I could no long hear them; their pain their suffering the one thing that I could use against my brother long ago left my body, the chatter of teeth against the cold ice the smell of tears bringing moisture to the ground seemed like a strange dream, the sort of dream that had you waking up in distress questioning everything around you, everything that had been taught to you since you could walk. Even the air smelt different the life in the air stronger than before the birds actually ventured away from their chicks to feed, dainty wings carried them across the great ocean my brother once ruled with an iron fist many a time I would have to deal with the aftermath of his anger such a thought brought a pang of grief to my heart that I didn't know existed, tears prickled my eyes my upper lip began to twitch causing the bristles of my beard to quiver like a branch caught in a light breeze, only now did it occur to me; I was the last one the last remaining god.
One giant leap for man kind
The winter wind seemed to attack the small city with vengeance many window shutters were reduced to being nailed shut the small gaps smeared with the bodily fluids of a freshly slaughtered lamb, the carcass its self was roasting on a spitting fire the juices making a thick gravy the bones used for medicine no more would they have, to sacrifice their best spoils to the gods above them no longer would man have to deal with scraps.
His breath caught in the crisp afternoon air his body was tense as small tremors flowed through his body giving him the illusion that someone walked over his grave, his body long, slender with a hint of a curve wrapped up in an old shepherds cloak head bowed as if mourning the death of a beloved one fingers pale gripping onto the limited warmth that his body was able to produce during such hard months, pale grey eyes had followed the scrambling leaves for what seemed like hours yet no place had been willing to open its doors to an outsider already it seemed that his new life was just a rebirth of his old one, he had been shauned before why had he expected change so quickly? Stepping on the leaf that had been a distant companion he listed to it crunching under his weight, a small arch way creating what would later be refered to as an alley way seemed his only source of hope his feet dragged against the ground they only felt like to great ice blocks; he could barely even wriggle his toes.
The arch provided some comfort the wind seeming less violent now that he had a roof over his head which was nothing more than two planks of wood nailed together, his legs hunched up against his chest his back ached as he lent against the stone wall behind him he couldn't remember the last time he had slept in a bed (maybe that was a good thing, this way he wouldn't have a chance of knowing how soft a straw filled mattress really was...) his head tilted back exposing his neck to the cold as he listened to the wood groaning under the strain of staying together, he pulled the clock tighter around his body trying to cover up his ears his hair might be long but it wasn't thick, he hadn't looked around to see if there was any source of warmth to come by it was to dark and the thought of moving when the ground was starting to produce heat that his mind was conjuring up was enough to make him sit through the harsh winter weather hoping, it would have eased up by morning so he could get some food in his belly along with some money in his pocket that he might be able to spend the night in a small tavern or inn.
Bringing his hands to his face not even suppressing a forced laugh when he couldn't feel his beard tickle his numb hands, he started to breath into them thinking that his breath would surface enough warmth that moving such tender muscles wouldn't feel like he had shoved his hand into a bag of pins.
Dawn couldn't have come sooner as the sunlight creeped up over the horizon bringing light to the silent city of Argos already workers were rubbing the sleepy dust out the corner of their eyes, unlike the humans some animals were heading back to their burrows or their nests one bird in particular hid himself away in the corner of an arch way just above the head of a sterring male.
The hood from his cloak had slipped from his head during his few hours of unrestful sleep his face pale while the tip of his nose was a light baby pink, his feet were the first things to move the heels becoming more worn as he scuffed them forward allowing his long legs to ease out of the cramped position that he had placed himself in, a pleasured groan passed his lips when his knees popped back in their rightful joints. A hand placed over his stomach at the sound of a loud growl his cheeks would have flushed all though due to his pale complexion that wouldn't happen, finally with some source of light he was able to look around his surroundings yet just as he feared before darkness took over him there was nothing here that he could eat.
