Chapter VI: The Asphodel Flower

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"Flowers of hades and the dead

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"Flowers of hades and the dead. Sacred to Persephone."
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Hades had escaped deep into a field of ghostly white flowers. The field, lit only by moonlight had a ghostly aura. These flowers were Cornelia's favorites. They reminded her of her grandmother.

As the flowers danced lightly in the spring air Cornelia plucked one. The star-shaped petals shaking lightly in her hand. When she looked up, Hades had stepped even further away. He was perched on a boulder in the middle of the field of flowers. His ghostly white skin matching the pallor of the flowers. His lightly glowing hair creating a terrifying yet mystical effect. It looked like he was the king of this field of ghostly flowers.

Cornelia climbed up the rock and plopped unceremoniously down next to him. "What's wrong mopey? Cat got your tongue?"

He simply glared at her eyes lightly flashing. She laughed at him. "Too soon?"

He looked angrily away from her staring sullenly into the distance. It looked as if he was reliving a memory. She knew he wanted to be alone but it was not what he needed. So she did what anyone would. She got up and sat down right in front of his view, and offered him her flower.

"What is this for." He asked delicately taking the stem.

"Well, whenever my mother was upset my father would bring her wildflowers." She paused thoughtfully. "Well, usually it was his fault."

"Aren't flowers for girls?" Hades snorted derisively.

Cornelia normally would have been offended; but, she sensed he had a much deeper level of pain than she understood. Her voice remained gentle and thoughtful. She looked at her flower "No, I don't think so." She looked at him more determinedly "I think it is the act of offering something delicate into the care of the other that is what matters. It demonstrates vulnerability to the will of the other person. I think it's simply a kind gesture that has been warped with gender expectations, just like everything else."

Hades looked at her again. Really looked at her. His eyes penetrating her soul. After a long moment, he gently took the flower. "It's pretty." Was all he said and gently nestled it into his pocket. They sat like that together for a long time staring at the moonlight on the field of wildflowers. Finally, Cornelia took it upon herself to break the silence. "Why do you change colors when you're mad?"

Hades looked at her shocked "that's a bit personal!"

"How is it personal when it's so obvious. It's not like you hide it. You are normal one moment then, poof a glowing ball of blue gas the next."

He chuckled "I guess it would be weird for you wouldn't it."

"How about this," Cornelia said smiling gently. "What if I tell you something special about me and then you can tell me something about yourself. Then, we would be even."

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