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“This is most unusual.” The ferryman, standing at the head of his riverboat, guided it steadily, pull by pull, across waters darker than pitch.
“It is allowed. I have Persephone’s blessing.” The voice from beneath the ashen robes and hood was deep, husky, even coarse, but still unmistakably female. It was the only sign of her identity besides a vague shape, for no part of her flesh was visible to him.
While the waters of the Styx were liquid obsidian, the mist surrounding them swirled white as smoke, perhaps belched out between the Underworld and the living by the furnaces of Hades.
“Sisyphus had Persephone’s ear, and you chose your timing well, what with the winter solstice coming upon the land above.” The old man took another stroke, and then listened as if someone might call. Even to the cloaked figure, he looked unkempt and foul, his stench could have been rotting fish, the breath of rats, or gangrenous flesh. His long, stringy hair and beard dripped an unsavory substance.
© Sue Vincent
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?”
© Severine Pineaux – Found at khabar-news.net
The twelve beautiful nude virgins danced joyously around the only tree in the field that was bearing leaves and blossoms. They had been appearing at the base of the tree for the past thirty days each dawn to dance, and then vanished each evening with the last rays of the sun.
The valley where the tree has always grown was forbidden to everyone in the land during this time, and yet young boys and men were known to slyly hide in the low peaks at the valley’s edge to watch, at first with crude telescopes and more recently with binoculars, gazing with lust at the alluring maidens.
Their only attire were the wreathes of wildflowers they wore in their hair, fresh every morning. They were seen neither to eat nor drink and never paused to rest for even a moment, but constantly maintained their dance as if it were their passion and religion.
“What do you think it means, Hadad?”