Authors: Lola James
“Since when did you become a Greek god historian?” Dawn asked
her tone laced with sassiness.
“Kevin and his family were of Greek nobility, so his education surpasses most with knowledge of the gods,” Bion said.
“You mean you’re somebody special?” Dawn joked with a giggle.
“Can we just be serious?” Kevin added as he sat on the ground. “I am more concerned with saving Antonia right now.”
“We should ask Hades for help,” I offered, finally finding my voice. “He does love Antonia.” I hung my head in defeat as I spoke the words. I felt a hand rub my shoulder and looked to find Joanna standing beside me.
“I agree,” Bion said enthusiastically. “We need Hades!”
We sat on the uneven gray stoned floor brainstorming a plan. Kevin thought a plan would be in Zelma’s book that Annie confiscated upon coming to get us. Dawn had tried the door at the top of the stairs but it wouldn’t open. Dawn thought it might have been a spell placed on it by Annie but since she didn’t know how to use her powers, we were stuck. Just when we thought, we were out of options black smoke swirled on the ground and a figure formed in the mist, revealing Hades.
“My eyes have deceived me and my heart is fooled by the imitation that stands before me,” Hades said as he walked toward Joanna helping her up from the ground. We all stood in the spot in which we sat at Hades presence.
“Master Hades, this is the doppelganger Joanna that Mistress Persephone procured.” Bion bowed.
“Lovely to meet you, Joanna.”
Hades offered his hand.
Joanna cautiously took it, and he brought her delicate hand to his lips. She seemed to be just as shocked as I was.
“Hades,” she choked out with a bow of her head.
He slowly released her hand, but continued gazing into her eyes. “It is true that Persephone plans to kill you and my love in order to free herself of the underworld,” Hades said sadly.
“So the myth is true?” I asked as I stepped between Hades and Joanna, forcing him to break eye contact.
My dear brother, Zeus, gave her an impossible out, but an out nonetheless. If I had known that my sweet Antonia would have ever been in any trouble, I would have never brought her here…but the witch made it so easy.” Hades turned and paced the floor.
Dawn stared at him, awestruck. “But you can stop her.” Her voice was light and calm as her eyes followed him as he paced the floor of the dungeon.
A smile touched the corners of Hades’ mouth. “You make stopping Persephone sound so easy. She is a very determined woman, and I do not doubt that other gods are involved somehow.”
“But we have to stop her!” Dawn stomped her foot and the ground shook.
We all braced ourselves by holding on to the nearest wall as the ground rocked beneath us.
“You are a witch, my dear?” Hades walked toward Dawn, unfazed by the quake. “And you have made the ground shake without use of a spell or magic. How is that?” He tilted his head to one side to give Dawn
“She is, Master. She has power but has yet to hone it,” Bion offered. “Antonia wanted to see why she felt pain for the vampire and she saw them hatch a plan of rescue with Dawn’s magic as the source.”
“Where and when did this happen?” Hades demanded of Bion
“In your office, Master.
You did tell me to give Antonia whatever she desired, and she asked that I free the dark hair witch of her binding to use magic on your desk.”
“Ah, is this so? You have just learned of your powers?” Hades eyed Dawn.
“Yes—I mean, I don’t know. I did just find out I was a witch a few hours ago, then I ended up here in your dungeon,” Dawn said, her voice shaky rose colored cheeks.
A smile slowly spread across Hades face, he looked like the cat that ate the canary. He tapped his chin with his finger and observed our waiting faces.
“I need to speak with Circe, and I must summon Hermes. I will return, but you may be the element that Persephone will not expect,” Hades said as black smoke swallowed him, and he vanished once more. He had a plan that he didn’t intend to share.
“What the hell was that?” Dawn folded her arms across her chest.
“That was Hades helping us,” Bion spoke with relief in his voice. I closed the space between me and him.
“You said that Antonia wanted to know what happened to
“Yes, she was so troubled and desperate to catch a glimpse of you that she unbound Annie to ask for her help.”
Despite everything, I smiled to myself. Some part of her still cared for me. If my heart could flutter, it would have done so at that moment.
“She loves you both. I overheard Antonia and that witch Annie speaking about you.” Bion eyed both me and Kevin.
“Both?” Kevin questioned.
“Yes, both. When the image of you and Kevin appeared, she remembered that you were with her the entire time she was under the spell.”
“So love will save her.” Dawn smiled.
“No. Your magic will save her,” I corrected. “Love cannot battle magic, and Annie is strong since she has Zelma’s power.”
“We need to hone your powers so you can stop whatever plans Annie and Persephone have for Antonia,” Joanna said seriously. She placed her hand on Dawn’s shoulders.
“I’ll try.” Dawn’s wide eyes showed determination. “What should I do?”
“We need to act fast, because Persephone plans to take Antonia to the underworld. Since she is no longer immortal, her soul will be trapped there.” I felt so rushed since I couldn’t even fathom life without Antonia. Since meeting her, I had a new purpose in my life to love her. I never wanted to be
apart from her, and I was longing to see her, touch her, and feel her lips against mine and then to finally make love to her. I would be incomplete until I had her in my arms again, and the thought of losing her
pained me and shadowed my every step. I loved her, and I planned to tell her as she’d told me before we walked out of here together.
“Then, not even love will be able to save her. She will be in the underworld forever,” Kevin concluded seriously, bringing me out of my thoughts.
Kevin seemed to be in deep thought when the dungeon door creaked open.
Footsteps approached, and a moment later Annie’s devious face appeared, her teeth gritted at Dawn. A small smile replaced the grimace as another figure made their way to the dungeon. It was Persephone. If not for the malevolence that lingered around her, she would have been beautiful—not the same pure beauty that Antonia and Joanna held, but she was attractive nonetheless.
