A Nether Fruit

The following piece was presented at Jersey City Writers’ literary event – 800 Dirty Words. Please enjoy.

Dark robed Hades, keeper of those who passed into the nether, sat still upon his ebony throne.

Above, though layers of earth, a flower among flowers gathered crocuses, irises, roses, lilies, hyacinths and yellow narcissus to her breast, crushing them till their scent became hers.

That imagined scent alone made him rise up and take her with no warning.

He needed no words to seduce.

She did not struggle, though she gasped as he brought her down deep into the dark caverns beneath her mother’s ripely fruited fields.

The blossoms in her arms withered but her fair cheeks bloomed pink as he lay her upon a bed of dried moss, lichen and the luminescent fungi that thrived where all else failed. Nothing green survived Sol’s absence.

Still, there was beauty here, should she choose to see it.

He removed her robes with care, till she was bared to his sight. He knelt at her feet and took hold of her trim ankles, prising them apart gently, unwilling to bruise her lovely flesh.

“Pers—”

“I preferred your kisses in the shaded canopy of the cypress trees above. Was there still too much sunlight there for your liking that you should take me so?”

“Persephone, I would lie atop you on a bed of scented branches, Cyparissus’ needle pricking your bared skin. But here, now, your breasts are stained with the tears of Apollo’s other boy.” He climbed on hands and knees above her and licked along the outline of each areole. “Mmm. His lovers’ mourning remains ever-sweet upon your skin.”

“You take such pleasure in others’ suffering. Shall I suffer for you, Hades?”

“You suffer our time apart. Now, I shall take pleasure enough in you.”

. . . . . .

“Mother Demeter, I shall tell you of my abduction.”

“Yes, but first tell me that you consumed nothing from the Nether.”

Persephone’s lips parted to say that she had not.

. . . . . .

Hades had split open the fruit with his fingers, parting the skin like a wound.

She watched as he skillfully separated the pale, spongy interior from the cluster of jewels.

He plucked a few arils and tipped her chin up as she lay beside him. One by one, he pressed each between her lips, crushing them open against her teeth, till the sweet taste overwhelmed her.

He kissed her, licking the juice from her lips, then moving down her body to plant kisses in a line from the hollow of her throat to her navel.

He returned to suckle her breasts, taking each nipple in and using the tip of his tongue till she writhed and cried out—till each flick sent a shiver down her body to the place between her legs, deep inside, that now felt heavy and wet as it never had before.

Her eyes fell shut as his hands moved down, one resting on her hip, the other on her mound of damp curls.

Then his fingers slipped inside her.

She might’ve pulled away at the strangeness of his touch but he murmured poetry till the words themselves seemed to be filling her, stroking her inside and out as did his fingers.

“…my lush, ripe apple-my sweet, roseate apricot-my pomegranate-my honeyed fig…”

He withdrew his fingers from below, replacing them with an open-mouthed kiss and the hot pressure of his tongue.

“Hades!” she called out at the first thrill of slick friction found that throbbing spot inside her. “Please!”

She imagined him turnt to a fire serpent, licking and flicking his tongue inside her.

She moaned, shuddered, and convulsed as warmth suffused her whole body, till her legs twitched and her toes curled.

She might be dying, struck by this pleasure as by lightening. If she were dead, she might remain here forever!

“Enough,” she whispered, opening her eyes, and he lifted his head and met her gaze with dark, wide eyes.

When he climbed back up her body to kiss her, she tasted herself on his lips—sweet, with the bitter salt of the spring King Crecrops rejected, bringing Poseidon’s wrath down upon Athens, though this gift she accepted eagerly.

“Shall I take you?”

“Am I not already yours?” She pressed her face into the crook of his neck and drew her legs up to cross ankles behind his back.

He lifted himself up and she inhaled deeply as she felt him push inside her.

He began a series of shallow thrusts—a rocking that brought their bodies in alignment, so that his staff rubbed at each thrust against the center of her pleasure. Then a long thrust and pain and the spill of seed inside her.

. . . . . .

“No more seed than I have fingers did I swallow from below.”

But she could still taste the seed on her tongue and knew her lips and robes were stained a telltale crimson.

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