Monday, March 31, 2008


Jeannine and Bill now stood before the palace of Hades, dozens of times larger than the Blizzard’s ice castle and John’s in Denmark put together. Extending higher than either of them could see, it was made entirely of granite. Statues were carved into it at various points, statues depicting the other gods talking about how great Hades was.

“So he’s arrogant,” noted Jeannine. “Maybe that’s what we’re supposed to take advantage of.”

Skulls and bones bordered a path that led to the entrance, ominous gates crafted from silver and adamantine (the metal from Paradise Lost, not the one from X-Men). They were quite impenetrable. Above them a message was inscribed in Latin, which neither Jeannine nor Bill could read, thereby ensuring that it had no bearing on the plot whatsoever.

Slowly Bill and Jeannine walked down the path, their trepidation growing with each step. Unbeknownst to them, Hades was watching them the whole time, thanks to his newly installed closed-circuit security camera system (crystal balls were just passe, and he was deathly allergic to arrases).

“Who are these fools that approach my palace with such trepidation?” he asked himself. “Don’t they know I’m in a bad mood today?”

Bill and Jeannine reached the gates. They rang the doorbell, but it was no ordinary ring: a cacophonous shriek pierced through the dense, dank air, striking cold terror into their very souls. The gates opened.

“You go in first Bill. You’re expendable,” said Jeannine.

“Right!” agreed Bill, merrily skipping inside.

Shortly after they both entered, the gates slammed shut behind them: there was no way out. But this didn’t faze Jeannine at all – nothing would have stopped her from going forward.

They wandered through the palace, ridiculously lost. That they saw no one was even more unnerving than the sporadic ghosts they’d run across before. After about an hour though, it wasn’t so much terrifying as it was annoying.

“I swear we’ve been through this corridor before,” said Jeannine, frustrated. “Oh, this is stupid. HADES! We come here as supplicants; we are in need of your help. Show yourself!”

Nothing happened. Jeannine sighed and they continued onward. After another half hour, they reached a door they hadn’t yet seen. This one was different from the others in that it didn’t open when Bill tried it.

“In this room is either Hades or something Hades doesn’t want us to see,” concluded Jeannine. “We’ll need to find a way in. Bill, I have to use you as a battering ram.”

Jeannine gently set down John’s corpse and picked up Bill, backing up and preparing to charge into the locked room. As she started running, however, the door opened, and she merely ran right through.

The door shut as soon as they were in, and John’s body was left outside. Furiously, Jeannine dropped Bill and tried to open the door again, to no avail.

The lights went on. Jeannine looked over at Bill, who was stupefied with fear. She slowly turned to see what he was looking at – it was Hades, sitting on his magnificent throne. Her first thought was indeed that he was in a very bad mood.

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