Hadad took Ellil’s hand as they walked down the trail flanked by great fields of yellow wildflowers.
“It’s so pretty here, don’t you think, Hadad?” She squeezed his hand as she looked up at him. He turned his head and she could see his large, deep brown eyes. They looked so beautiful, so romantic.
“Yes, it’s very nice here.” He didn’t always know what to say to her although he was known as a “smooth operator” at school, or at least that’s what his friend Utu called him. He said he got the term from one of those old movies they show on TV late at night. Hadad thought Utu secretly pretended to be an American gangster from the 1940s instead of a fifteen-year-old culture geek too shy to even look at a girl.
He could hear the “crunch” of their footsteps on the gravel and sand as they walked nearer to the copse of trees ahead. Spring had begun only hours ago, but thanks to the Goddess, the world around them was green and growing with life.
“Did you really see them? I mean, you’re not just making it up, are you Hadad?”
He felt a little insulted that she’d even ask the question. “Of course I saw them. Nabu and Utu were with me. They told you.”
“I know. Please don’t be mad at me. It just seems so fantastic.”
He realized he was scowling at her and tried to smile. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gotten mad.”
“No, that’s okay. I mean, if I trust you, I should trust you completely, right?”
Ellil was the prettiest girl in school. He wasn’t the only one who thought so. She was really popular and half the boys he knew, including his two best friends, were dying with envy because she was his girlfriend.
“I should trust you too and know that you wouldn’t say anything unkind.”
Apparently, that was the right thing to say, because she leaned her head against him and smiled. “I do love you, Hadad.”
“I love you too, Ellil.” He knew he was supposed to say that when she told him she loved him, but he didn’t really know what he felt. He liked Ellil, he thought she was funny, kind, and what Nabu called “smoking hot.” She was super sexy, something he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about since he, along with Nabu and Utu, had crept up to the edge of the valley this morning to watch the Goddess Ereshkigal’s twelve nude handmaidens dance around the Mother Tree.
They did that every year starting a month before the coming of Spring to summon the Goddess from her throne in the Underworld back to the surface so she could bring warmth, sunshine, fertility, and the growing season. She also turned the hearts of men and women toward each other, for this too was part of renewing life.
Then he had a horrible thought. What if his feelings for Ellil were just the whims of the Goddess? No, that couldn’t be. They’d been sneaking off together like this for almost two months. At first it was just for kissing, though she let him touch her boobs, but only over her top. Then things slowly got more exciting.
A few weeks ago, she let him completely undress her above the waist. It was the first time he’d ever seen naked breasts in real life (porn on the internet didn’t count). Ellil even let his fingers go below the waist and press against her crotch for a while before she reached down and pulled his hand away. He almost begged her and she finally consented to squeezing his penis, but only over his jeans.
The last time he took her to the trees, they had both pulled their pants down and touched each other, but she wouldn’t let him relieve himself which just about drove him nuts. He could tell she got just as aroused as he did, but for some reason she still stopped him from trying to satisfy her. He’d never understand girls.
Finally, the trees. Hadad had an erection for the past hour and he couldn’t wait for…well for whatever was going to happen.
The Goddess Ereshkial smiled upon the two teenagers. They couldn’t see her because since rising from the Underworld, she was nowhere and everywhere upon the Earth including standing in the trees just inches from the both of them. She remembered the boy who had watched her handmaidens, now gloriously fecund and about to give birth, dance right before her arrival from the Mother Tree.
Her husband Kur, the great Lord of the Dead had ridden his ebony chariot drawn by a dozen horses up from the depths to say his farewells. The handmaids waited patently as the the couple shared their last embrace, and then her Lord returned to his realm while she would remain in the world above for the next six months.
This Hadad was like so many other boys on the verge of becoming men, and Ellil desired more than anything to be seen as a woman and not a little girl. She didn’t always like the boys (and not a few grown men in the village) staring at her breasts and buttocks, but she did believe in love. A woman in love desired her man, though her mother told her such things were dirty unless you were wedded.
The girl was shy and hesitant, but the boy inflamed by raw desire thought of no consequences at all as he entered her for the first time, which was the first time for both of them. She cried out and begged him to go more slowly. She bled as his male lance pierced her virgin’s ramparts.
Ereshkial was somewhat reminded of her first time with Kur. Her mother had called it rape, and while the Goddess hadn’t fully anticipated the Underworld Lord’s sudden and aggressive advances, she could see his love for her and how he had longed for the Goddess to be his bride since time out of reason.
It was in deference to her mother that Ereshkial spent six months in the world above and the other six with her husband as the Queen of all Dead Souls. In the Underworld, she was greatly feared, but up here, she was thought of as kind and gentile, a child of the wild places and mother to the fields of crops.
She was, in her way, also mother of the people, and as Hadad all too quickly (the passion and inexperience of youth) released his seed into the recently lost innocence of Ellil’s womb, she could see the girl’s body was prepared for what he offered, ready to create a new life inside her secret abyss.
Ereshkial laughed with delight but though momentarily startled, the young ones thought the sound was just the breeze moving the tree branches above them. In very little time, the two that were separate would join and Ellil would become pregnant. She was crying a little, now that it was over.
“I thought I told you to take it out before…” She rolled to one side, away from him suddenly embarrassed at her nudity.
“I’m sorry. I mean I got so excited I couldn’t…it happened so fast.”
She rolled back to face him, the tears streaming down her checks breaking his heart. “What if I get pregnant, Hadad? Will you take care of my baby with me?”
“It’s okay. Nobody gets pregnant the first time.” He didn’t know if that were true, but it sounded like a good lie.
“I hope so.” She was more pouting than crying.
He pulled the girl close. The afternoon was waning and they both felt a chill.
“We’d better get dressed,” she whispered as if she could keep secrets.
“Okay.” The boy handed the girl her panties, which he had tossed to one side during their passion.
The Goddess placed her hand against the girl’s lower belly, though Ellil couldn’t feel it. Yes, she sensed the impending quickening.
“I will be back in Hell when you give birth, my pretty little one. I look forward to seeing your beautiful baby boy when I rise again the following Spring.
With that, the Goddess continued to roam the world bestowing her gifts and bringing new life while Hadad and Ellil, oblivious to the natural and supernatural miracles that had just occurred, slowly walked hand-in-hand back down the trail through the field of wildflowers to their home.
I wrote this for the Thursday photo prompt – Between #writephoto hosted at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. The idea is to use the photo Sue has posted on her blog this week as the inspiration for crafting a poem, short story, or other creative work.
I had just finished writing a piece called The Goddess Rises for another fiction challenge based loosely on the myth of Persephone and Hades which included the characters I mentioned in this story. When I saw Sue’s photo, it reminded me of how I ended the other story, so I decided to continue it here.
I know Sue likes to keep things “G” or at least “PG” rated, so I tried to keep the tale from becoming overly graphic. Yet I did need to merge the natural miracle of the creation of a life with the blessings of the Goddess of Fertility, so I apologize if things got just a little “heated.”