A/N: I realize that it has been months since I've updated and I'm sincerely sorry for those of you who have been following this story for so long. I deeply apologize. I am not finished with the chapter but some of you have sent me messages asking me to update and so I thought I'd give you the first section to this chapter. The next chapter should come shortly and by shortly I mean within the month, so do not despair. I hope that you like this section of the chapter. Again, I apologize and I hope you like it :). Also, I want to thank any of you who did not give up on the story and you should be getting another update soon.
There was no light and no sense of direction. The young maiden had no idea where she was, she only knew that there was darkness and she could feel it growing and expanding as each moment passed. She could not feel anything other than the empty void, nor could she see anything. As the hours passed she endlessly paced back and forth. Her mind was deep in thought and the darkness was getting the best of her. She began to question her whereabouts. She shook her head trying to dismiss the uneasy feeling growing in the pit of her stomach.
Thinking that she might be having a nightmare, she pinched herself only to find that she could not sense the pain. She slapped herself, but nothing. There was no noise, there was nothing. Everything was numb and there was no feeling, no warmth. Staring out into the void, the empty space, only frightened her more for she could not see its beginning and nor its end. She began to think to herself if she was even really there or if her imagination had begun to get the best of her. Perhaps it was a dream gone astray and it was her responsibility to wake up.
But she did not wake up no matter the pain she inflicted on herself. She pulled her hair, scratched at herself, stuck her nails into her eyes, and did anything possible to feel, to sense, to know the pain. The ability to feel pain meant that you were awake and alive, but she felt nothing. Numb.
She tried to wave her fingers in front of herself, but only the shadows of the darkness were noticeable. There was no light. She tried waving them again and when she did not see them or feel them her breath grew short and quick. She began to run, but didn't know which direction to run in and felt like she had been going around in circles. She ran for hours without end. The abyss had no time; it was infinite, at least that was what she had begun to believe.
Images flashed through her mind, but there was absolutely nothing. She couldn't remember who she was and she'd find herself having conversations with herself. Then after the minutes turned to hours and hours to days she tried feeling for a wall, for an escape, but there was none. No one could escape. There was no escape and already she begun to forget herself. She wanted to wake up from the horrible nightmare and made an attempt at screaming herself awake, but there was no sound. The abyss of shadows and darkness swallowed every attempt at trying leave.
Her frail, cold and numb body fell to the floor, but she couldn't feel the impact. It was as if her soul were floating in the shadows. Feeling the burden of being alone, of not enjoying her senses, or not knowing where or who she was, she cried. Her tears turned to icicles on her face, crystallized for eternity. There was no hope. Her memory had faded. The nightmare was too real.
Yet images had suddenly flashed across her mind, the only memories she could remember. A young man. A young man with eyes the color of the endless sky yet hidden deep within the clear sky lay the possibility of a frenzy of storms, of danger. Promises of love, his lips upon her, then the abyss of shadows, of madness.
She couldn't understand anything, couldn't remember who she was, and couldn't conceive thought. Her body went limp; her mind fell to chaos, and her soul could no longer feel. In the empty abyss she wept in silence. All hope drained out of her, surrounding herself with the shadows of the darkness, escaping to the deep recesses of her mind.
She lay down, rocking herself back and forth, trying to warm herself up. She was so cold, so lost. The darkness had swallowed her. Her thoughts, her memories, her mind.
While she slipped in and out of her mind, someone had sneaked up behind her stealthily. She felt a hand lightly touch her shoulder. She felt. She could feel. Slowly, some warmth began to flow through her veins and pump through her heart. As she stood up and blood raced through her body, she turned around to face her companion in the darkness.
He had a golden aura that illuminated him, causing the darkness to subside and forced the shadows into their abyss. His feet were adorned with winged sandals, which fluttered and allowed him to hover in the air slightly.
"Who are you?" she inquired, her voice barely a shaken, audible whisper.
"I am called by many things, but you shall remember me as pschyopompos." He took a step towards her and she took several quick steps back.
Her eyes grew large in disbelief and she couldn't help but shake her head and hug herself. "It is not possible. You cannot be Lord Hermes. If you are Lord Hermes that means that I am…"
"Dead." He waited for her to breakdown as mortals usually do when they find out that they are no longer among the living. He offered her a hand, but she stared at it and began shaking her head.
"No. This is not possible. I am alive. I am in the realm of Hypnos and any moment I shall awaken from my slumber and you will be nothing but a dream." The maiden kept backing away from Hermes, taking larger and larger steps away from him until she broke into a sprint.
"Where will you run to? You are dead and if your soul stays here, in this limbo, you shall drive yourself on the brink of insanity. Do not fight your fate." He reached his hands toward her when she halted. "Take my hand, maiden."
Staring at his hand, her mind reluctantly thought of the endless darkness that had engulfed her. She hadn't been able to escape and her body had been numb and cold. Her body had felt no pain. Her eyes gleamed with desperation as she realized her fate. "I am dead. Gods! I am dead. How? Why?"
"All mortals must one day die. It is the fate every mortal must suffer. When I carry your soul into the Underworld it will all become clear." He took a step towards her, relieved that she did not back away from him anymore.
Tears flooded her eyes and she could not hold it in any longer; she broke down sobbing to the floor. "Lord Hermes, I-I do not understand. Help me understand. Help me, please." She grabbed at exomis and inside her eyes lay the darkness and the endless void of shadows, that continued to consume her mind. "Please."
Hermes, the psychopompos, the carrier of souls, brought her languid body into a standing position. Her mind had fled and nothing was left. "It is the will of the Fates. In the Underworld all shall be clear."
She locked her gaze on the receding darkness and shadows. "All shall be clear. Yes…yes…clear"