While several deities prepare for game night in Hades’ library, an angel crash lands in the underworld, bringing a mystery.
“Hades, can we keep him?”
“Persephone, it’s not a small pigeon to nurse back to health, it’s an angel.”
A chihuahua bolted between Hades’ feet to sniff the slightly crumpled angel lying on the white-marble floor in front of them. Several more of Hades’ dogs popped their heads out from around the library to investigate the commotion.
Hades looked at the pieces of the stained glass window scattered around the library. At least the angel didn’t crash through my favorite window, Hades thought on the positive side although the angel did leave a streak of blood on his clean floors. Hades suspected some of the blood that covered the angel came from whatever he fought before the fall.
“He’s so precious,” Persephone whispered as she glided her fingers over the angel’s smooth, youthful face. “I wonder where he came from?”
“I’m sure someone will be here shortly to collect him,” Hades assured as he picked up his chihuahua. “Leave him be. Our guests are about to arrive for game night, and I, for one, would like a break.”
“Ho, ho, ho,” a joyous voice announced.
The chihuahua barked and jumped out of Hades’ hands. The tiny dog ran to a white-bearded man dressed in red shorts and a topical button-up t-shirt while carrying a large red sack. Dogs of various sizes and breeds rushed to the newcomer with their tags wagging. The man opened up his bag and tossed out dog cookies.
“Santa, you jolly bastard,” Hades greeted with excitement. “What games did you bring for us today?”
“Depends on who ends up joining us,” Santa replied while petting all the dogs. “I got Ticket to Ride, Cards Against Humanity, Catan, Midnight Zombie Sabotage, and a bunch more. I left Pandemic at the workshop. Seemed a bit too real given current events.”
All the lights and flames in the library flickered off then returned with a gradual spread away from a midnight-skinned goddess with a glittery dress.
“You’re here, [Goddess of Shadows*]!” Persephone shouted with glee as she ran over and hugged her friend. (*Persephone called the goddess by her true name, but her name becomes her title for those not allowed to know it.)
As the two embraced, the Shadow Goddess caught sight of the fallen angel. “Are we doing a murder mystery game tonight?”
“Ooh! Yes! Let’s solve the mystery of who killed the angel,” Persephone encouraged. She put on a gray deerstalker cap that she conjured from her purple dress pockets. “The game is afoot.”
“I told you,” Hades spoke in a calm tone, “someone will be here for him any—”
Flying down from the hole the angel made, a green dragon landed next to the injured angel. The dragon morphed into a humanoid form.
“Neon!” Persephone cheered. “I thought you were working?”
“I’m technically here for him,” Neon said as he lifted the angel. “This human wished to be an angelic warrior. Obviously, that had consequences. Thank you for not tossing him aside.”
“I knew someone would be here to collect him,” Hades said with a modest tone. “Wasn’t expecting it to be you. The kid made a wish, huh?”
“Yeah, around Volo Grant.”
“I’m sure Volo feels awful,” Santa commented. “That kid tries so hard, but he can’t control the wishes.”
Neon stretched out his wings. “Thank you again for watching him. I’d better get back to Earth.”
Dionysus joyfully strolled in the library with a case of wine as he watched Neon fly away through the ceiling with an angel in his arms. “Did I miss anything?”
This week’s short story was inspired by the following writing prompt: “Hades can we keep him?” “Persephone, it’s not a small pigeon to nurse back to health, it’s an angel,” the discussion goes as they look at the slightly crumpled figure laying in front of them.
Thank you to Mikey Marchan at Design Pickle for bringing this scene to life!