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The Failed Resurrection

Short story By: Malaxter

A Greek Mythology short story about a man's attempt to resurrect his wife after she is raped and murdered.

Submitted:Mar 12, 2013    Reads: 59    Comments: 6    Likes: 3   

Penelope was out for a walk under the full moon around midnight. Following her were five cutthroats with evil minds and eviler intentions. The evil men surrounded Penelope on the outskirts of their village and made their move. All of them charged her at once.

To their dismay, the men discovered that Penelope was a sorceress. With a few quick words and hand gestures, she turned the two men closest to her into stone statues more beautiful than any of Medusa's work. She then hurled a fireball at the man directly behind her and shot a lightning bolt at one of the others, slaying them both. The fifth man, the group's vile leader, gave Penelope no chance to turn to him and cast more of her sorcery. Before she could react, he had come up behind her and clubbed her on the head, rendering her unconscious.

When Penelope awoke, she was in some sort of dungeon with the man who had clubbed her from behind. The man was safe only because he had gagged her in order to stop her from chanting and he had hung her just far enough in the air, by her wrists, to keep her feet from touching the ground, thus preventing her from making hand gestures. Since Penelope could not kill this man, she despaired.

Things became even worse when the man noticed that consciousness once again had claimed poor Penelope. The man walked over to her with a lustful leer in his eyes. "I'm Lord Vuld. You killed my fellow lords. For that, you will die. But not yet. First, let us have someā€¦ fun."

Penelope tried to scream as Lord Vuld unclothed and violated her, but she could not make any noise go beyond the gag in her mouth. She was a powerful sorceress, yet here she was, weeping, powerless, and being raped. When Vuld was finished, he slowly sliced into Penelope, allowing her to die in torment from blood loss.

Afterwards, he destroyed the body and sent the head, in a box, to Penelope's husband, Lord Hectare. The sight of his wife's removed head drove Hectare mad. He tried to find her killer, but he never could.

After six months, Hectare turned to his mother. "Hecate," he yelled to the skies. "Your favorite son has been robbed. Help me avenge myself."

"You dare command me?" Hecate screeched as she appeared in a puff of black smoke.

"Yes," Hectare bellowed, equally as loud as the goddess had been. "You will help me avenge my wife."

"Good," Hecate laughed. "I like Penelope, and as such, I have already devised a plan."

"Then share it," Hectare said.

"Take this," the goddess of magic responded, holding out a staff made of bones and topped with Penelope's preserved head. "Give it to her. It will make her a new body of flesh and blood and give her life. At the same time, it will rob the life of her killer."

"Good," Hectare said. "But how do I get it to her?"

"There is a potion on your bedside table. Drink it and nothing will stand in your way to get to her," Hecate said and vanished.

"Here goes nothing," Hectare said and drank the lavender scented potion his mother had left him. Suddenly, he was angrier than he had ever believed possible. His face became the same bright red color as fresh blood, flames literally danced in his eyes, steam billowed from his ears, and his hair writhed around him like living snakes.

Hectare marched out of his house and was so fearsome that the earth itself split open to avoid his wrath. Hectare marched on and on through the earth made tunnel for hours. Finally, the passage he was in leveled out and he found himself in the underworld.

Hectare did not have to search long to find Penelope along the shores of the River Styx. He gave her the staff, and just like Hecate had said, a flesh and blood body formed around her. They embraced, kissed, and then fled.

Hectare led Penelope through the underworld. He successfully led her through to the tunnel without incident, and soon they were climbing to the surface.

They climbed on and on for what seemed like hours. Throughout the entire trip, they were unmolested. Just as the light of the surface came into view, the god of the underworld, Hades, appeared before them. "Did you think I would let you escape?" the god asked. "I will torture you both for all of eternity!"

Hades held true to his promise. Each day he skinned Hectare and then Penelope. Worse yet, Hades forced them to watch as their lover was skinned repeatedly, day after day, while they could do nothing to stop it.


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