Midsummer In The Shades

Beneath midnight skies as dark and riotous as her lover’s eyes, the cloistered garden welcomes her with twisted limbs and tattered leaves. A fingernail moon rakes her elegant spine as she follows the path to a black slate dais ringed by fruit-heavy trees.

She pauses beside a specimen laden with plump ripe fruit, inhales its heady summer ambrosia, and plucks a succulent crimson globe. With practiced hands, she splits the leathery skin, scoops out several lustrous pips, and flings the ravaged husk skyward.

A voice like thunder rumbles from the dais. “Hiding from your mother?”

Pulse racing, she faces him. “Summoning my lover.”

His voice gentles. “For what purpose?”

“A handful of stolen moments,” she says, uncurling her fingers to reveal the pips.

He descends to the garden floor, raises her hand to his mouth, and licks the pips from her palm. “Now then, how shall we fill these stolen -“

Face flushed as a field of poppies in the morning sun and heart racing like a rabbit through a thicket at dusk, she lifts up on tiptoes and answers him with a kiss.

“Gods, how I’ve missed you,” he says, clasping her about the waist and drawing her close.

Motion on the dais catches her eye. “Oh, my handsome monster!”

“What the devil?” he says, whirling to combat a presumed rival and finding instead, his hellhound.

She laughs as the dog lunges toward them. “Don’t you dare scold him, Hades. It’s hardly the first tryst he’s ruined.”

“Ditched the ferryman to come see your queen, didn’t you,” he says, crouching to greet the three-headed dog. “The underworld isn’t the same without her, is it my mangy cur?”

“I suppose we’ll have to spend our stolen moments some other way,” she says, laughter echoing throughout the garden. “Perhaps a game of fetch and a walk through the pomegranate grove?”

Inside the sheltering cypress border, they stroll through the private bower, fingers laced like sweet pea runners twined on a fence, jubilant voices colliding in conversations as intimate as turtle doves cooing at sunset.

Narcissus spring up in their footsteps and fireflies gather to become flaming diadems hovering above the King and Queen of the Shades as they tarry beneath midnight skies.


370 Words

This little interlude between Persephone and Hades is my entry for the Dark Fairy Queen’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Writing Contest.

Find out how to enter the contest by clicking the link above.

Read the other entries by clicking the link below.

I invite you to listen to the gorgeous song I kept on ‘repeat’ while creating and writing my story.

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