wounds painted a gruesome tale. Droplets of blood, trailed off the tips of the fingers, like rain drops, seeping back into the soil that gratefully soaked it up as an offering. Another hand appeared, equally as injured, resting by the first before the arms settled on a solid piece of the land.

Moments later, using all of their upper body strength, a woman pulled and pushed her way out of the ground, looking like a corpse that had sprung from the grave. Her eyes squeezed shut as soon as her head was fully out of the hole, despite there not being bright sunshine, it was still much brighter from where she was coming from. Spitting the dirt from her mouth, the woman continued to crawl across the ground until she was a safe distance from the opening. Using a bare tree for support, she pressed her back against the trunk to capture her breath and get her bearings. It had been so long since she had been out during the day, she wanted to take a moment to enjoy the freedom, however, she wouldn’t be able to rest for long.

The sounds of aggressive growling and barking sounded from the opening, causing her to whimper before she used the tree and pulled herself up. She decided to run, to run and never look back. However, after just a few steps, she hesitated, glancing over her shoulder. Millions of questions ran through her mind, raising doubts higher than the mountains in the distance.

With a step back towards the opening, Persephone thought about returning to Hades and apologizing for ever thinking about leaving her husband. But her foot didn’t even touch the ground before she shook her head, the tears streaming down her face in protest against her actions. She remembered what he had said to her, what he had done, and for that, she couldn’t go back. He would be furious, he would be devastated, but he had to learn that his actions had consequences and despite being a God and Ruler of the Underworld, he did not rule her life.

The opening appeared all too familiar as Persephone recalled the day that she had been out, innocently picking flowers, when she came upon one that was so beautiful, she had to stop. She wanted it more so than any other flower that she had come upon that day while searching. Reaching down to pick it, the young woman never suspected that it would change her life so drastically. For picking the flower, broke away the ground, leaving a massive opening and revealing the God that would one day become her husband.

At the time, she had been nothing but fearful of the God of the Underworld as he took her to his domain against her will. No matter how much she cried for her mother, he wouldn’t let her go. She had done everything to make her point that she did not wish to remain in a sunless world. Refusing to look at him, speak to him, even refusing to eat to the point where she was wilting away like an old flower. But Hades was persistent in his attempts to make her love him the way he loved her. He begged her just to give him a chance, to allow him to give her a tour of the Underworld so that she could see for herself that it wasn’t as bad as she believed it to be.

The Underworld where the Titans were kept in the deepest spot to suffer for eternity a torturous punishment. It didn’t sound like anything pleasant, it was so dark and dreary compared to the beautiful lands that her mother created, full of lush greens and blossoming flowers. The beauty of seeing the sky and basking in the warmth of the sun, it wasn’t like that where Hades lived.

But yet, somehow, Hades had managed to show her that there was a beauty to darkness. There was a pleasantry of the darker shades of the Underworld and that all the fears she carried about being so close to Tartarus had been for nothing. For Hades promised that he would never allow harm to come to her, especially not from the souls or the Titans that remained under his hold. However, it was not a Titan or any of the souls that came to the Underworld that had hurt her, it was Hades himself, the one who had promised never to do so.

It had taken her so long to place her trust in him and for him to crush it, it dismantled their relationship within seconds and Persephone was suddenly left without a choice.

The longing look shifted before Persephone turned on the heel of her foot and darted off through the woods, ignoring all sounds that came from behind her. She would run until she could run no more.


WHERE IS SHE?

“Oh dear, someone sounds upset,” an old voice mumbled with a tired tone as anger echoed through the darkness.

“You would be angry too if your wife left you,” another cackled in a screechier tone.

“That’s why I never married.”

“As if anyone would marry you. Look at you.”

“This is coming from the likes of you? How hypocritical.”

The rambling of the Moirai was cut short as the anger shouts drowned out their voices. They glanced over from where they sat to see Hades, making his way towards them. Fire in his eyes, fury in each pounding step as he looked around seeking his wife.

