Chapter 1: I VOYAGE THROUGH THE STYX
I didn’t know that looking at someone can make you die. All I know that whatever I saw before my death was not meant for mortal eyes. It was as if the sun had come down from space and I was looking at it without any eye protection. I was as confused as you are reading this right now. My name is George Wilson and this is my story. I woke up at a strange place. I looked around and saw white orbs floating here and there. How I could have seen it with absolute darkness there, I have no idea but when a guy named Charon came up to me and asked me for a gold coin, things started to clear. What I thought was impossible but at the same time most likely right now. Charon was an ugly old man who wore tattered clothes with smears of grease and spots of red on, but the most revolting thing about him…he smelled. He smelled of pain and anger. In other words - just revolting, just as he was described in the stories. I put two and two together…Greek mythology was not a mythology anymore, at least for me. I was in the underworld and I was dead.
Chapter 2: I MEET THE LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD
I couldn’t feel my legs may be, because I didn’t have legs. I was a ghost. The boat swayed and my seasickness started to come alive. I watched as Charon ferried me across the Styx. The river of regret and pain. This can’t be possible. This must be a dream. As if to prove my point wrong, a drop of the red waters of Styx splashed upon my legs making me flinch with pain. ‘So, where do you wanna go?’, asked Charon. ‘Where should I go?’, I asked nervously. ‘That, said Charon, is a question you should ask from Hades.’ ‘You are taking me to Hades!’ I exclaimed. ‘Well, that is where I take all the souls to’, he said. I decided to remain silent, but may be Charon didn’t think so. ‘You seem like an obedient soul. If you are lucky enough then may be, Hades will put you in Elysium or, at least he should take you to asphodel’ , Charon remarked.
I knew enough Greek mythology to know what they were. Elysium was where they put good souls in. You had as much comfort there as you can get in a place like underworld which, by the way was filled with flesh eating, blood sucking monsters and stank a lot. It was gloomier than I imagined whilst reading the books on Greek mythology.
I was extremely close to puking when Charon stopped the boat and wished me luck. ‘I hope you make to Elysium or at least asphodel. I can forgive you for not giving me the fare of this ride because you seem like a good soul. Maybe, the best I have seen in this century. Good luck with cerebrus too.’
I did not know this cerebrus guy but it was not hard to notice him since he was a dog with three heads and a large cobra in place of his tail. He was at least fifty feet tall while sleeping and I don’t want to imagine him in full action. But since, he was sleeping I ran-or I can say floated- past him quickly and saved myself from getting bit from the cobra. On my right, could see a large yellow field overcrowded with souls looming here and there. And on my left stood a massive castle-obsidian black- with a huge door guarded by two other spirits. I floated towards that door as if I was being pulled inside.
Let me help you imagine Hades. Picture a giant gloomy dude sitting in a thorny chair with armrests of gold wearing a black helmet on his head which covered all of his face. He literally radiated sadness and pain and somehow, forgetfulness.
‘Another one’, yelled a man standing beside Hades throne, obviously his herald. ‘I can here you……Herald.’ He seemed to forget his name, ‘and I just told you not to scream so loudly.’
‘Forgive me, your grace.’
‘What is it….the thousandth time you are saying this’, he turned his attention then, to me, ‘ So how did you die?’
‘That is a question that I would like to present to you, your majesty’
‘Sure’, he sighed, ‘I do all the work.’ Next, he produced a stygian sword which materialized into a mirror that displayed a scene of me a few hours ago. I was going through the school corridor when I happened to come across a closed door. I could hear two voices talking from inside. I tried to listen more closely by pressing my ear to the door. One thing was sure, they were both males. I was confused about who would remain so late in the school. Why was I there? Well, I accidently forgot a bit of homework I wasn’t able to complete before and my teacher was not willing to leave me until I completed it. So, I sat in the classroom as I watched everyone go to their homes until I was left alone in the school. At least I thought so.
I was curious like any other child and what I did next changed my life forever. I opened the door. Then, before I died, all I saw pure energy and a glimpse of a trident and the face of an old man. And then? I was here in the underworld. I was more than ever confused at seeing this. I hoped that Hades knew something about it but he was still glaring at the mirror. After a few seconds, he noticed me staring at him and closed his hands in a fist. The mirror changed back to a sword and appeared in his hands. He looked at me and said, ‘I have never seen a case like this but if it is what I think it then we have to go right now. But first show me your hand.’
I did what he said. I showed my hand to him and he turned it over to reveal a flying eagle crossed with a trident.
Chapter 3: I RIDE THE CHARIOT OF THE DEAD
I didn’t know where we were going but if Hades was taking a mortal for a ride on his chariot then it was definitely something special. ‘Where are we going?’ I asked him.
“Yes, ‘the heaven’ as you mortals call it”, he said but with a hint of sarcasm.
“Keep quiet and let me think”, he added.
‘Okay’, I said. I was too shocked to say anything please let this be a dream I thought to myself but I already knew the bitter truth that is wasn’t.
