I decided to rewrite the story. Show Mintha's background information first and ease back into present day. Also, I am removing a few things and making changes. Odd chapters are the past, even are the present.


Mintha was awoken by a sharp pain in her abdomen and the smell of blood. In the dark, she touched her stomach. She felt a long and solid object protruding from there. She broke off the object that had struck her and pulled it out of her flesh and it healed instantly. She realized that she was sleeping in a small cramped space. How she got there was unknown to her. She blindly felt around for an opening. She discovered an area that was soft, yet hard, wet and sticky. She pushed at it. The instant she did she screamed. Her entire body was bleeding with pain. She looked down and saw a spear embedded in her chest.

A woman with dark auburn hair and a slender figure materialized next to her. Mintha groaned when the woman suddenly hugged her.

"Don't worry! I'll take care of everything!" said the woman.

It was the last thing Mintha heard before her vision turned dark. When she regained consciousness she found herself in a soft bed. Heavy bandages were wrapped around every inch of her body and her face. Angry voices were ringing in her ears.

"I wanted my child back!" said the female voice.

"No, Hera! She's dead! How could you do this to her!" said a male voice.

"I did what I had too! And it worked - look! She's back! My child is back!" said the female voice.

"At what price? What did you exchange for her life? The curse! It's your fault isn't it?"

There was a moment of silence and then the man's thunderous voice stung Mintha's ears.

"WHAT DID YOU DO?!"

The door swung open as the woman with dark auburn hair ran into the room and threw herself at Mintha.

"Look what you've done!" the woman shouted at the blond haired man who stomped into the room after her. "Shh...my love, mama is here." the woman said in a lowered and kinder tone which made Mintha relaxed.

"Melinoe?" the man said underneath his breath. He reached his hand to Mintha but the woman slapped it away.

"Don't touch my daughter." the woman warned him.

Mintha's looked from the woman to the man. She didn't know what was happening or who they were. It was confusing. She opened her mouth to speak but her voice was useless as was everything else. She was immobilized and at their mercy.

Mintha was unaware of time. She was into and out of conscious as her body slowly healed. The woman would be there beside her bed, caring for her. She rarely left her side. The man would come but he remained against the wall. He would watch her with a strange expression. He would only attempt to approach her bed when the woman was gone and stroke her hair. Sometimes tears would fall from his eyes and land beside her.

Their behavior was an enigma. Mintha had never met them before but they appeared to know her. Why was that? She discovered the truth when she was listening to the couple's arguments one day. They thought she was their daughter. A daughter they had lost. Could this couple be her parents? Could Melinoe be her real name?

As far back as Mintha could remember she was alone for a very long time. She lived in a forest with other creatures. They coexisted as neighbors and communicated when it was necessary. If these two were her biological parents she would be more than pleased to stay with them.

Once Mintha was well enough Hera sat her up right and began brushing her hair. Mintha reached her hand to her face to touch the cloth there. Hera gently pushed her hand down as she had done before.

"Don't move, little one."

"What's...on...my...face?" Mintha had been questioning Hera about it since observing Hera's refusal to let her touch the bandages on her body.

"It is nothing." said Hera and she continued brushing Mintha's hair.

Mintha held her hand up and Hera reflexively lowered it down.

"Don't worry about it." insisted Hera with a smile.

This made Mintha more determined than ever to discover what Hera was hiding from her. When night fell Hera pulled the furs over Mintha, who pretended to sleep, and left the room. Mintha got back up and glided her hands against the bandages over her face and her body underneath her clothing. She pulled the bandages off and touched her face. As her hands moved over every inch of her body her eyes grew larger and larger in disbelief. She got out of bed and searched for something, anything that would show her what she felt. Only there were no mirrors in the room. It was Hera's doing. Hera didn't want Mintha to see her face. There was reason for that and she was going to discover it.

Mintha did what she had dreamed of doing for the longest time. She went outside. The light from the moon showed her a path. She walked, desperately searching for something to reveal her reflection. She came across a stone water fountain and ran to it. She grasped the edges and looked down at the crystal surface of the water. When she caught sight of herself her mouth fell open. The reflection she saw was a patchwork of flesh held together with thick lines of thread. None of them belonged to her.

The truth hit her at once. This was not her face. This was not her body. These people were not her parents.

A scream and a crash caught Mintha's attention. She looked from the fountain to see a woman stared at her in horror and ran the other way.

Zeus materialized next to Mintha and threw a cloak over her. He carried her in his arms and brought her back to the bedroom. Hera was already there. She pulled Mintha from him and placed her on the bed.

"What...is...this?" Mintha asked them, indicating herself.

