Persephone is dead. She’s a graveyard girl. She’s down in the earth with the seeds of the grain.
“It’s very dark,” she says.
So Hades ignites the air. Billows of flame race through the Underworld, scorching large numbers of the residents.
“My hair!” cries Sisyphus.
He’s the guy damned to push a boulder eternally up and down steep cliff walls. Also, his hair is on fire! Fortunately, he knows what to do. He stops. He drops. He rolls! Then the boulder rolls on top of him.
“Curse you, emergency preparedness manual!” cries Sisyphus.
Cerberus’ nose gets singed.
“Wuf,” says Cerberus, unhappily.
Then his other nose gets singed.
“Rurf!” mourns Cerberus.
His third nose gets singed and he gets four hotfoots.
His howls sound through the Underworld.
“I am aflame!” laments the daimon Penthos, in full harmony with that howl.
Penthos is the daimon of lamentation and grief. He is always lamenting about this, that, and the other, such as being on fire.
Finally, there is a momentary delay in the assignment of fates to souls as Ananke takes the actions necessary to avoid burning. One may imagine all kinds of humorous effects but realistically, Ananke, who is Necessity, is extremely good at taking care of herself. If her skirts blow up in the flames or she has to huff and puff to keep her fingernails from catching on fire, it is because she is playing to an audience that loves her. If these things don’t happen, it’s because the viewers would think them undignified; and shame on you, if so, for judging Necessity!
Amidst all of this, Persephone is impressed by the flames, but extremely agitated.
She is frantically waving her arms around to keep her dress from catching on fire.
So Hades banks the fires of the Underworld.
It is 1317 years before the common era. Hades has stolen Persephone from the world above. While her mother searches for hope, Persephone looks around and struggles to come to terms with events.
And slowly, with the fire dimmed, Persephone’s heartbeat decelerates.
“It’s so bleak,” Persephone says.
The ghosts who move through Hades’ kingdom are shades. They have no memory and no attachment. They move through a world of grey and shadow and they are not alive.
The soil is dry.
The air is grey.
“It is bleak,” Hades concedes.
He takes two pomegranates from a silver tray that a trudging ghost carries. He hands one to her and bites into the other.
Persephone ignores the fruit.
“But,” says Hades, after chewing and swallowing, “it is your home.”
Persephone gives him a sideways look.
She says, “Can you make it home-like like you made it bright?”
“So tasty,” says Hades. He bites deeper into his pomegranate.
“Mm,” enthuses Hades.
“There’s nothing like a delicious pomegranate!” Hades declares.