We flew upwards. And then, when we reached a particular height, we started to shoot forward. I don’t know much about science but I know enough to tell you that we actually defied time. We were on the other side of the world in a blink of an eye. We started to slow down a bit after sometime and I saw that we have now reached a massive mountain whose peak was so high that it was not visible even from such a height we were on. Hades took his chariot a little higher and I saw that the mountain top was covered with clouds. We dove right into it but instead of crashing in the mountain, we stopped on a grass covered field (Don’t ask me how). In front of us stood a golden gate and in front of the gate stood a man with blonde hair and a serious tan. He had a stern look on his face but he looked kind of bored.
“Behold. Who wishes to pass this gate?”, he shouted. “I am Hades, Lord of the Underworld, protector of those with good souls and punisher of bad souls”, said Hades, “and with me stands a young mortal.” I found the introduction a little silly about the ‘mortal’ and all but I decided to go with it. I realized that my hands and legs were starting to rematerialize and also that I had a massive headache. “I am Heracles, God of the Doorways”, the stranger man said. That seemed kind of funny. But I decided to go along with it. “Hello”. I said, “I am George Wilson.” He replied nothing but opened the tall golden gate. I and Hades went through it to find ourselves stopped by Heracles, “wait, why you are here Hades?” Hades glared at him. After a bit of confusion, Heracles added, “My Lord”. Hades asked, “What does it mean to you? You are just a mortal made into a minor God by brother Zeus.”
“Well, Lord Zeus has restricted entry to the Lord of the Underworld.”
“Tell him that it is a….err….. an unusual death case for a mortal”, said Hades.
“Ok, I will try that.” After that Heracles muttered something under his breath and with a whoosh of air a God appeared beside him wearing winged shoes. It was not hard to identify him as the God Hermes, the God of Messengers, Thieves and Travelers. “Yes, Heracles do you want me to send a message?” Then he looked at Hades and his eyes widened, “How are you here?” He shouted at Hades. “Well, I think that he saw Zeus and Poseidon with his bare eyes in the mortal world.”
“But how can he be still alive!!” exclaimed Hermes.
The next few hours went in a blur. We went inside and Hades saw Zeus while I stood outside his palace and then a wood nymph came and fed me something golden in colour and hard as rock. But the tastiest thing I had ever eaten. Sweet, sour, salty and bitter all at the same time. Just imagine the food you wanted to eat and it will immediately change its taste to it. But it dissolved in a second or two. My eyelids felt heavy and I fainted.
Chapter 4: I MEET THE OLYMPIANS
I woke up to find myself surrounded by all types of mythical creatures. There were centaurs, pegasi, and many other Gods. My vision started to clear and I looked at my surroundings. Everything white, perfect white. There were white pillars, white marble floors and white stone thrones made everywhere for anyone to sit on. I saw golden thick bricks floating in the air. The same thing that I had been fed before. “Thank the Gods you are awake”, said a nymph. “Hi, I am Rachel, a wood nymph.”
“What is that?” I said pointing to the bricks
“Ambrosia, food of the Gods.”
“Oh” ,I said. “BRING HIM IN” boomed a voice through the corridor. “Let’s go”, said Rachel.
We moved out of the room I was earlier in to place which was huge. You could not see end. It was just white clouds everywhere. We moved quickly through the place and saw a huge door. It swung open on its own as we moved near it. Inside were 12 thrones also made of white marble. On them sat the 12 Olympians- Zeus-God of Thunder and Sky also the King of Gods, Poseidon-God of Earthquakes and Seas, Hera-Goddess of Marriage, Hephaestus-God of Blacksmiths, Hermes-God of Thieves and Travelers, Apollo- God of Medicines and Sun, Aphrodite- Goddess of Love, Athena- Goddess of Wisdom, Demeter-Goddess of Agriculture, Ares-God of War and Hestia-The Goddess of the Hearth.
“So, kid what is your name?” asked Zeus.
“It is George Wilson.”
“Well you do not need to worry about anything because you died of my mistake. Well, long story short- me and Poseidon were just talking and you happened to stumble upon us. And usually, it is not good if mortals see us with their bare eyes.”
Well, since I have read quite a few books on this topic, I knew that whatever Zeus was saying was true. I turned my hand to see the symbol of an eagle crossed with the trident and Zeus seemed to notice it.
“And yes, that symbol”, he explained, “Is because that are my and Poseidon’s sacred symbols.”
I noticed that my limbs and my body were almost back to normal.
“And yes, I will send you back but it will pain a little.” And then before I could say anything, he then snapped his fingers and I was sucked into a black portal. And yes, it pained but not little. A lot.
To my disappointment, I woke up in my bed. So, it was a dream I thought. But it was a story meant to write. So as I sat down before my computer to write the words you are reading, I turned my hand to write when I saw a symbol on my hand. That of an eagle crossed with a trident. I shook my head and looked again- It had disappeared. So I didn’t make much of it but a wonderful story.