Goddess Murder, 30: Aradia in Hades

Goddess Murder, 30: Aradia in Hades October 22, 2013

XXXII.  Hades

She is walking along a path through the forest, wearing a white robe, tied with a black cord; from it hangs a sheathed dagger. On her head is a tiara with a crescent moon in front. She wears a necklace of large black and amber beads. There are bracelets on her arms, rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes.

She looks about, with a puzzled expression. “There were flames.”

Beside her a wolf, a lion, and a bear are pacing. An eagle swoops back and forth along the path. Points of light appear in the air beyond the trees, drift about, disappear, and reappear.

She walks a short distance for a very long time, or perhaps it is a long distance in a very short time.  She comes to a portal in a mountainside. Before it stands a guard, all in black, holding a scythe. She stops before him.

Guard: What are you seeking?

The Woman: I . . . do not know.

Guard: Then how will you know when you find it?

The Woman: If the Gods will, I will know.

Guard: You may bring nothing with you into this our kingdom.

The Woman stares at him defiantly, then unties her cord and drops it to the ground. It is followed by her robe, her crown, her necklace, her bracelets, and her rings.

The guard bows to her and steps aside.

She walks into and along the tunnel, which is lit by torches in sconces along the walls. She comes to a long, wide hallway, with pillars along its sides.

At the far end is a throne. On it is seated the man who had appeared in her cell. He is wearing a crown adorned with tiny horns, like those on Michelangelo’s Moses. On either side of him stands a woman in a white robe. They may be priestesses or angels or goddesses.

The Woman walks up to the throne and stands naked before it.

The Woman: Where am I?

The Man: Between the worlds.

The Woman: Am I dead?

The Man: That you must decide.

The Woman: Then I choose to live.

The Man: You don’t recognize me, do you?

The Woman: No.

The Man: Once you thought I was the gardener.

The Woman looks puzzled.

The Man: You are beautiful. Do you love me?

The Woman: No.

The Man: Then I must touch your heart.

He rises, steps down from the throne, reaches out with his forefinger, and touches her between her breasts.

The Man: Mary, come forth.

Light explodes out from her. As the wave of light passes, it unveils a pastoral countryside, with sheep, satyrs, unicorns, fairies, and too many other creatures for her to see them all..

 She remembers when they first saw each other.

She remembers dancing on the face of the waters.

She remembers presenting a sheaf of wheat to a young warrior in a winged chariot.

She remembers seeing Simon on the temple roof.

The Woman: My husband!

They embrace in a passionate kiss.

The Woman (holding him at arm’s length): Why are you here?

The Man: I overcame death. Now I must rule it.

The Woman: I will stay with you now, always.

The Man: Some stay here, some go on, but you must go back.

The Woman: No, I cannot lose you again.

The Man: We will never lose each other again. The spell is broken, but your work is not done. When you return, you will begin their freedom from the illusion. You must sleep and dream. When you awaken again, we will be together forever.

He waves his hands over her.

She falls asleep.

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