A beautiful piece of paper and an elaborate box, those are the things I last remember. I remembered how the paper fell, splendid but mysterious symbols burnt into the parchment. It touched the earth and like a snowflake, its delicate beauty proved its undoing as it disintegrated into grains so fine that one could swear that it became the wind that scooped it up and carried it afterwards to parts unknown.
That part was clear, for it was the closest thing to sunlight and the last I time I would appreciate it for what it truly was for a long time.
Hypnos and Thanatos appeared before me, and before I knew it, the world I once knew became inverted. Mother always wondered what it would be like to be in the presence of God and here were two of equal stature and equal omnipotence standing before me. Their eyes were empty and devoid of any life from within, the way mine became soon afterwards.
With but a simple gesture and a wave of their hand, they granted me a necklace. I found it pretty with its ruby beads, mother of pearl fangs but once I placed it on my neck, I cared not for its grandeur soon afterwards. After their kind gesture the inner fear I felt from them, disappeared but strangely I did not feel any braver either.
I don't care. Why is that? I looked upon them with the same gaze that would behold me whether they smiled or threatened my life. In fact, one of them did just that, a test I suppose. In his hand, a scythe appeared. His brother asked if he was bored and he dismissed it over the fact that he simple intrigued. He placed the curved end toward my little neck, and waited till I took a breath, only for a small sliver to touch the blade and a tiny red pearl rolled down till it struck the center fang of my new necklace.
He pulled the weapon away, pleased that I appeared a little annoyed that he wasted my time. One of them opened the door of the round building, and welcomed me to my new castle. I asked to him, "What castle do you speak of?" He then laughed and laughed and his brother simply called him bored once more. Thanatos said to me that the castle that I spoke of was now vacant and only spirit of my new Lord and brother remained.
It was the first time I had ever heard his name. It was four syllables of poetic genius. It was intoxicating and with but one exhalation from beginning to end, I was addicted to the sound of his name, filling my body with such beautiful emotions that I would close my eyes and feel at peace as long as that name echoed in my head. The world I felt and saw was nothing but shades of grey and death, but only with a murmur of the Lord of the Underworld's name did I felt any semblance of life and exhilaration in what was left of my soul.
The Twin Gods walked or rather they swayed and floated above like an airborne waltz above what they deemed the inferior earth. I watched as their robes rubbed against the somber brittle grass, all life drawn from within, it to disintegrate from the slightest touch or gust. I remembered turning around. I had no sense of time other than the dreaded ten year wait that I must endure for my future Lord. I saw the hollow shells of roses and tulips in front of me to indicate that it was Spring, but wherever we travelled, the life of all forms of former greenery would crumble until it was a pile of grey snow. A wind blew against the remains of peach-blossoms, shattering them and covering me with ashes like the winter flurries.
We finally came to the front of the door. Two dogs of my Lord were dead along with a few crows that had dared trespass upon my Lord's castle's and died before reaching their meal. They laid there upon the top of their beloved stoop. I supposed it was a fitting place for their final rest.
I took the side of my shoe and pushed them aside and entered the Castle of my Lord. I was not surprised of what I saw. His tastes were most excellent though, the porcelain dolls in Victorian dress were an eyesore. I asked Hypnos why would our Lord collect such things and he chuckled once more before replying that they were a gift from him to me, and it was my choice of whether they remained or not.
"Hades-sama," I murmured as my heart began to beat faster at the thought of such a kind gesture. I swore a smile formed upon my lips for the first time since freeing my Lord's servants from their terrible conundrum. I touched the pearl face of the doll and turned to each of their dresses with large sleeves and long dresses. Perhaps, this was my Lord's idea of beauty? Then I shall do the same.
I approached the closet filled with various dresses. I picked one out of a fancy pattern but alas Lord Thanatos pointed out that the dress was not black like the doll but red. I scoffed at my foolishness and thus I tried again. But the next I choose was again, unfitting for my Lord, for that too was a royal purple. I enquired to my Lord's two right hands and asked why was it that every outfit I chose was wrong? Hypnos, a God of gentle demeanor simply reached over and picked the one carefully laid inside a leather bag. I pulled the metal fasteners open and behold was the perfect color. It came with wide brim hat with a long black veil surrounding it. Beneath it was a picture of a gravestone with several flowers around the headstone. But I simply tossed both items aside. Curiously, Hypnos questioned my actions. I said to him, "What did it matter if the woman was dead or not? My Lord's Kingdom will surely be a paradise compared to this fool's errand that one calls life? Why, if one to eliminate all life, than death will no longer be the end, and will thus grant eternity for all, thus establishing my Lord as the wisest of all deities."
"Such a lovely doll," I heard Hypnos whispered to his brother.
Dressed in my new outfit, we finally reached the last set of doors.
They stopped before a final set of doors. I passed by my Lord's dead servants, those that were clearly not worthy of serving him. However, young and naïve though I may be, this was surely proof that I have clearly won him over with my eternal love. Though I do wish I could remember of what I assume would be the most beautiful and most kind face one could ever have the privilege to admire.
We continued into the room where a man, a woman and what could I assume was a nursemaid laid there, slumped upon the bed. I stood there; I recognized the man and the woman. I bowed and thanked them for taking care of the Castle of my Lord and their service to our Great King has been most appreciated. Suddenly, Hypnos and Thanatos immediately bowed to a pile of sheets.
"Hades-sama… he waits for you," Thanatos spoke to me.
I turned and indeed he does. I reached for the blankets and picked him up. He truly was beautiful. I gasped as I stared into the depths of his cosmos as it spiraled from within my hands.
"…he desires a body…"
"…but not just any body…"
"… the purest soul of the world..."
The twins spoke, finishing and ending each other's sentences in such a tone that one could have sworn it came from one voice. But the message couldn't have been clearer. My Lord's needs must be fulfilled and I will search every nook and cranny of this world until his wish has been fulfilled. I turned to the white orb in the white sky. It's heat bothered me. I retreated behind the curtain. How irritating.
"Hades-sama, forgive me for my impudence, but I fear that I cannot cross until nightfall." I felt a tinge of anger as I gazed upon the other side of the castle of my Lord. "Why must I be forced to wait here? Hades-sama, only when your dream of expanding your kingdom comes about," I placed my hand upon the curtain that barricaded me from the accursed sunlight, "will I be truly free to see the rest of the world."
One grabbed my shoe just before I passed her; apparently a single spark still permeates her and her empty belly. She called me a name, but I have no idea why for I know not of anyone by that title, I said to her, "You are mistaken, for I am Pandora."
Author's Notes: Happy Belated Birthday Nobara Aihara! I'm sorry it took so long to put up your birthday present. Originally it was a poem, but with everything that happened, I wanted to get it out sooner so I changed it to a short story instead. One of the most memorable scenes for me in the anime was when Pandora told her back story to Ikki. So I thought I'd do that, but tell it more from the perspective of it actually happening rather than a reflection of those accounts. Hope you like it :)