No one is trying to hide it anymore; I am a dying breed. The old gods are disappearing. We are fading into our stories, regressing into bedtime stories and sensational (albeit excellent) pop culture releases. The old gods are washing away, my brothers and sisters choosing to blend in with human society or retreat to any existing wilderness and abandoning their temples and pantheons. It’s true, and I should say it to remind myself. The old gods are lost.
The humans would refer to my current position as “job security.” Mine is the only kingdom that remains intact. Zeus’ lightning has been coerced into every home in his old domain. Planes fly freely through his territory, humans parachute through his air. Hera’s sacrament of marriage has become a plague to her. She weeps for herself, cursed to remain with her wild-eyed husband, and for her children who have been banned from her sacred rite. Iris made a rainbow cloak for her, light as mist, and if you look closely at the pictures of Pride, you can see a blurred female face in each of them, crying softly. Ares’ war has become a war he doesn’t understand. He understands the battle, the meeting of enemies and the clash of swords. He cannot rule over computer generated plans and drones, and he cannot protect his soldiers from IEDs and their own superiors. He does not understand war, as occupation.
Even my wife’s realm is not untouched. Seasons still come and go, but humans have done their utmost to manufacture a Forever Spring. She still lives, with the home gardeners; celebrating a first successful garden, reviving flower beds with her rain. But sometimes, when the crashing of trees and the oiling of oceans becomes too heavy, she goes to sit in our garden for days. She sits with her flowers and fruit, and picks pomegranates. All I can do is bring her some ambrosia tea, a cat from the high levels, and hope she knows how much I love her. And I do love her, my queen, Persephone.
Beside her, I reign over the largest kingdom the gods ever created; the Underworld. Death. Hades. Hell. I am Hades, and I am the keeper of every soul we have created.
Many regard me as a devil. I don’t mind. They are angry and afraid of death, but I will see them in my halls one day. Persephone and I focus on the living, strangely. It can become lonely and boring, to be a god. So, in this chrome and asphalt age full of young people and their whims, we decided to busy ourselves among them. We wanted to be where lives are happening and people are giving way.
We opened a club.