art by Seth Alan Bareiss
by Shane Halbach
Hades sat in his office, high atop his dark tower. He put the finishing touches on his black painted fingernails and held his hand up to the light to inspect his work. Perfect. The shade of black exactly matched his hair, his eyes, and his coordinating shirt and pants. Only his pale white skin contrasted the darkness of his appearance. He was just about to complete the look with some dark eye shadow, when he heard a knock. Hades looked up quickly. No one ever dared to disturb him in his tower.
"Enter!" he commanded, and the door swung open.
Occupying the entire doorway was a huge man, resplendent in a white tank top and extremely short, red running shorts. Muscles bulged everywhere. He even had soft red wristbands and a matching sweatband around his head. Hades rolled his eyes.
"Playing up the jock look a little much, aren't we Zeus?" asked Hades. He waved Zeus toward a chair. "Come in, come in. Can I get you something to drink? I don't get much company here."
"Pluto..." Zeus began, and Hades arched an eyebrow.
"What's with the formal name? You'd think two gods who go back as far as we do could use common names amongst ourselves."
"Well," said Zeus uncomfortably, "I think we'd better stick with the formality for now."
"Very well, Jupiter, what can I do for you?" asked Pluto.
"Well... it's just that..." stammered Jupiter. "Well, I'm just going to come out with it. We're going to have to let you go."