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Shadows of the Otherworld

By @Lilac_Colored_Author

Chapter 1

Primordial darkness surrounds me. The sensation of mist caresses my skin leaving gooseflesh in its wake. Suddenly, pinpricks of stars surround me and combust, blinding me with a glorious white. When the light fades, I am surrounded by fallen warriors. Some have wings, while others resemble a goat or a dragon.

Before me stands two men; One has flowing black hair and is dressed in black god-like armor. His eyes are a steel blue and he has rather pale skin. A soft smile crosses his face. The second male’s hair is braided back in a loose, unkempt fishtail and he also wears black god-like armor. His eyes are shadowy voids and a black mist surrounds him as if it were speaking to him; as if it was what he consisted of. Just like the other man he has pale skin, except his skin seemed colorless. Both men radiate an intimidating aura and have a lean musculature.

“Nyx Asura CrimsonHeart, my beloved daughter, join us. You will be honored for millennia to come.” The first man says. His voice is sharp like a knife.

“My betrothed, you do not remember us. In soon time your memories will return and everything will be clear.” The second male utters. His voice is deep and husky.

“It is time for you to awaken, my child.” The first man utters. As I opened my mouth to speak, the black mist from the second male encompasses me and enters my nostrils and mouth. The mist creates an internal peace and I close my eyes. When I open them, I am staring at my ceiling.

Rain patters against my window, as the glow of the hallway light illuminates a sliver of the dark interior of my room. At the foot of my bed stands a tall, shadowy figure. Despite the darkness, he has a well-defined structure. I can make out what seems to be a smile on his face, as he slowly crawls onto my bed, hovering over me. For some reason, I do not fear this figure; I feel at peace. I open my mouth to speak, but before I can,the door opens slightly revealing my mother. I look over to see her before my gaze returns to where the figure hovered above me only to find he is gone. 

My gaze returns to my mother, finding a horrified expression displayed on her features. She quickly masks her countenance, and motions for me to follow her. Did she see the figure I saw? I push my covers back, quickly following behind her. She leads me to the basement, turning on the light, and shepherds me to the wine shelf. My mother pushes the wine shelf to the side and asks me to step back. She pulls out two pollution masks, handing one to me. “Put this on, you’ll need it.”

As I put on the mask, my mother forcefully shoves the stone wall, opening a hidden cavity that I had no knowledge of previously. Dust and a musty odor are released from this room. Curiosity pervades my senses as my mother enters the room; I follow closely behind her. Without warning, fire erupts from a chalice, irradiating ancient symbols that I somehow know is Greek. I hear voices whispering in tongue;

Párte prosochí s ‘eseís pou eisércheste, giatí emeís ta pnévmata prostatévoume ó, ti thélei o Dáskalos mas. Esý, ton opoío o Kýriós mas den édose kyróseis, tha antimetopísei kakés synépeies.”

“Take heed thee who enter, for we spirits protect what our Master cherishes. Thou whom our Master hath not granted sanction, shall face dire consequences.” I breathe. I feel my blood run cold as the fire in the chalice sparks and forms a woman.

“O daughter of Hades, thou hath summoned me,” Hades, that’s Greek mythology… Greek mythology isn’t real… “ Have thou come to retrieve thy amulet?” I turn to my mother, fear and adrenaline flowing through my veins.

“You need not be scared, my child, for it is time to become one with your true heritage.” I look at the woman then back to my mother; She nods her head. What does she mean ‘my true heritage’? My mom is right here.

“Y-yes, I have come to retrieve my amulet.” I manage.

“Speak with confidence, my child.” The woman of flames orders. Pushing the fear aside, I muster up the remains of my confidence and say, “I have come to retrieve my amulet.”

The woman smiles and holds out her hand, uttering inaudibly and closes her palm. When she opens it, there is an amulet in whose center is a sapphire. “This amulet is from my Master, Hades. If you lose this amulet, it will return to you. If you break this amulet, it will mend.” The woman of flames extends her hand to me. I hesitate before reaching out to grab it. To my surprise, when the flames touch my hand, the skin is surrounded by a cloud of black smoke. I gasp.

“Your abilities are surfacing already…” The woman murmurs.

“W-what is this?! What am I?!” I say hyperventilating. I feel a weight on my shoulder: I turn to see my mother. “I will explain it all to you. I promise.” My mother offers a small smile.

“It is time for me to take my leave,” The woman vocalizes as she begins to dissipate into ashes. “If you require my assistance, call upon me and I shall return to you.”

“How do I know if-“

The woman of flames chuckles sweetly, “You’ll know when the time comes.” And with that, the room returns to darkness. I put the amulet in my pocket. In a daze, I trudge up the stairs, my mind replaying what had just occurred. When I reach my room, I plop down on my bed and my mother softly sits beside me.

“What am I? Greek mythology is real? Hades is my father? Are you even my real mother?” I inquire slowly growing angrier.

“I know you have a lot of questions, I’ll answer them all after I explain everything.” My mother says softly. I take a breath as she begins.

“You are the daughter of the Greek God Hades and the Goddess Asteria, which makes you a Goddess. When you were born, there was a dispute between Zeus and Hades. For your safety, Hades created me and sent me here. I don’t know a great deal, but he told me to raise you and not to give you the amulet until he told me to. Early this morning, he came to me and told me to give you the amulet.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?!” I yell angrily. The woman I knew as my mother does not flinch. She simply answers, “I couldn’t tell you. It was part of his instructions.” Unbeknownst to me, a thick black mist surrounds us and begins spiraling violently. I finally notice when my hair whips against my face. The mist disappears and I’m left with a melancholy atmosphere and a broken spirit. I reach into my pocket and pull out the amulet.

“What does this have to do with anything?” I ask quietly. My guardian takes a slow breath and says, “He never told me anything about the amulet.” I feel tears prick my eyes.

“Do you even love me?” My eyes grow hot as tears spill down my cheeks.

“Of course I do.” My ‘mother’ breathes. A soft sob comes out of my mouth as I turn away from her. The tears that stream down my cheeks seem endless. My guardian rubs the small of my back softly. She’s not your mother. You’ve been lied to your entire life. After awhile the tears stop, a wave of serenity washing over me. I notice there is virtually no light in my room. The only light comes from the stars surrounding me. I reach out and touch a star; It feels silky, but as if it were made out of nothing at all. When I retract my hand, the star shines brighter.

“Will I ever meet them?” I inquire softly, gazing at a star in particular. A soft breeze flows through my room, rippling my hair. The stars in my room begin to form a cosmic whirlwind, increasing the speed of the breeze. My black hair swims above me as the whirlwind forms a Blue Giant. Without warning, the Blue Giant explodes and collapses within itself, sucking me into the black hole.

 At first, I am surrounded by complete and utter darkness. Gradually, the formation of stars illuminate a woman with flowing white hair; Her hair is wispy and glows like the moon. Her dress made of stardust, her crown of precious metals and the finest gems. I intuitively knew this was my true mother, Asteria.

“O child of mine, I have longed for this day. To quench thy thirst for knowledge, I shall give you the answers you seek.” With a swift motion of her index finger, my mother guides me towards her. She rests her forehead on mine, and with a soft smile the stars surrounding us create a vortex of darkness. 

“Wait! When can I see you again!?” I cry. 

“When the time is right, child of mine.” I feel my eyes grow heavy and the aroma of lavender surrounds me.

“But I just met you and you’re leaving already.” I murmur somnolently. I feel despair engulf me as I fall into a deep sleep.

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