Every story no matter how special, how grandiose it may be, starts with the first breath.
The young god finally crawled out of the Titaness´ body. Gold of ichor covered him from the last tip of his charcoal hair to his tiny feet. Steady beating of his mother´s heart calmed him like it always did and her arms jiggled him as she panted after the hard labour.
„You are beautiful, my son.“ Her voice was quiet and gentle. Filled with pride. Suddenly she smacked his behind. He tensed but didn´t make a sound. He wiggled as another sharp slap landed on his bottom.
„Come on, little one,“ she encouraged him to do something. What is he supposed to do? Hit her back? Maybe-
He forced his eyelids open. This new thing - the light was sharp and hurt his raw pupils.
The face before him was beautiful, the skin tanned and hair dark and curly. But something was off. His mother´s eyes slowly widened, eyebrows rose and as her mouth slowly opened the corners of her lips turned down.
„Rheia!“ rumbled a rough unpleasant voice. „Rheia!“
He tried to swaddle himself deeper into the ichor soaked cloth. He wanted to get closer to momma. No matter what that thing was it scared her and thus it scared him. Her eyes were fixated at the door. Tears flooded her warm brown eyes.
„I – I´m – I am coming,“ she choked out and stood up. She was trembling, her steps unsteady and movements painful. She stopped in front of the door and looked at the baby in her arms.
Her gaze pierced him.
She shut her eyes and opened the door.
„My lord,“ she said, her voice was dry and cold. „May I present you your son, Aidoneus.“ Every step she took was rougher than the one before.
„The unseen one,“ the man chuckled. „What a name.“
Mother´s movements became more certain as she went up to the man and put the little god down into the man´s arms. She stepped away.
The baby boy stared at the face in front of him. It was so different from his mother´s. So old and uninviting. And then it smiled. A cold shiver went down his spine as his heart started to beat faster and faster.
The man opened his mouth and brought him closer. The newborn struggled to set his hands free. The disgusting darkness opened wider. He freed one hand and punched the face with his little hands as hard as he could but that didn´t stop the beast. His feet covered in the blanket were already in the pulsing throat. He kicked and punched in misery.
He turned around to face mother.
She was walking away.
He opened his toothless mouth and cried out at the top of his lungs. His painful screech echoed through the freezing hall. Then all went dark, hot, wet and tight.
He just got out, but something told him that this time it won´t be as easy to get out. He was slowly pushed down into even more disgusting space. It was even smaller and stenched.
„Hi,“ a girl shouted and brought herself closer to him. „I am Hestia! Your sister!“ Her voice was hard to hear through all the noise of pumping ichor, beating heart and bowels at work. He desperately tried to take a breath but it was air-tight. He couldn´t even move his limbs and realised that the less he moved the more his skin burnt.
There isn´t a worse punishment than that. To live constantly in never stopping noise, pain and wetness, unable to breathe or move. Hardly falling asleep once in a blue moon.
Then one day something new happened. The oesophagus got wider than ever before. He realised his chance and took it. His baby limbs clawed at the flesh and pushed him up. Hera shouted something but he didn´t make anything of it. She did that all the time.
It got completely dark and something big fell on his head. It was a – cloth? He reached for it and pulled it closer. Another baby. His eyes were fixated on the little god. She knew what would happen and yet she had another child?! What kind of mother is she?! Doesn´t she know how much we suffer?! he thought.
The baby started crying and shivering. He cuddled it closer and joined it in its weeping.
I won´t let go of you, little one. Don´t worry, he thought.
However, Kronos´ fathomless hunger was still unsatisfied. Poseidon was still very small when the Titan´s stomach got even fuller.
„Incoming!“ yelled Hestia. She was already used to moving out off the way of swallowed babies by now.
Aidoneus reached for the child, prepared to snuggle up, yet another unfortunate sibling. He grabbed the cloth and brought it closer. As it got nearer he got a better grip. Wait, this was cold and tough. He recognized the thing from his dreams. „It´s a rock!“
„What?“ Demeter asked.
He repeated his observation.
Poseidon grabbed his shoulder and pulled himself to his ear. „Rock. Want touch rock.“
His older dragged the thing closer. „We´ll have to work on your syntax, Sei.“