As I wandered through the eternal abode of an afterlife that had come too soon, I noticed that all of the spirits had the slightest white glow to them. Their bodies seemed solid but bathed in a most ethereal light that made them appear heavenly and beautiful. I looked down at my hands and saw that I too, carried the ever so subtle mark of the dead. However, I spied one lady in a distance who shone with no such aura. Rather, she looked most miserable as if she had been condemned to Tartarus. The dark circles under her eyes stood out in startling contrast to the unhealthy pallor of her skin. She looked worried and underfed, which was a curious condition indeed, for her beautiful black dress and ornate purple cloak was of the type that could only be worn by those who had never seen hardship. She listlessly directed the scurrying, official looking spirits in their tasks. I watched in awe as this woman told men what to do, and they did as they were told! Then Hades himself, who had overseen my judgment, appeared before her in a swish of robes darker than the night and frowned as he took in her state. He put a most affectionate hand on her slumped shoulder.
"You should get some rest," he said gently. "I shall not have you looking like this." He cupped a hand under her chin but she brusquely pulled away, meeting my eyes. I shrank away as she strode over to me with purpose. Hades followed at her heels.
"You, poor soul," she demanded. "What brings you to the underworld at an age so far from death?"
"A freezing winter," I stammered. I stared at my feet and wiped my clammy hands on my robes. She may have been spent, but she still bore a fearsome authority.
"And what was the cause of this cruel frost?" she hissed. Her question was directed at me but she was looking at Hades, who was looking very uncomfortable at this point.
"The fury of Demeter," I barely whispered.
"An avoidable matter," she told Hades coldly. "By forcing one wedding between us, you rob this from many others. To make matters worse, it was with possessiveness, not love or necessity, that you claimed me. You may have me, but I shall never accept you." As she stormed away, the god in question trotted after her, denying her accusations.
"Who is that grand lady?" I whispered, stopping one of the important looking ghosts rushing past me.
"Persephone, the royal fiancée," she replied impatiently. She shrugged off my hand and hurried off.
"Why would she be so unhappy with her lot?" I called after her. I received no answer. I could not understand why anyone would not consider themselves fortunate to have a husband so handsome and benevolent as Hades. I myself had been promised to a man twenty years my senior who was rumored to have a terrible temper.