"Freedom"

Meg paced back and forth in the dark shadows of the forest. She held her bleeding arm and looked up at a flock of geese flying overhead. They were the lucky ones. They were free, to fly about through the air and live their lives as they pleased. Meg, on the other hand, feared she would never know the feeling of freedom again. If it hadn't been for her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, she would have never ended up in this mess. She would have never ended up selling her soul to Hades.

Meg thought back to that fateful day, in which she had lost her freedom. Her boyfriend Theron lay dying on his deathbed, as Meg watched over him. All their plans of someday getting married and having a family together were about to be washed away with his death. Her heart cried out for help, for a doctor, a cure, anything to save her boyfriend's life. Then he appeared out of the shadows- a tall ominous blue-skinned man, who seemed to float rather than walk. He introduced himself as Hades: Lord of the Dead, and shook Meg's hand. Hades offered her a deal: Meg's eternal servitude, in exchange for saving her boyfriend Theron's life. Meg looked at her boyfriend, barely breathing his last gasp. There was no other option. She nodded, and accepted Hades deal. In an instant, her boyfriend sat up in bed, completely cured. The paleness went away from his cheeks, and his eyes were bright with life. Meg gasped at the miracle before her. Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and Meg answered.

A young woman with blonde hair looked at Meg suspiciously and said, "Is Theron here?"

"Who wants to know?" asked Meg.

"It's me, Persephone, his wife", said the woman, "His boss told me he was here at the hospital. Are you a nurse?"

Meg stood stunned. Her boyfriend was married? He had lied to her all along? Theron had told Meg she was his one true love. He had told her he was going to marry her, and love her forever. She had givien him everything- her heart, the years of her youth, and her virginity. And for what? She had been betrayed.

"Hey Theron, your WIFE is here to see you", said Meg with a look of hate.

Theron stood up quickly and gasped, "Persephone! Hi... Uh, this is my nurse, Megera."

Meg stepped out of the room and stood alone behind the building before breaking down into tears. She would never let anyone see her cry. She was far too strong a woman for that. Suddenly, Hades appeared next to her again in a puff of gray smoke. .

"It's a shame about your boyfriend, being married and all", said Hades, "He broke your heart real bad, didn't he?"

Hades wiped the tear from Meg's cheek.

"This is none of your business", said Meg.

"Right, fine, whatever. But the fact of the matter is... I own you now, like it or not. And I have a little bit of work I need you to do. Nothing major. Just a little army recruiting", said Hades, in his fast salesman-like manner of talking.

"Army recruiting?" asked Meg.

"You see, I have this little property venture. I want to take over the world, and Mount Olympus. I want to rule it all. But obviously I'm going to need an army if I want to have a successful uprising. I need you to persuade some particular fellows to join my team", said Hades, "Just some giant beasts and monsters."

After that fateful day, Meg spent her time on missions to persuade monsters to join Hades team for the uprising. It usually went well. Meg knew how to use her beautiful looks and seductive voice to convince the beasts. They'd fall under the spell of her beauty and agree to anything. This particular night hadn't gone so well though. The beast Hades had wanted to join his team was a fierce minotaur. He had been locked in a labyrinth for far too long, and simply attacked Meg rather than listening to her. Meg ended up running off into the woods, where she was now rubbing her scratched cheek, and wiping the blood from the bite marks on her arm. Familiar misty smoke floated towards her, and Hades appeared.

"What happened here?" demanded Hades.

"The minotaur wouldn't listen to me. I barely got away", said Meg, still wiping the blood from her arm.

"Meg my sweet, my little nut-meg... You know minotaurs can be nasty creatures. That's why I need them for my uprising", said Hades.

"Well have your little imps take care of this. I'm not immortal, you know", said Meg in frustration.

Hades glanced at her badly bleeding arm, and felt a strange emotion. Was it sympathy? He wasn't sure. He decided to go easy on Meg for once. She'd been through alot. He waved his hand over her cuts. As he gently wiped away the blood, her wounds miraculously healed, just like when he had healed her ex-boyfriend over 2 years earlier.

She looked up into his dark ominous eyes and softly whispered, "Thank you."

"Think nothing of it", said Hades, "Now about that minotaur..."

He thought for a second then yelled, "Pain! Panic!", calling his two imp servants to him, "I want you to go find this minotaur. Perhaps a female minotaur is what we need, rather than a female human."

Pain and Panic obediantly transformed themselves into a female minotaur and headed off towards the labyrinth.

"Meg, why don't you take the rest of the day off. Go get some dinner or see a play or something", said Hades as he disappeared with a puff of smoke.

Meg smiled. A lifetime of servitude to Hades wasn't always bad. Sometimes she even enjoyed the excitement of it all. Meeting monsters and traveling all over Greece was something she never would have had the chance to do before. Yet, part of her still longed for the freedom she once knew. Even a slave living in the most beautiful mansion would prefer freedom in a filthy hovel. Meg desired her freedom, despite the fact that she often enjoyed working for Hades.

