I grew up on the earth; the beautiful, majestic, bountiful earth. My mother was Demeter, and my father was Zeus, but he lived up on Mount Olympus while my mother and I stayed on earth and made sure the flowers bloomed and the fruit ripened all year round. My mother was goddess of the Harvest, while I was goddess of Vegetation, and together we worked in unison. I was always happy on the earth, and that's was always how it would be…at least that's what I thought for the longest time.
I can't remember who was first, but as I grew up I saw more and more men taking notice of me. At first it was just a couple men from the villages nearby wherever mother and I roamed, but then the god's started visiting me. I can remember the day clearly; it was Hermes who first visited me. Mother and I were at our house, and she was making the flowers bloom in a window sill pot nearby.
"Persephone, how do these flowers look? I made them especially for you."
I turned and looked to see my mother with her hand over a pot of flowers. There were a couple flowers inside with wide, long pedals, but the most beautiful part was their color. They were a rare mixture of orange, yellow with just a hint of red at the tips of the pedals. They were the color of my hair.
"Oh, mother. They're beautiful!" I exclaimed, running over to them. I closed my eyes and breathed in their scent. They smelled like honey and grass, and surprisingly the two smells went well together. "Thank you so much."
"No problem. I knew you would like them," she said with a smile. A sudden knocking coming from the door interrupted our conversation, and mother walked over to the door, opening it and revealing the messenger of the God's, Hermes.
"Good day, Hermes," my mother greeted him. "What message do you have for us?"
His eyes drifted over to me and he smirked before giving her an answer.
"No message, Demeter. I have come to see Persephone." He pulled his hand out from behind his back, revealing a mixture of beautiful colored flowers. "I know how you like these."
I smiled back at him politely, then turned to look at my mother. Her eyes were narrowed into slits and her hand clutched the door-turning her knuckled white-as she pressed her lips into a fine line. I knew she was mad; about what, I had not a clue.
Hermes walked up to me and handed me the flowers before walking out and leaving me with a promise, "I will be back soon, my sweet flower."
As soon as he was gone my mother slammed the door shut and turned to me. She glared at the flowers before taking them from me and tossing them out the window.
"Mother, that was not necessary, I do not return his affection," I said quietly.
"That is not the point, Persephone. If you keep these flowers it will only encourage him."
That was the first lesson I learned in love: never accept a gift from a man unless you wanted to encourage his affection. After Hermes there were more suitors, each bearing a different gift. After Hermes there was Ares, Apollo, and lastly, Hephaestus. They each brought me beautiful gifts, each better than the last, but my mother continued to discard of them, and I never stopped her. I didn't love any one of them, and I didn't want them to pursue me.
With each visit my mother grew angrier and angrier with them. It was after Hephaestus came with his second present that mother finally got tired of the god's constantly coming into our house and trying to woo me. That very day, in the dead of the night, we left for a place where mother said 'they will never find us.' We crossed so many plains, mountains and villages that I lost count until we finally came to a valley that seemed to go on forever, with mountains to the north and south and a field filled with flowers nearby. It was there we lived in peace.
It was a little bit after we moved to that valley that my life changed forever. I was walking in the field filled with flowers, picking them with a few nymphs.
"Persephone, look at this!" one of them called in a sing-song voice. I looked over at the black haired girl to my right and saw her holding up an orange flower. I smiled.
"Beautiful, isn't it? My mother made that for me," I said. She giggled as she skipped over to me and placed the flower in my hair. I smiled and continued to pick flowers and put them in the small basket hanging on my arm. I had just picked a purple flower that was in bloom when I looked up and my blue eyes met a pair of black one's staring back at me. I gasped in surprise before looking away. I straightened up and looked at the stranger from my peripheral vision as I pretended to be watching my friends pick flowers. The stranger were still hidden behind a bush a few yards away where the field ended and the dense woods began; the stranger still hadn't noticed that I'd seen them.
I looked back at my friends a few feet away, then back at the bush. I was a little startled to see that the stranger had disappeared, but his appearance was still sketched in my mind. He had raven black hair that went down to his shoulders and coal black eyes and stood out against his almost white skin. I surprised myself when I felt a pang of disappointment when I didn't see him.
I turned to my friend and cleared my throat. "I am going to go and see what kinds of flowers grow in the woods."
A blonde with shimmering hair looked up at me in surprise. "Are you sure, Persephone? The woods can be very dangerous."
"I will be fine," I assured them before taking off towards the woods. I hummed a lullaby my mother sang to me when I was a little girl as I walked along the beaten woods trail. Occasionally I would catch a quick glimpse of someone hiding in the bushes, or see a shadow behind me, but whenever I turned to face the stranger I would never see him.
I finally came to a waterfall that emptied into a pond; lilies grew along the bank and cattails grew out from under the peaceful water. I hummed to myself, swinging my basket on my arm as I walked. I sat down on a flat stone that jetted out over the water and sat down, sticking my toes into the water.
I continued humming as I waited for the shy stranger to reveal himself to me. I don't know why I had to see him, I just did. Those eyes kept staring at me, even thought I couldn't see them anymore. They were etched into my brain, so that even when I closed my eyes I could see them staring at me, like they were trying to search my soul for all it's secrets. I couldn't forget the way he looked at me, even if it was only for a second or two.
I felt something tickle my foot, and I giggled as I looked down to see a small fish nuzzling my toes. I reached down and swirled my finger around in the water, causing the fish to follow it. I suddenly look up and saw those enthralling black eyes staring at me from behind a wide oak tree. When he saw my eyes staring back at him his widened in surprise before disappearing back behind the tree.
"Why do you hide from me?" I asked as I twirled a strand of reddish orange hair around my finger.
A couple seconds later the stranger walked out from behind the tree, and I tried to hide my smile as I looked at him more closely. He was taller than I imagined, at least a foot taller than me, and he was well-built. I could see the muscles from under his tunic and wondered just how strong he was. I looked back at his face and realized with a start, that he looked familiar…too familiar. I squinted and realized that I knew this face, if only from stories. This was no mere mortal, this was none other than the god of the Underworld, Hades. One of the 'Big Three.'
I wasn't sure whether to post this on Fanfiction or here, but I figured it would be Ok to post it here since there is a Mythology section, and this is Mythology, and since it doesn't follow the same plot as the original story. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy it!