Sliding his hand down onto the ground he pushed himself up his legs wobbled at first but as he took hold of the wall beside him he found it somewhat easier to get a straighter back, there was a nip in the air that made him rise his hood to cover his face his hands swiftly coated by the long sleeves as his stomach growled once more he pushed himself forward hoping to find a simple meal, he knew from experience that during these cold months food was scarce so he would be lucky if he found even a simple chunk of stale bread.
"Fresh bread, hot from the fire."
A man who looked to be in his forties maybe even earlier fifties was building up his stall a patched stained white cloth hung above him attached to two thick poles, a large long plank of wood was fitted between them on top of this plank of wood was various breads; some were large others small a few even had olives or berries stuffed inside them to give them more of a kick in their flavour.
It was a simple source of food something that could be found on any local stall but right now it sounded like a five course meal, he couldn't remember the last time he was able to eat something other than the food in his realm the smells were strong he even took a moment to pause as he widen his nostrils, inhaling the scent of freshly risen dough and heated olives fumbling around in his pockets he tried to find a coin or two the last thing he needed, was to feel like a fool to order some bread only to find that he bore no way of paying for it. His fears were true there was no money in his pockets it wasn't so long ago that he had all the wealth that any man could want, now it seemed he would have to get money the hard way by stealing it.
Hiding away his hands he made the moves of walking around the stall the market was quiet the owner still too busy to notice that he was around, if he was going to pull off a crime he would have to work fast before the owner acted like an owl during a night of hunting.
Walking towards the stall making sure that his feet only rested against the ground for a brief amount of time he stretched his hand forward (he didn't bother to check the loaf of bread that would waste time) he grabbed onto a loaf that was filled with olives it was hot against his hand, yanking it towards himself he turned around calmly walking away he had learnt from his years of witnessing schemes such as this going badly that running always made you the prime suspect, sadly for him the owner wasn't as dim-witted as he made himself seem.
"You've got to pay for that."
He stood leaning against the plank of wood his hand on his hip as he narrowed his eyes towards the back of Hades's skull that was attempting to retreat from him before paying the fine, as Hades turned himself around the owner of the stall made his way around the stall standing almost nose to nose to his first thief of the day, Hades opened his mouth to explain that he had no money when his cloak became awfully tight around his throat causing him to drop the loaf of bread that rolled down by his feet, no one would have dared touch him if they really knew who he was: however it wouldn't do much good even if they did he bore no powers to use against them he began to move himself trying to get out of the grip, which made the owner chuckle clearly seeing that this thief he had captured wasn't like the others who knew many ways in order to get out, he pushed against the thief's stomach as he briefly let go causing Hades to fall onto his backside in an ungracious manner he had no time to stand up, as the owner was in front of him faster than Demeter's wrath against a selfish mortal his cloak grabbed his face forced to rise up to stare in the bitter eyes of the owner.
"Its alright I'll pay for it."
A voice that held no relevance to Aphrodite caused the angered man to pause in his death threats he turned and immiedtley bowed to the female, who stood with a pouch in her hand producing out two coins Hades also turned looking towards the female to her he must seem like nothing more than a simple beggar, his face was flushed from anger but now it seemed that humiliation sweeped in he dared not trail her body instead he peered into her eyes that were a swiss green that seemed to sparkle with the ever growing sun that poured down on them yet no heat was to be found. The man who held the withered old cloak that Hades used in order to protect himself from the cold and to hide away the clothing that he wore as a god, started to stutter and shake his head claiming that the man he had in his grasp should pay not her.
The female however simply rose up her hand as she shook her head a dainty smile came across her lips, she placed the two coins on the plank of wood picking up a loaf of bread that she placed in her furry bag that hung limply from her shoulder, as she covered it with the small flap a look of concern causing her eyebrows to joint together creating the most adorable knit came across her face she took not one but two steps towards the men, the owner of the almost robbed stall let go of Hades causing him to slouch against the ground his hands resting against his hips to make sure that he wouldn't fall flat on his back.
