Case of the Missing Dead Man, Part III

My heart sank for poor Charon. Even though he was kind of an odd creature, he’d been Hades’ right-hand-man since the beginning. Hades relied on Charon to take care of everything, and now the poor thing had to tell the God of the Dead that there was another soul unaccounted for. Though we were only conversing through direct messages, I could tell he was worried about telling his boss. So what does the Goddess of Sacred Law do? She volunteers to be the one to tell Hades.

As we ended our transmission, I couldn’t help but worry about how I was going to tell Hades about my findings. He was NOT going to be happy about another missing dead guy, but he was going to be livid about me not really figuring out where these souls were between their deaths dates and their arrivals. I had no definite answers and it was time to give my report. I wasn’t sure how he was going to take what was going through my mind.

Hades, Overlord of the Underworld
Sulfur Springs Resort
Olympus Administration Building

Lord Hades,

I am sending you an update of my preliminary findings on the matter of Ian Coventry. I have done some extensive research and have found that Mr. Coventry may not be the only soul in your midst that has experienced strange lights and/or vortex. I have come across several instances throughout what the mortals deem as “modern history” and have come across some interesting facts.

According to my research, mortals began seeing strange, colored lights on the night horizon less than a millennia after we Olympians won the war against the Titans. However, these phenomena seemed to be only in swamps and marshes. The inhabitants of the Island of Britannia referred to these lights as The Will O’ the Wisps, and were believed to be spirits trying to lead travelers from their path.

There seems to be a rise in the number of these phenomena in more recent years, and they appear to be growing. Case in point: in the journal of navigator Christopher Columbus, dated October 11, 1492, several sailors on at least two of the three ships witnessed floating lights on the horizon. There is some speculation that what they witnessed were the torches of natives running through the trees on a small island, but due to their distance from shore, this seems unlikely.

In January of 1644, Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop wrote in his personal journal about strange lights that were appearing around Boston Harbor. He recounts that some months before the event, a ship had exploded when a sailor accidentally ignited some gunpowder. Five crewmen died in the blast, but only four bodies were recovered. The sailor thought to have caused the explosion was never found. Incidentally, he was also said to be able to communicate with the dead.

One of the most worrisome incidents I ran across happened in October of 1943. The documents I found say that a Naval vessel, called the USS Eldridge, was rendered invisible and teleported through both space and time. The stories go on to say that several of the sailors aboard the ship died as a result, becoming fused within the ship itself. Of course, all military channels I’ve tried to go through for information have denied my request or simply denied that this event ever occurred. However, I did call in a few favors and have found some interesting information. Apparently, one of the sailors decided to stay in what would have been his future, 1984. I am still researching this avenue.

There are several individuals in your realm that I would like to interview about these events. As I know that once a soul has crossed into your kingdom, they are bound for eternity, I am requesting that I be allowed to conduct these interviews over the computer. I will need full access to my Sacred Law Database throughout the interview process, so must be within the walls of my office and libraries.

I’ve contacted Charon and had him look up a list of names for me. I wanted to ensure that some of the missing mortals I’d run across had landed at the gates on their projected death dates. Both to mine and Charon’s surprise, there were three individuals who had missed their dates. Two of those individuals arrived several years afterward to the day. However, I’m afraid the third has still not arrived. If he is like the others, he will arrive on May 8. Of what year, I do not know.

Also, I need to know if there is any talk about these strange phenomena among the residents of the Underworld. My theory is that if this is happening in the living realm, why couldn’t it be happening in the realm of the dead? Is this something that is only affecting the mortals or is this something that could affect immortals as well? Is there a reason that these events are happening in, or around, water? I will continue my research and see what I can find.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I am once again without an assistant, but will get back with you as soon as I possibly can. If I do come across any further information, I will contact you immediately.

Sincerely,

Demeter, Goddess of Sacred Law
Demeter Law Offices
Olympus Administration Building

Though he wasn’t my favorite deity, nor was I happy about the way he’d become my son-in-law, I had to admit that Hades wasn’t the monster I’d always claimed him to be. He had been faithful to my daughter and had never caused her any physical harm. I truly hoped that he would extend the kindness to me and find satisfaction in my report. Suffice it to say, I’m not going to hold my immortal breath.

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Demeter (Christine Graves)

Demeter (Christine Graves)

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Christine Graves is short story author, writing prompt master, research junkie and ancient history fanatic. She’s been writing online for over 20 years, having been published in both fiction and non-fiction. She’s been an avid history buff since childhood and knows more about the ancient world than the modern. Christine is also a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves to crochet, finds adult coloring pages relaxing and rides motorcycles with her husband. You can find out more about Christine at her blog Graves Publications or at her writing prompt publication, Enticing the Muse. Want to make her day? Follow her on Twitter. She’s a sucker for that.
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