"She saw." said Zeus.

Hera gave a sharp intake of her breath in fright. "There was too much damage to parts of your body. I had to use some of your old ones."

Mintha looked down at her hands. These hands belonged to Melinoe, their real daughter, and whoever else they took the flesh from. Some of the fingers sewed on to the hands didn't appear to be of the same person's. She could see that Melinoe's original skin color was pale, white like milk. The skin of the other person's appendages that were added on by Hera was a shade darker.

"Everything will heal." Hera promised her. "Then we can take the threads out. Your skin will be smooth. I have oils that will even out the color -"

"Enough, Hera!" ordered Zeus.

Hera was in front of him in the blink of an eye and slapped him hard across his face. "SHUT YOUR MOUTH!"

"Don't make empty promises to her." he said, unfazed by her assault.

Hera was about to slap him again but he caught her by the wrist. He grabbed her shoulders and roughly shook her. He turned her around and directed her to face Mintha.

"Look at her! Do you see her! You stitched her together like a doll! Is this what she is to you?"

"She's not a doll and she will heal!" Hera argued. "She will be as she was before! Perfect! Beautiful!"

"You are lying to yourself and to her! We tried already, we can't do it!" Zeus turned to Mintha and spoke with a lowered, cautious tone. "The more we tried to heal you the worse it got. It's a miracle you're still breathing."

Their daughter's body was only breathing because Mintha was inside it. Maybe if she told them she was not Melinoe they would help free her? She kept quiet for there was a chance they might not believe her words and kill her.

"We have to go to Hades -"

"No! No! She'll heal!" Hera recited.

"She won't!"

"I'm not giving her back to them. She's my daughter! Mine!"

Zeus grabbed Hera's jaw and forced her to look at Mintha again.

"Want her to stay like this forever?"

Mintha listen carefully to their argument. Zeus had mentioned this Hades person before and Hera always objected the idea. This time was different. She reluctantly agreed.

"I'm sorry, Melinoe!" Hera sobbed uncontrollably. "I just don't want you to love them more than me. I'm your mother. I love you. You'll remember, won't you?"

Mintha looked at the woman with pity. What Hera didn't know was that Mintha didn't understand her sentiments. She barely knew her.

Hades was a tall man with black and wavy hair, and wore black. The couple lied to him, telling him they discovered her in this condition by accident and brought her to him right away.

"Leave us." he ordered them.

Hera began to protest but Zeus stopped her. They took one last look at Mintha before they disappeared. Hades hands hovered over her as if he was afraid to touch her. His tears slowly fell from his eyes and on to her skin. He reminded her very much of Zeus, a grieving father. Making up his mind he picked her up and carried her to a river. As he was lowered her into the water she panicked and began to struggle.

"Stop struggling. It'll heal you." he said in a soothing tone.

He put her closer to his chest and rocked her in his arms. He murmured a melody that relaxed her and before she knew it she was under the water. He disappeared from her side. She was alone in the water, floating aimlessly. The threads were dissolving from her skin. Her skin was tingling, mending together, blending with the original. Hades really could heal her. She was alone in the water and swam to the surface with renewed energy.

"I was wondering where my body went." Mintha heard a female voice said.

Mintha pushed her hair out of her face and saw that she was in a new location. She was inside of an indoor pool, arches and carvings lined the stone walls. She turned to the voice on her left. The woman had long black, wavy hair, pale skin like milk, and green eyes that shined like emeralds. She looked familiar to Mintha yet not. The woman was leaning against the other end of the pool. She swam to Mintha and stopped in front of her.

"Hi. I'm Melinoe." the woman said kindly.

It's her. This was Zeus and Hera's daughter. She was the owner of the body Mintha was trapped inside.

"I'm Mintha."

Melinoe assisted Mintha out of the pool. Clothes appeared on Melinoe and Mintha's clothing dried. Melinoe brought Mintha into a room with a large bed filled with soft pillows.

Mintha explained to Melinoe how she came about her body and what had happened to her afterwards. They swapped stories and pieced the events that led to them being in this predicament.

"I was inside a dark space. I think I was inside a tree. I recognize the smell of aged wood and blood. I don't know how I got there and then there was something in my stomach. Suddenly, I was inside of your body."

"My memory is a bit hazy from the experience but I know I got infected by demon blood. My soul got sent to the demon world because I'm a hybrid demon god now. My papa, Hades, knows that so he sent you here to me."

"He knew I wasn't you?"