“This doleful girl is the witch that you fear will interfere with my plan?” Persephone looked from Dawn to Annie.
“Doleful? I’ll show you doleful,” Dawn said as the ground began to shake, loosening stones from the walls.
The earth rattled and Joanna fell to the ground.
“Enough!” Persephone extended a long finger, and the dirt from the ground swirled at Dawn’s feet before it quickly swept up her body.
A moment later, the cloud dissipated, leaving Dawn bound by the dirt from the ground. The only parts of Dawn that were visible were her blue eyes and her white Nikes. Her eyes now looked dull and lusterless and she looked to be incased in concrete. I helped Joanna to her feet as we gaped at Dawn’s covered body and face.
“Very well,” Persephone muttered as she walked back up the stairs.
Annie’s laugh echoed through the dungeon walls. “I guess all your power is gone. You’ll have to stand back and watch Toni and the vampire die,” Annie said, nodding toward Joanna just before she walked up the stairs.
When the door closed, we inched closer to Dawn as her eyes searched each of our faces. I extended my hand toward the bindings but Bion hit my hand away.
“Persephone bound her while her power was in use. If you touch the bindings, you will be bound yourself,” he said somberly. “I’ve seen Master Hades do this hundreds of times. If the witch is not in the use of her power at the time of binding, we could remove them as I was able to do with the dark-headed witch earlier.”
“You mean to tell me that Annie was wrapped up like this and you set her free?” My brows furrowed as the question left my lips.
He nodded. “Antonia asked me to. The witch played the role of remorseful friend in order to be freed,” he offered.
“Well, there stands the only weapon we have.” Kevin shrugged.
“No, let us not forget Hades,” Joanna said with a weary smile.
“We can only hope.” Kevin frowned as he sat down on the ground.
“I know that Master Hades will let no harm come to Antonia, for he loves her and she him.” Bion sat on one of the stone benches built into the wall.
Sadly, I wanted only part of his words to be true. I hoped that he would keep Antonia from harm, but I also hoped she loved me more.
“We must have a plan just in case Hades doesn’t return in time,” I demanded, standing in front of them all. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
“But what, we cannot fight against a goddess! Her power is too strong!” Kevin offered.
“Maybe we can’t fight Persephone but we can take out her minion, Annie.” I smiled as my fangs elongated. “She may have magic but Joanna and I, we have speed and strength and a thirst for blood.”
Joanna stood and grabbed my arm. “You mean drain her? But Ben that goes against what
“He’s right, the only way we can weaken Persephone is to take out that bitch,” Kevin concluded. For once, we agreed.
“And how do you plan to do this?” Bion asked.
“The next time she makes her way down here we take her and feed off of her,” I said. The plan was quickly forming in my head.
“I will do it only because this will keep the woman you love alive, Ben.” Joanna was reluctant because we did believe in saving lives not taking them. I kissed her on the top of her forehead to comfort her before pulling her into a hug.
“Hopefully Hades will help with Persephone,” Bion concluded.
I nodded as we waited for either Hades or Annie’s return.
Minutes after we concocted a plan with Dawn still bound; a heavenly vision appeared in the cell. The woman
now standing in front of us had a petite frame and had tendrils of strawberry-blonde hair that cascaded down her back. Her sheer white gown hung loosely from her left shoulder and left nothing to the imagination. Her body was alluring, but it was her hypnotic turquoise eyes that captivated me. She looked at our ashen faces and smiled warmly. There was a glow about her that comforted me as her gaze fell upon Dawn.
“My daughter,” she said as she approached Dawn. Her sea-colored eyes brightened as she touched Dawn’s forehead with the back of her fingertips. She spoke some words in a language that sounded Greek as the binds Persephone put on Dawn disappeared.
“Goddess Circe, you have returned,” Bion said. We all stood mesmerized by the beautiful woman before us.
“Yes, as I have told your Master Hades... If I felt an imbalance in nature with my magic, I would return and be forced to intervene. But surely you are not of dark magic?” Circe questioned as she held the side of Dawn’s face in her tiny hand.
Dawn’s eyes brightened with the touch but she didn’t speak.
“The dark-haired witch is the one you seek. She and Persephone are the ones that want to tip the balance of nature,” Bion offered, since the rest of us seemed unable to do anything but bask in her beauty.
“Is that so?” Circe asked. “Persephone is here on earth? That’s a bit of a shock, since she should be at Olympus with her mother.
He is here as well?” Circe questioned Bion but neither her eyes nor her hand left Dawn.
“No. Hades went to seek help,” Bion said.
“You say help?” Circe turned to Bion. “Bion, what are you not saying?”
“It is not my place…you should speak to Master Hades.” He bowed his head.
“Or maybe I should speak with Persephone.” She arched one eyebrow before she turned back to Dawn.
“That would not be wise,” Kevin suggested.
Circe turned to meet his eyes. “Oh? And why would that be? And who are you?” Her head tilted to the side, as she looked Kevin over from head to toe.
Kevin bowed his head. “My name is Markos Pompous Illyrus, and I am a noble of the Athenian society.” His eyes met Circe’s as his head rose. “Persephone is the reason that the dark magic is here, and she plans to use that magic to take the life of a mortal.”
Circe shuddered at his words. “Then I will need Hermes.” In a lilting voice, she sang the name of Hermes, then moved to Dawn’s side and smiled as the name left her lips again. Her voice sounded like Disney’s Cinderella character more than anything did.
Instantly, a tall man with dark, dirty-blond hair and a rather bored expression appeared. He stood taller than I did, and surveyed his surroundings with a glare that was clearly meant to intimidate Kevin and me.