FIC: What *is* his job, anyway?

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A tondo from a red-figure kylix depicting Persephone and HadesVulci, c. 440-430 BCE. (British Museum, London)

“Another request to smite someone? Brimo, when will they learn that’s not my job?”

Hekate shook her head. “Probably never, if they haven’t learned it by now.”

Hades buried his head in his hands. “Zeus does the smiting, with a little help from Hera. Persephone does the scaring. Thanatos actually reaps mortal souls. Hermes guides them here. I just–Hekate, what do I do? Why am I here?”

“Somebody has to keep the books.” She patted him briskly on the arm. “Why don’t you get Cerberus and go for a walk in the garden or something? One of the Nice Girls can watch the door for a while.”

“It’s no fun without my wife,” he grumped. “Besides, it’s like winter here when she’s with her mother.”

“You could watch some Netflix? I hear there are some interesting new documentaries on religious aberrations.”

Hades sighed. “I think we’re out of popcorn.”

Hekate clucked her tongue. “Well, I need to go. It’s still dark moon tide and I’ve got crossroads to visit, offerings to sample. If you won’t get out of the house, you should send out a daimon for snacks and watch some movies, something Persephone won’t mind missing.”

Hades flopped backward on his couch. “I can’t even catch up with Brooklyn Nine Nine with her.”

“Oh, Tartaros,” Hekate said. “I’m off for the night, do what you like.”

As she whisked out of the room, Hades threw his arm over his eyes. “I don’t punish people. I just watch the door. I do the paperwork. And it’s all because I drew the short straw….”


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POEM: Hekate and Hermes

Neither virgin nor crone but a mature woman
firm breasts that have not suckled
strong arms and strong legs
she runs through the night to meet him
at the crossroads, this place which they share:
Hekate Trioditis, Hekate Enodia,
Hermes Psykhopompos, Hermes Trikephalos

And there they lie down, when the moon is dark,
when the moon is full, Hermes laughing,
eternally youthful, his winged sandals kicked off,
his hat tossed aside, his wand planted in the earth
as he makes the lascivious joke about his other wand
rising up, ready to plant between his lover’s moist thighs

and Hekate eager, biting her lip, raising her skirts
with no fucking patience, no waiting whatsoever
as she rolls him beneath her, her torches to right
and to left, her wet cunt his heaven, his sweet seed
the fountain jetting up, splashing down

and the witches dance and the dogs howl
and the hounds bay and Hekate groans
and Hermes laughs and he rolls her over
and they do it again, and again, and again,
until the sun comes up and Hekate,
laughing under her breath, walks home
with the first rays of sun drying her gown

and Hermes flies away like an arrow
from the string, Zeus’ messenger boy,
and the dogs and the hounds roll over
and go back to sleep, and snore.