The Pact of Hades
The SMCL Teen Blog presents the exciting fiction of local teen Shawna Chen. Stay tuned for upcoming chapters!
The Pact of Hades: Chapter One
Two centuries ago, Hades made a deal with the living dead.
When a mortal dies, his soul is cast out from his body, entering a heavenly world known as Pareden or a burning hell known as Gehenna. Pareden has been described as complete bliss. No hurt feelings, no resentment, no anger, just happiness and pure joy. The Creator sits on the throne and He sends guardians to protect the gate entry– only the ones who are chosen can enter the realm. Then those souls are cleansed in a multi-layer white milky stream to wash off any earthly thoughts before stepping into the peaceful fairyland. Everything in Pareden is provided for its inhabitants’ joyful comfort.
On the other hand, those who are banned from Pareden have to enter Gehenna. Gehenna, the dungeon of Lord Hades, is such a dreadful purgatory that even the living dead do not dare speak about it. Hades, the ruler of Gehenna, was talked of by the ghosts today as merciless, vicious, and cold. Hades labels each soul who enters Gehenna with different castes. According to today’s ghosts, the lowly slaves have to labor hard by moving the flaming rocks endlessly for Hades’ amusement. Their twisted faces are tortured by pains with no hope to escape. The middle ranks are assigned to watch the order of these lowly slaves. They dress like medieval solders, yet they do not have any ability to fight with Hades. Even the superiors of these souls cannot interfere with Hades’ plans. They are only a few who are allowed to serve Hades closely as his personal aides.
Gehenna is a dimension without any forms, where the only substance is queer stones in fire. Darkness hovers over the surface where the lower castes exist. Hades held the power of commanding the eternal death of the souls whom he loathed within Gehenna. The horrified cries and piercing screams were heard everywhere in this dark, red, desperate place. The despair is eternal. No one would have expected anyone, however manipulating or persuasive, to be able to change the brutal lord’s mind about tormenting the dead souls.
So, one may ask, “How did this deal come to life?”
Too many mortals wanted to return to the world to warn their loved ones not to fall into the hands of Hades, and these tortured souls begged him day after day, nagging him consistently, never giving up. Their plea echoes in the Gehenna endlessly, creating a huge hollow flame. Hades is not sympathetic, neither is he patient. Rather, he is quite crafty. After one too many pleads, he reluctantly conceded to allow the dead a choice: to walk across the fire’s walkway to Gehenna where they can work till the Creator opens His gate for them in every 100 years, or to be sent back to earth and remain as a ghost of lifeless form. Once the last of their bloodlines has passed away, however, ghosts were required to return to Hades and re-habitat in Gehenna forever. This way, no one ghost could stay on Earth forever.
Maybe the living dead wouldn't have been so eager to return to Earth if they had known what Hades had in mind for them. Most souls imagined the ghost image of themselves as young and transparent, maybe even completed with a glowing aura. They dreamed of coming home and living just as they were before death. Hades, however, created the image of ghosts as skeletal and daunting, with no face but a skull, with blank-looking holes for eyes, with a grim crack replacing the mouth – no skin, no flesh, pure bones and terror, roaming the Earth, haunting its people. All those who took on the form of a ghost would wear this body, the sound of rattling bones and cackling laughter accompanying them, wherever they went. They would float on earth with no distinctions from other ghosts.
All the lowly-ranked ghosts accepted the deal, no one wants to stay in the burning Gehenn to be tortured. But, little did they know what Hades was really planning. While they started their redeemed life as frightening figures, telling Earth’s residents the horrifying stories of Gehenna, Hades cunningly prepared revenge. Revenge against these lowly ghosts who have gotten the better of him. Revenge in which these lowly ghosts will pay.
This revenge would soon doom the futures of Pareden, Gehenna, and Earth. Lord Hades had made an agreement, signed a contract, with an affiliate. This contract’s keeper held the most petrifying secret in the universe, one that could destroy all mankind, living or dead, with a single stroke.
And that is how our story begins: with the Pact of Hades.
Shawna C. is a sophomore at Henry M. Gunn High School who fell in love with writing at age nine and began working on The Pact of Hades at age thirteen. At school, she writes for Gunn's student newspaper, The Oracle, and has been honored with numerous Journalism Education Association awards for her journalistic pieces. At home, she writes for her personal blog, Finding Peace in a World Unrest, and works as a freelance writer and editor. Her short stories have won awards from the Scholastic Art and Writing Contest. In her free time, she enjoys playing violin, reading, and spending time with family and friends.