Font size: - +
A bark echoed through my chambers, waking me from the most horrible nightmare. I lifted my head from my pillow and uttered a loud sigh, dropping back into the pillows with a huff. So much for it being a nightmare, I thought as I pulled the blankets over my head and rolled onto my side. Millennia had passed and still, I hoped that this punishment was nothing more than a horrid dream. Of course, I knew deep down that this was the truth of my life however a girl could dream, couldn’t she? Another loud yip echoed as a large body dived onto the bed and landed squarely on my hip. I groaned out and lifted my head from the blankets, my eyes meeting six pairs of different colours. Ceria wagged her tail as she tilted one of her heads to the side.
My darling pup, daughter to my beloved Cerberus, leaned one of her heads down and began licking at my face. While most of her body was covered in white fur not all of her heads looked alike, her middle head was pure white with vivid blue eyes while her right head down to her right front paw was a dark midnight black. The eyes on that head were a light orange with a soft splatter of red. The last head was a soft brown with dots of white almost like a Dalmatian but in reverse, the eyes on that one were a soft green similar to my own. She playfully bared her teeth at me as one of her other heads nipped at my arm. Who needed an alarm with a three-headed puppy, I thought with a sigh as I shifted out of the bed.
I eyed my bed longingly as I reached for my robe and slipped it over my shoulders. My chamber wasn’t much to look at but it was home. My simple wooden canopy bed had silk sheets draped down from a thick oak frame, falling neatly onto deep black bedding and white pillowcases. I’d done what I could over the years to brighten up the dank, depressing hole I’d been sentenced to. While there wasn’t much a girl could do without leaving I did have a few nieces with some fashion sense and a sister or two who would risk wrath just to make my life a little easier. Though I doubt the brute would ever notice as he has yet to drag his oversized ass from his throne to check up on me.
I stifled a sigh and pushed the thought from my mind and I made my way over to my vanity. It wasn’t the prettiest thing, rickety and old but it was all a girl could get down here in hell. One of my nieces had gifted it to me, the horrible little snob decided centuries ago that she’d grown bored of it and since it was as ugly as the rest my home she’d ‘generously’ let me have it. As much as I’d have loved to throw it back in her face beggars can’t be choosers and I did need one so very badly. I ran my hand along the old dented green marble and sighed, how I’d love to go out and get my own things just for once. I glanced at the three silver trimmed mirrors and dropped into the vanity seat; at least the mirrors weren’t damaged or cracked. There was a lot to be said for small victories.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been out of this place. I couldn’t remember the last time I didn’t have to rely on the kindness of others for simple pleasures like new outfits or shoes. I sighed as I reached out and grasped a simple golden comb from my vanity. One of my sister’s had brought it to me as a gift, she’d felt sorry for me not having a single item to call my own when I’d been thrown down here. I dragged the comb through thick midnight tresses, feeling less and less like a queen and more like the prison he’d wanted me to be. I narrowed my pale green eyes at my reflection and pulled my heart-shaped ruby lips into a frown, I would never give him the satisfaction of breaking me down. My brother could banish me but he could not break me down.
I dropped the comb onto the vanity and got to my feet. I wasn’t the weak little girl I’d been in my youth; I wasn’t so full of hubris anymore. I turned back to the bed for a fleeting moment before making my way across the room to my small cupboard, nothing like what I’d had in my youth but again it was better than nothing. I reached into the cupboard and pulled out a simple gown I’d been gifted from my favourite sister. I dropped my silk nightdress off my shoulders and slipped the gown over my head. Thankfully Demeter isn’t that much taller than I am or I would be swimming in her clothing as I did in anything gifted by Hera.
I glanced in the mirror from across the room and fluffed my hair once more. The soft white and gold gown dropped onto my knees, a little thick around the waist and bust but nothing a belt couldn’t help. Thanks to my sisters I’d given up the peplos the minute it had gone out of fashion and never looked back. Who on earth had thought that was the height of fashion? I shook my head as I slipped my feet into dainty little flats, only one of my nieces and I shared shoe size. She often visited with some of her things; she and I are the closest in size even if she is a bit more rambunctious than I. I stifled a sigh as I glanced out the window at the skyline, dawn was rising and with it, the new arrivals would be getting off the boat.
I hardly ever went out to greet the new arrivals anymore but what else was I going to do? It wasn’t as if I had all that much to keep me busy down here. With a last glance at Ceria curled into my blankets, I headed out of the room and down the eerily silent halls, when I’d been damned here I figured my brother would at least leave me with some company. Over the years I’d chosen my own companions from those sentenced here but honestly, who would want a servant that had been sentenced here for theft or worse murder?
I slipped through the doorway into the dining room, stealing a slice of French toast as I made my way further through the castle. My brother’s idea of irony, I’d been given a castle and a crown down in my punishment, my official title was even queen of the underworld. I rolled my eyes as I bit into my breakfast and grimaced, why did I always choose the French toast? It was always horrible. I’d found a cook a century ago who used to work for some queen or another, she’d been sentenced for poisoning her royal line so it wasn’t exactly a surprise her cooking was god awful.