Welcome mortal. My name is Demara, goddess of tricks, innocence, and child play. I also dabble a bit with plants. (I have almost mastered the art of plants thanks to my tutoring from Demeter.)
My brother is Ciione. He is the god of business, adulthood, and responsibility. He is always strict. He only wears sharp suits like the kind you would see on a boss of some company. He has a strict haircut for his brown hair. He looks completely opposite of me in my sundresses and flowy long pigtails.
He does wear the rainbow tie I got him for his birthday a few hundred years ago. He always has bags under his eyes and is extremely pale.
We are twins but because he was born seconds before me he got adulthood and I got childhood.
We are children of Demeter and Zeus. While my brother was learning how to lead with Zeus, Demeter tutored me until I could control plants with the flick of my hand.
That is the most that you should know mortal before I start our tale.
I am sitting at my throne-like chair when my brother rushes out of the temple. I grow a small vine. It grabs his hand to stop him. "Where are you going, brother?" He pulls his hand away from the vine. "I have a meeting." "Another one? That's the fourth time this week and it's Tuesday." "I know, I know."
Since he's been working to get a spot in the 12 Olympians. He wants to make it 13. Ciione isn't very well known but he still thinks he has a fighting chance.
I get up and practically jump into his arms. He pulls me into a hug. We loom so differently. I could pass for twelve while he looks like he's going on forty-six. He almost sprints out the door. I run off to play with the mortals.
This is one of my favorite things to do. Today I hang out with a group of kindergarteners. We all go and ding-dong-ditch the old man who lives across the street from them. I laugh like a hyena. I may seem childish doing this but that's how I am. I wink at the kids and vanish in a puff of smoke. They all look amazed.
I like to play with them like that. It's quite fun. I come back to the temple a few hours later. Hermes is at the steps. "Hello. How are you, Hermes?" "Ms. Demara." He does a small bow. I curtsy in return. "I told you, you can just call me Demara." "Demara, I come to you with some unfortunate news. Your brother Ciione has gone missing."
My jaw drops. "He said he was at a meeting." "There was no meeting scheduled for today." I start to pace, "Are you sure?" "Demara, I would know if there was a meeting today." I plop down on the ground. Hermes sits down next to me. "We did find this."
He hands me his tie. I gasp. The edge of it is burnt. I lean down to smell it. In all my years with Demeter, we have visited Persephone more times than I can count. It smells like Hellhounds.
I rush to the entrance of Tartarus. It is hidden far away in the woods. I know the way by heart. It is a dark fiery pit with dark black burnt trees forming an arc around it. All you have to do is be brave enough to jump.
I take a few steps back. I get a running start before I jump into the abyss. As soon as I begin to fall I can hear the screaming of the tortured souls who have been trapped down here. My instincts tell me to curl up and hide but the first time I did that Demeter had to get someone to transport me back out. It was humiliating. Instead, I try to look confident.
I hit the ground but there is no impact. That's one of the weird things about this entrance to Tartarus. No matter how hard you try to fall in you won't get hurt from the fall if you have a pure heart. Mine is one of the purest.
I get a ride with Kharon across the river Styx. He has come to like me and awaits my visits over the years. He always lets me travel for free. I try to go as quickly as possible to Hade's temple.
Cerberus bows his head and lets me pass immediately. I pet his three heads and throw him some treats that I've been saving for him. He happily snarfs them down.
I rush through the entrance. I almost bump straight into Persephone. She jumps back in surprise. I curtsy deeply. "I'm so sorry." She looks down at me, "Oh, hi Demara! I haven't seen you in a while." She pulls me up. "I'm here to find my brother." She drops my hand and backs up.
I'm about to ask her why when an ice-cold hand lays on my shoulder. I whip around. I shiver a little which is surprising because it is so hot here. "Hello, Demara." His voice is cold and smooth. "Hello, Hades."
He looks at me slyly. "Now why would you come all the way to Tartarus?" I look up at him. His eyes are an electric blue. His hair the color of burnt wood with the ends on fire. His skin is dark and ashy. He is wearing a one-piece, the color of soot.
"I have come to receive my brother." My voice comes out more squeaky than I wanted. "Do you have him?" It's more of a demand than a question. He chuckles. "Who else would have him? He was getting in my way."
I stand my ground, "Where is he?" He doesn't answer my question. "He's been trying to convince Zeus to keep me out of all meetings to do with my domain. He's one of the reasons I'm trapped down here. He's also trying to make a petition to take Persephone out of here for good." She speaks up from behind him grabbing his hand, "I'm starting to like it down here and if the petition works I won't get a say if I want to stay or not."
He leans over and kisses her cheek. "I want him back." My voice sounds like a six-year-old who isn't getting their way. It does that when I'm nervous. "Tell you what. I haven't been able to gamble much since I've been down here and I'm dying to make a bet. Whatever you choose. If you win you get your brother back."
I tilt my head, "What happens if I don't?" He puzzles it in his head, "You have to join him." I take a step back. Then I take one forward. No way was I gonna just leave my brother here. I flip one of my pigtails over my shoulder, "Blackjack. One round. One winner."
He laughs and then snaps. We are now sitting at a table with a set of playing cards between us. "I'm dealer." Hades takes the cards. He deals out the cards. Mine read six and eight. Hades gets a good look at his cards, "Hit me."
He takes another card. He has a poker face as straight as a needle. I decide to draw another card, "Hit me." This time it's seven. I win. "Blackjack." He looks up and snarls.
Hades throws his cards at the table. He only has eleven. A three, a six, and a two. He snaps again and we are at the entrance to the Hellhound cage.
All of the Hellhounds back up and bow when they see Hades. Ciione stumbles out from behind one of them. I grab him and pull him out.
"Demara?" he looks confused, "What are you doing here?" "I'm saving you, you doofus. What else would I be doing?"
Hades looks down at us, "Now get out." He snaps a third time and we are falling into a soft green meadow.
I roll over and hug Ciione. His suit is ripped and his glasses and bent. I tie his tie around his neck. He launches up and pulls me into a bear hug. We then walk back to the temple. "Demara, how did you find me and how did you get Hades to let me out?" I sigh, "That's a long story. I'll tell it to you if you make brownies."
It's his turn to sigh, "Sure." I squeal in delight. He lifts me up and spins me around. When he sets me down I run into the temple and fall into my throne-like chair. Ciione laughs as he goes to the kitchen to make brownies.