“Someone skipped his nap and now we’re all in for it. Didn’t I tell you this was going to happen?” Klotho sighed with an eye roll before looking over at Lakhesis and Atropos.

At the sound of her voice, Hades looked over at the three old hags, sitting around, waiting for him to ask his question again. With a dramatic sweep of placing his robes behind him, he came to a halt in front of him.

“Where…is…Persephone?”

“The better question would be, where isn’t she?” Atropos countered. “And the answer would be…here.”

Hades’ eyes narrowed in their direction before the alerting barks of Cerberus brought him to walk away from them.

“I told you the dog would tell,”Lakhesis said. “I said we should have subdued him first.”

“You did not say that!” Atropos told her.

“Oh, well, I was thinking it. That counts for something.”

They only had to wait a minute or so before Hades returned and if they believed that he looked angry before, there was nothing that could top the rage etched on his face in that moment. However, it wasn’t just anger, but a look of devastation, not wanting to believe that his wife had left him.

“Wh-where did she go?” His tone was soft, his facial expression drooping as it all settled in his mind.

“We do not know,” Klotho replied.

“Did she say when she would be back?”

“Uh, if I was following what she said correctly, I would say never,” Lakhesis said. Klotho and Atropos quickly placed their hands over her mouth, in attempts to silence her, but it was already too late.

Hades stormed off from the three, Cerberus remaining by the entrance as his master disappeared into the darkness. The Moirai heard him yelling all sorts of obscenities, as the ground beneath their feet began to shake and everything around them rumbled.

“If his next question is why she left, this would be the answer to his question,” Lakhesis added bringing the other two to nod in agreement.

Atropos dropped her chin into the palm of her hand as some dirt settled into her hair. She used her free hand to ruffle her gray locks.

“We should have gone with her.”


Hades paced back and forth, his fingers entangled in knots of his hair as he continued to pull at it in a stressful manner.

“What have I done?” He whispered to himself. His chest ached and he felt weak, wanting to just collapse to the cold ground, but the only way to remain up on his two legs was to continue walking back and forth. If it was the only thing that would bring his mind to a slight ease, thinking about where his wife had run off to, he would be pacing for all eternity.

How could she leave him over one incident? Didn’t she love him? Even if he had become extremely upset with her, he would never think to have her leave or leave her. It would never become an option in his mind, yet it was the first option in hers. He could only hope that she would return to him after she decided that she had stayed angry with him enough. He could let her blow off some steam as long as she would come back to him because he wouldn’t be happy without her.

Hades knew he would fall back into that dark and miserable state that he had been in before Persephone had come into his life. He didn’t want that, she was such a light in his life and he didn’t want to drift far from him, he didn’t want to fall back into the darkness again.

How was he supposed to function as King of the Underworld without his Queen?

“Please…forgive me,” he muttered, coming to a halt from him pacing. “Please, come back to me.”

Collecting his bident to keep his hands and mind occupied, Hades sat himself down, wielding the staff about in his right hand.

What if she didn’t come back to him? Where would she go?

The thought of never seeing her again did not rest well and caused his temper to flare once more as he brought the end of his bident down angrily, smashing it against the ground.

PERSEPHONE!”


The ground shook beneath Persephone’s bare feet, bringing her to fall to the ground. A gasp escaped her as she felt the air being knocked out of her lungs from the impact. The shaking persisted for a few moments as she could feel her husband’s wrath from miles and miles away. He had discovered that she was gone and she was sure he was half-crazed, if not full on mental trying to figure out where she went. It was a good question because even she didn’t know where she was going, she just knew she needed to get away from him.

But how could she?How could she truly be free of him not finding her when he could find her whereabouts anywhere…he was King of the Underworld, it wouldn’t be hard to do so for him. Long before she had become his wife or even traveled to the Underworld, he had watched her from his throne longing to have her.

A small cry passed through her lips as she struck the ground with defeat, knowing she probably could never escape him.

However, as she opened her eyes again, she noticed a small sprout of green, rising from the barren soil. It continued to grow before her very eyes before it blossomed into a flower. As the flower continued to blossom, so did the smile upon her face.

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