As Persephone ate the last pomegranate seed, they began to feel the tree behind them moving ever so slightly, stretching like a cat after a nap. It was a serene moment beneath the marvelous tree and blanket of stars. It made Hades and Persephone blind to any sight or sound outside of their bubble. They did not hear the echo of a scream from somewhere above.
Persephone’s skin began to glow a dull pink. “What is this?” She asked, observing her skin. When she looked close enough, she could see a hints of sparkles, as if the stars above were scattered across her arm.
“Your soul is rooting itself with the tree.” Hades smiled but it didn’t stick to his face. Doubt hovered for a moment. On one hand, he was overwhelmed that she had actually chosen to stay. On the other, he was nervous if she was as happy about her choice or harbored any doubt. The stars that had spread to her eyes said otherwise, and it gave him peace.
Hades took Persephone’s hand and placed it gently on the bark of the tree. Her fingers tingled at the touch and the bark around her finger tips began to mirror the constellations across her skin. They made a chain from the dirt of the earth beneath them, to their clasped hands, through the heart of the tree, and up to the sky. From where they sat on the ground they were also a part of the sky.
If they had been alert to the happenings of their surroundings, they would have heard the sound of barking. Hades did notice something else out of the corner of his eye, though he was pained to draw himself away from the moment.
Persephone moved with him, sensing his alarm. As she stood, a gaggle of red roses sprouted at the base of the tree through the roots. They grew into a vine and quickly into the heart of the tree, between every weaving root and branch. Red roses appeared between the twisting layers of bark, adding richness to the little color in the Underworld.
Persephone and Hades were awestruck. Out of habit, Persephone grabbed a rose from where her toes touched the grass and tucked it behind her ear for safe keeping. It was a special rose, it came from where she found herself once again.
Heavy footsteps brought them back to the present. Someone was coming towards them at a quick pace. It was one of souls from the castle, a Guard of the Gate cloaked in his black armor. “My Lord, the barking, as I am sure you know, was Cerberus. Someone is at the gate.”