Hades had become almost like her only friend, though he wasn't much of a friend to other people. He was downright vicious to his imps, Pain and Panic. But he had never hurt Meg. He talked to her about his plans, and often asked her for advice. He treated her more like a favorite employee, rather than a servant. Meg hated to admit it, but she actually enjoyed his company. For once, there was a man who didn't care about her beautiful looks, and didn't drool over her sexy figure. He didn't seem interested in women at all. She was happy about that, because she was sick of men staring at her all the time. She knew that gods sometimes married other gods, or had short relationships with mortals. But that just wasn't Hades thing. He wanted power. He was tired of being stuck in the underworld. As Meg thought about it, she realized, Hades was a slave too. Zeus had forced Hades to do all the hard work of running the underworld, and Hades longed for freedom from his wretched eternal job. Meg could now understand Hades' obsessive drive to take over Mount Olympus. It was the only thing that would bring about his freedom. She and Hades were more alike than she had ever realized before. Both were slaves for eternity.

Meg walked to a restaurant and sat down. She looked at all of the happy families and couples at the other tables and sighed. She was all alone. She had a longing in her heart for companionship. And strangely, the only man that kept coming back to her mind was Hades. She wondered if he ever felt lonely. She thought of him eating dinner alone, sipping worms from a cup in his underworld cave-like home. When the waiter approached Meg, and asked what she would like to order, she set down her menu.

"I think I'll eat somewhere else", said Meg, walking away.

Meg walked towards one of the hidden entrances to the underworld in the dark forest. She decided she'd rather eat dinner with Hades, than by herself. Behind a large boulder was a small cave with a gate. She entered the dark ominous cave, and began rowing a black boat across the green river of souls towards Hades dwelling. He was sitting alone in a black stone chair, sipping worms from his drink. He glanced up as Meg walked in the room.

"I thought I gave you the day off", he said.

"You did. I decided I'd rather spend it here", said Meg.

"Suit yourself", said Hades as he sipped from his cup.

Meg sat down at a table where figures of monsters were positioned on a map. She picked up the carved figure of a hydra and looked at it.

"Don't you ever get tired of spending all your time with monsters and imps?" asked Meg, "Don't you feel isolated and alone down here in the underworld?"

"What? Why do you care all of a sudden?" asked Hades, "Besides I won't be stuck here forever. I have an uprising in the works. Or have you forgotten, my little nutmeg?"

"Well, I just...", her voice trailed off as she looked up at him. There was a hidden sadness behind his cold dark eyes. What Meg said earlier must have struck a chord with Hades. She knew he really did feel isolated, even if he would never admit it. Meg understood that feeling, because she herself felt the same way. She and Hades were the same, both cut off from the world.

Hades looked back at Meg, and Meg's heart pounded and skipped a beat.

'Oh god', thought Meg to herself, 'I'm falling for Hades. This can't be happening.'

And yet, as she looked at him, she longed to break though that icy demenor of his, and provide the companionship she knew they both needed. Sure, he wasn't much to look at. He had blue flames for hair, a long chin, and sharp teeth, but there was something Meg found charming and intriguing about him. He had a certain mysterious dark charm to him. Meg wondered if Hades had ever been with a woman before. As a god, surely he had been in love at least once during his immortality, she thought. He continued sipping his drink, oblivious to Meg's secret thoughts.

"Do you have anything to eat here?" asked Meg, now listening to the rumbling of her empty stomach.

"Sure", said Hades, waving his hand.

A plate of food appeared on the map table in front of Meg. She began eating, then looked at Hades who was sitting on his large stone chair again.

"Want to join me?" she asked.

"Huh? What? Sure, alright", said Hades as he sat down across from Meg.

Hades looked at the carved figures on the map in front of him and pointed to a cyclops, "I think I'd like to get this guy to join my team for the uprising", he said.

Meg moved the figures to the side of the table and said, "Can you forget about the uprising for once?"

Hades started to reply, then watched in silent shock as Meg slowly crawled across the top of the table towards him. Meg wrapped her arms around his neck and smiled seductively.

"Woah woah there Meg. What do you think you're doing?" said Hades, as Meg caressed his cheek with her hand.

"I think you know what I'm doing", said Meg.

Meg leaned in and planted a warm kiss on Hades lips. His eyes shot open in shock, then closed as he let himself give in to the kiss. Meg felt Hades inhibitions melt away, and she deepened the kiss. He opened his mouth to allow her tongue to gently slide past his sharp teeth and caress his tongue. Hades wrapped his arms around Meg, holding her close to him, and running his hand through her long reddish-brown hair.

Meg smiled inside as she suddenly realized the fact that she was kissing a god. How many girls would ever get to kiss a god, she wondered. When their lips finally parted a few minutes later, Hades looked at Meg with a look of wonder in his eyes.

"No one's ever done that to me before", he said with a shy smile.

Meg smiled back.

"Ok... ok... I know why you did this. Meg, my sweet, you're free to go", said Hades, "You don't have to be my servant anymore."

"I'm free? Really free?", said Meg, "But Hades, just so you know, I didn't kiss you to get my freedom. I kissed you because I wanted to. And because... I like you."

Hades waited a moment to let Meg's heartfelt words register in his mind. Meg liked him? Could it truely be possible? When he looked in her passion-filled eyes, he realized it really was true. Hades wrapped an arm around Meg, and kissed her on the lips again. This time his tongue entered her soft open mouth. Meg's heart pounded and she blushed red. When they their lips parted Hades held Meg close one more time.

"You know, I like you too", he said, "You're quite an amazing woman. I've never met anyone like you before."

Meg blushed, as Hades walked with her to the exit of the underworld.

"I'll see you around, Meg", he said, "Now go on up to earth and live the free life you deserve. And I may, uh, drop in to visit you from time to time, if you don't mind?"

"Of course I don't mind. I look forward to it, more than anything", Meg smiled as she left the underworld to begin her new life of freedom.

The End.