A Musing 10/07

Persephone scans a list in front of her.

P: You’ve got to say yes to one of these things, Hades.

Hades shakes his head.

P: Don’t just shake your head at me. Melinoe’s wedding is in less than a month and your human interaction skills are appalling.

Hades shrugs.

P: I can’t have you walking around during the reception, white as sheet, and making everyone else uncomfortable. You have to practice.

Hades pulls the bed covers over his head. Persephone pulls them down.

P: I’m not playing.

Hades groans.

P: And if you even think of disappearing out of this room, I’ll find you and I’ll fuck you up. Pay attention.

Hades sits up and folds his arm.

H: (Reluctantly) Go through the list again.

P: Number one: greeting the postman

H: No

P: Number two: letting the neighbour children play in our yard.

H: Never.

P: Number three: helping Mrs Nino with her weekly groceries.

H: she’s going to die in a couple of days so I don’t see any point in that.

Persephone folds her arms.

P: You have to pick something, Hades!

H: What was number six again?

Persephone scans the list.

P: Go to the corner shop and buy some milk.

H: Yes. That. I’ll do that.

P: (Relieved) Okay. Talk me through your strategy.

H: (Frustrated) Why?

P: Why? Because the last time you went to a shop, we had to move house.

H: That wasn’t my fault. How was I supposed to know the place would be full of people?

P: It was a museum gift shop.

H: Yes, filled with inaccuracies. I haven’t worn a beard since the Black Plague!

P: It was a children’s book. And you turned the cashier to stone.

H: I thought she’d written it!

Persephone shakes her head.

P: Just tell me what you’re going to do differently this time.

H: It’s simple. You appear in the shop in a cloud of smoke-

P: No.

H: What are you talking about? That’s my favourite mode of transport.

P: Human beings don’t just appear in places. They have to walk.

H: But I’m not a human.

P: well, for the sake of our daughter and her future husband, we’re going to pretend to be ordinary people and not make people think about death and cry.

H: (Mumbling under his breath) I’m the king of hell, I’ll do what I bloody well please

P: And maybe as the queen, I’ll do what I bloody well please and take another 6 month sabbatical. How about that?

H: (quietly) Please don’t.

P: Sorry?

H: Don’t. Please. I’ll walk into the cornershop.

P: And what will you say to the person behind the counter?

H: I will say nothing. I will look deep into their eyes and they shall know the date of their death.

P: Stop.

H: What?

P: No one wants to know that! And you can’t tell them because you’re supposed to be a normal man!’

H: That’s so boring.

P: All you have to do is walk into the shop, pick up a 4 pint thing of milk. Walk to the counter, ask how much it is, hand over the money, smile-

H: Smile?!

P: -Thank them and then walk out.

H: And what happens to the milk?

P: You take the milk.

H: And what about the money?

‘P: They keep the money. Unless you have too much money. In which case, then they give you change.

H: what?

P: I don’t get it either. (She takes his hand.) Look. Give it a go. If you do well, you’ll be rewarded.

H: And if I do badly?

P: Well…I guess we’ll just have to move again.


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