Aoife Geraghty – The Conquest of the Underworld
The Conquest of the Underworld
By Aoife Geraghty
Cold. The gloomy corpse lay still. The only noise in the silent house other than was the soft clicking of leather sandals on the wooden floor, was the sound from her victim’s blood dripping at a slow yet steady beat. Drip…drip…drip…
Her feline claw wrapped around her ruby encrusted dagger. She held it loosely in the silver moonlight tossing it playfully between both hands.
Her sharp hearing picked up a sound and her ears pricked up. She moved her head in one swift gesture. Bastet, the cat goddess, had vanished into thin air.
* * *
Ares stood facing Thor, the great god of thunder, in a large marble room with red velvet drapes rippling in the light breeze coming from the large decorative window.
“But why?” Thor questioned.
“It was the work of evil; someone with power and skill”.
A tall, slim, very young looking lady in a long, red silk dress that rippled behind her like a waterfall of blood crashing onto the water below, strolled towards the two men, her black high-heels clicked very loudly as she took each step. The woman was very attractive and shapely. Her long, thin, shiny hair, the darkest shade of black – as black as a raven’s feathers – was tied in a loose plait down her right shoulder
“News from Zeus,” Aphrodite remarked informatively.
Ares snatched the yellowed paper from her clutch and read it silently, crumpling the paper as he read. He handed the paper to Thor.
“Bastet”, he murmured.
“She couldn’t have done it by herself; she is under the influence of someone. I’ll look into it”. The goddess turned and left the now silent room.
* * *
“Is it completed?” The unseen voice asked slowly, croaking the emphasis on his last word,
“Yes Father. Achilles is dead and, as he was already granted immortality on his arrival to the underworld, cannot receive the gift twice.”
“Great…” he muttered in supposed delight, as his voice was expressionless.
“Are you attending the congregation in Olympus today?”
“Yes, I’ll find out as much as I know and inform you on the details and get them off our trail as much as possible without the others being suspicious,” his voice trailed away slowly.
* * *
“Cú Chulainn has been sent to the realm of Hades, to detect what Hades knows.” Odin was sitting in the third chair from the door in the circular marble room along with other supposed “rulers” other of the ancient civilisations.
“But of course we will only know the content of his knowledge if he returns alive”, remarked Ra.
Odin glanced at the bird-headed god suspiciously; he knew he was up to something but definitely not anything to do with Bastet, right?
* * *
At the first of the corners – the four corners of the world, Cú Chulainn continued paddling in a small row boat. The San Francisco Bay was as quiet as usual but of course that was because no one saw the long haired warrior – because they couldn’t.
As quickly as each strand of his blonde hair rippled in the wind, the hero was swallowed by the mass of sand and water.
Under the water yet above the sand, Cú Chulainn pushed himself along the dormant waves. He could breathe, which oddly enough wasn’t odd. The rocks shifted into an irregular form. The door to the realm on Hades lay on the cold ocean floor.
* * *
Bastet placed her ragged claw on the tip of the Pyramid of Khufu.
It flipped open with a puff of dust. The goddess jumped in the Pyramid and disappeared into the darkness of the chamber.
She searched high and low with no luck.
“It doesn’t exist!” Her hand formed a tightly squeezed fist. She rampaged from the Pyramid.
* * *
The market place was teaming with clear-bodied souls. The ever changing shades of black the sky always was, swirled above with crimson clouds circling the enclosed village.
Cú Chulainn stood on a high podium in front of Hades’ Castle.
“People of the underworld, I have come to you to inform you of an unfortunate happening. Bastet, the cat goddess wants to take over”. The crowd’s eyes were transfixed upon the character.
“She’s under the influence of someone. We have yet to find out whom. Your ruler has left his mutts on guard.”
He exited the market place, leaving the civilians in shock.
* * *
The remains of the cat goddesses’ crippled body were lying on the wooden floor. Ra had his scepter in his left hand, his chest was moving up and down very rapidly.
“I didn’t want it to end like this. You have failed me daughter.”
Scoil Mhuire, Oranmore