"He knows because I was staying with him right before I died. He had me secretly locked in a cage until I escaped. I killed many innocent lives and was sentenced to death by a Chthonian. He haunted me down and impaled me with a spear. I'm sorry you got involved. I never should have stood in front of your tree when I died. That spear went thought my body and straight into yours. My soul came here. I supposed the connection must have sucked your soul into my body when Hera was trying to revive me. Your body must still be in that tree."

Mintha wanted to get out of Melinoe's body and back into hers.

"Do you think it might still be there?"

"It should be. I'll send you back to the human world to see."

"Aren't you coming with me?"

"I can't. I'm exiled. I was sentenced to remain here. It's my punishment for slaughtering innocents. You're in my body so you can't let anyone see you." Melinoe led Mintha back to the pool of which she came from. "I'll send you back into the portal in the water. Go to my papa. Tell him what happen and ask for his help."

"Which papa do you mean?" asked Mintha. From what she had seen and heard, there were two men claiming to be Melinoe's father.

It occurred to Melinoe that she hadn't explained her family situation to Mintha.

"Zeus and Hera were my parents. I was their eldest child. I was out with my younger brothers when a god from a foreign pantheon appeared. He accused Zeus of stealing his lover. He was going to kill us for revenge. I fought him off and died in the process. Hera used an ancient ritual to resurrect me. I reincarnated and became Hades and Persephone's child. So when I say papa, I mean Hades because he is my father. I call Zeus grandpa or by his name."

"I'll try to remember that."

Mintha sunk into the water. She looked up at the surface of the water to see a dark shadow. She assumed it was Hades since it was too large to be Melinoe. Mintha swam back to the surface and nearly fell over from the impact of something thrown at her. It was not a thing as she first thought. It was a woman with a slender figure and long blonde hair.

"Melinoe!" cried the woman. She had her arms wrapped around Mintha. "I love you so much! I didn't believe you were gone! I never did!"

Mintha wiggled to free herself. She had no idea who this woman was. This warm welcome was not for her. It was for Melinoe. The thought made her sad. She had no one to welcome her home like this.

"Persephone," Hades said gently from beside them. He placed him hand on Persephone to get her attention.

Persephone looked up at Hades.

"Our baby is still alive!" was all she said and buried her face back into Mintha's hair.

"Yes, she is." said Hades.

Mintha shook her head. She was going to explain the truth to Persephone. "I'm not-"

"Melinoe is not feeling well. You should give her time to rest, Persephone."

Persephone tightened her hold around Mintha. She was hysterical. The very idea of letting go would destroy her.

"You can see her?" asked Hades.

Persephone sniffed and nodded her head.

"You can touch her, can't you?"

Persephone nodded again.

"She is here. She'll remain here when you let go."

Persephone stubbornly shook her head.

"Mama, I need to rest. Let me go."

Mintha hated herself for manipulating Persephone but she needed to be released. She had to get out of this body and find hers.

Persephone's arms dropped from Mintha. She backed away but was still in Mintha's personal space. When Mintha was able to fully see Persephone she felt awful for lying. The poor grieving mother had bulging red eyes from all the tears she crying for her deceased daughter.

"You should rest." Mintha suggested to Persephone.

Persephone instantly complied with Mintha's request.

"We will walk you to our bedroom." said Hades.

He offered his hand to Persephone. She took it his hand and took Mintha with her other hand. Mintha played along and walked with them to Hades and Persephone's bedroom. They laid Persephone on the bed. She closed her eyes but grabbed onto Mintha when she tried to leave.

"Don't leave me." Persephone pled.

Mintha didn't know how to respond to that. Persephone wasn't begging her. She was begging Melinoe.

"She won't." Hades answered for her. "Now, sleep." He whispered and Persephone's fell asleep.

Mintha carefully removed her arm away from Persephone.

In silence, he led Mintha out of the bedroom and brought her to another one that was next door. It was as massive like the one before it but with more feminine items.

"I need your help." Mintha began.

"I'll do anything for you, Melinoe." He said with such affection that it hurt Mintha to have to remind him of the truth.

"I'm not Melinoe."

Hades was finding it difficult to listen to what he was hearing. His beloved daughter was standing in front of him and yet not. This was her body but a completely different soul was inside her.

"My apologies and I apologize for Persephone too. She has not been herself since we were told about Melinoe. She and I can't accept that Melinoe is gone."

"My name is Mintha. I'm trapped in Melinoe's body. I need your help finding my body."

Mintha told him Melinoe's theory about the tree.

"I'll begin my search. I'm sure you want to be with your family again." Hades said.

"I don't have a family."

"Is there someone who will miss you?"

Mintha shook her head. One of her friends was happily married in a faraway land. One was dead. And the last two wouldn't want to see her.

"No."

Her answer sealed her fate.