Lilith and I sat in the corner of Persephone's room, her childish toys starred back at us with their frozen plastic eyes. The undead look of the stuffed animals made my skin crawl. After a few hours in the underworld, I already felt sickly. My skin had become almost a pale bone white and my stomach growled uncontrollably. I was starving, dead, and miserable.
"What's the matter?" Lilith asked. She still, by some miracle, retained her looks and wasn't suffering as I was. I shut my eyes and shook my head, thoughts rattling around inside my skull.
"We're dead, Lilith. Nothing can get worse than where we are now. Trapped in hell just like the Gods wanted. They won. By now Charlotte and Paethos will become gods and once that's done...there's no going back." Her eyes stayed glued to me while my head rested against the wall. She was so young as a vampire...how could she ever understand the workings and tricks of the gods.
"Paethos and Charlotte, their only option to get us out of here without dying means becoming a god. That means their no longer vampires, they no longer need blood to survive, they can be virtually anything they please and can do anything. If they want us, I have no doubt that Artemis and Apollo will let them come. But one we're free from Hades what do you think is gonna happen? That life will go back to normal? No, face it Lilith. Once we're back...if we ever get back, they can't stay with us. They'll have to go to Mt. Olympus, living and loving with the gods."
Lilith's eyes widened and she tucked her knees against her chest. Silent tears streamed down her face, I knew it was because of what I had said. I was so used to being negative and doubtful that I had no measure of how it would reflect on her. Shifting closer to her, I wrapped my arms around her and placed my cheek against hers.
"Hush Lilith, I'm sorry. I'm sure that Paethos loves you very much. He'll do anything to get you back." She sniffed and wiped the tears off her face, her pale grey eyes looked to me.
"What about you Alcatraz...what about Charlotte?" I bit my lips and tried to swallow the lump in my throat. What about Charlotte? I knew she'd come back for me, hell she'd brought me back from death once before. But an ugly feeling coiled around my heart, a sickening feeling that made my stomach lurch and my eyes burn with tears. Shutting my eyes again, I concentrated on the approaching footsteps.
"Alcatraz," the old church bell voice rang. Reluctantly I looked up to Hades, my grasp on Lilith tightening. "Come with me," he stood there...waiting. I squeezed Lilith's hand and gave her a quick smile.
"Don't lose hope," I whispered following Hades through the house and to a large balcony with an overhang.
"Are you hungry bloodsucker?" he asked, venom pooling in his voice. I bit back a dozen different insults and just nodded. The god chuckled and snapped his fingers, a large iron cage with a cloth covering the top materialized on a small pedestal in his room. "Then in the cage you go...I want you to prove you deserve blood. I want you to repent before the souls of all that you have killed, not while a vampire. That was to be expected. I'm talking about your family and the militia. The townsfolk and their children and pets. Everyone of them is either going to hear repentance or your going to starve. "
Snapping his fingers again, I found myself in the cage, the door locked tightly. My eyes filled fully crimson and I pressed myself against the bars, snarling angrily. My fangs gnashed against my bottom teeth, begging for his nectar-like god blood.
"Damn you Hades! Damn you! Damn you and all the gods that dare toy with us immortals. The gods shall burn for this!" I howled and ranted angrily until the fatigue of not eating hit me. My lips fell silent and I curled up into a ball in the corner. This place my death was hell, both literally and figuratively. If only death was just a cold comforting blackness that swept you away, instead of a torturous god and his girl keeping them as prisoners. As entertainment! Shutting my eyes, I muttered nothings and nonsense to myself.
"It's not worth it Charlotte...save Lilith...forget me." A stupid smile just barley reached my lips. "I was dead long before I reached hell." With that sleep grasped my body and whisked me away to the memories of my past, the faces, the blood, that tiny child's screams.