The female spoke in a caring tone of voice as she picked up the loaf of bread that had fallen at his feet during the scuffle handing it to him like a mother hands a doll to a child, the smile never left her lips as she watched the male stretch his hands taking the bread from her he held onto it limply suddenly confused on why he even tried to steal it in the first place, as the female rose to bid the owner farewell Hades too found his feet he clambered back to his full height placing the bread against his chest if there was any attempt that it would be snatched from him again.
"Farewell miss ..."
Hades didn't catch the name of the young women who helped him instead he found himself face to face with the seething owner, the owner had to stand on his tip toes so that he could look at the male in the eye he tried to look angry like a bear who had been forcefully woken from hibernation, Hades though showed no sign of fear not even a flicker as he gazed unwounded in the cold dead eyes of a man whose life was run by profit and wealth a typical sight to be seen. The owner was tempted to wrench the bread from the other males hands and toss it in the mud puddle such a thought seemed humorous: easily done instead though, the owner decided that a simple threat would be enough to keep his reputation in tact along with not wasting good bread.
"Next you come here you better have a leather pouch with coins, else not even the fair maiden will be able to save you."
He didn't end his "threat" with a now beat it line instead he turned himself produced a fake smile and served other customers who were busy poking and prodding at the bread at least when Hades, attempted to steal he knew exactly what he wanted turning himself around he decided that it would be best to enjoy his meal back at the arch way at least there he would have some privacy without the constant threat of having someone attempt to steal it, as he knew that there were others better at what he just attempted to do earlier.
The arch way was abandoned just as he left it all expect for the bird that remained in the warm next it had made himself, sitting himself down in the same spot that he attempted to have his first sleep he pushed down his hood so he could actually see what he was attempting to do. Looking down at the bread in his hands he ripped it in half causing the strong scent of olives and dough to highlighten his taste buds, bringing one half to his face he took a huge chunk out of it eating noisily only realising now just how hungry he had become.
Shaking an open palm to get rid of the crumbs that felt like pieces of grain sticking under his nails the bird decided to act bold, flying down from its perch the crumbs looking like a tasty meal it greedily began to peck at the crumbs not becoming startled, by the sound of gnawing as the male began to eat his second piece of bread that was bigger than his own hand. Hades hesitated in finishing off the bread so quickly instead he slipped it into the pocket saving it for another day he didn't think that he would be able to get away with stealing a second time, without being pinned and hunted down by some sort of wanna be hero he had to deal with many of them who thought that becoming a hero meant you could easily walk into one of the gardens, but it was what type of hero that you were that deemed your fate in the underworld.
Clouds loomed around the once bright city Hades had no idea how long he had been sat underneath his arch way, it seemed like only minutes he moved himself to the side as he tilted his head towards the clouds watching their dark gloomy colour, a colour that would have usually signalled the start of a great storm brought on by his younger brother yet this time it was only nature not the hands of a god that was starting a storm that would surely shake the very floors of the city. Hades hoisted himself up on his two legs his hood swiftly followed covering his face in shadows the window began to whip the sound of fabric rumpling in the wind was muffled, by the cries of those who feared that this was the wrath of departed gods it made Hades roll his eyes skywards these people always seemed to find a way to blame even one of natures greatest storms on the gods who were no more. Instead of hanging around he moved himself away from the arch way the bird that had stayed with him during his limited hours hid himself away in the warmth of his nest, Hades had no knowledge on where he was headed everything seemed so different in the dark light it made it seem like he was back at home back in the one place he could call his own because not even his brother, could touch something there without his permission.
It might have been coincidence but the moment he uttered that one word with such raw emotion the heavens opened, large drops of rain fell down heavily onto his curved shoulders that were trying to keep his hood in place while his hands hid within the comfort of his sleeves, he needed to find shelter soon else he would find himself swept off into the near by ocean.
Hope you all enjoyed that chapter. Please give me some reviews even if it is just how to make my next chapter better, or even what I could do to make this chapter more understandable, I hope I kept Hades in character he really is fun to write about once you get past the sadness that surrounds him.
Signed - The Broken Ghost.