Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Cabbage Night, Moving Night, Mischief Night or Devil’s Night, even Goosey Night, but where my mortal scribe comes from they refer to it as Gate Night. The night where young mortals engage and play pranks, creating all sorts of general mayhem. As you can imagine this sparked my interest. Who doesn’t love a good prank? I’ve been told sometimes these evenings can get out of hand, but I, Erebus, God of Darkness, have no intention of getting out of hand. Insert evil gif picture here, if you will. 

After being trapped in Melinoë’s nightmare realm, even if it wasn’t that bad of a dream, the blonde bombshell with the spiky hair still consumes my thoughts. My reality has been more of a nightmare since. With Nyx and I having our falling out as an indirect result of my absence, and three months of no bookings for Erebus After Dark, my life is in chaos…I’m rambling…what’s done is done. 

Wringing my hands together, I let my thoughts carry away. Melinoë has a thing or two coming her way, even though my imprisonment wasn’t entirely her doing. I found it too easy for Melinoë

to pass the buck onto Ate, a Goddess who conveniently has disappeared from Olympus. It was Melinoë’s facilities that kept me locked away. Therefore, I feel that a little retribution should come her way. I mean, I can’t have other Gods or Goddesses thinking they can just lock up the mighty Erebus. I’m the freaking God of Darkness and Shadows, they’re supposed to be scared of me. At least the mortals are.

I decided it was a good time to drop in and see my good friend Eros. If anyone knew a thing or two about mischief and causing chaos, it was him. One floor above Erebus After Dark Bookings was Eros’s flat. I walked in just dodging an arrow to the head. 

“Yow! Watch it.” I jumped to the side.

“Oh, hey, E!” Eros jumped off his perch from the arm of the chair. “What brings you here? Have you finally given up on Tinder? Come to get struck by one of my lovely arrows?” Eros held an arrow up to his mouth and kissed it. “I’ve got this one here, just waiting for you.”

I snorted at Eros. Ever since my separation, he’s been itching to hit me with one of his love darts. That was the last thing I wanted right now.

“Not exactly.” I pushed the arrow aside, as I did so I noticed my name written on the side of the arrow. He wasn’t kidding.

Eros slapped an arm around my shoulder and led me further into his domain. 

“Are you familiar with Gate Night?”

“Come again, what’s that now?”

“Gate Night? Mischief Night?” I raised a brow at him.

“Fuck yeah! Ate may have founded Mischief Night, but I’ve made it a legend in some parts of the world.”

“What are your plans for this upcoming Mischief Night? Care to join me in a harmless prank?”

Eros rubbed his hands together, a devilish smile spreading across his face. “What’dja have in mind? Ohhh, did you want to steal all the peacocks?”

“Peacocks?” I said, confused.

“Hera’s peacocks.”

I gave him a funny look. “Err no, something a little more badass than that, my friend.”

                        ~

Eros and I arrived at Hecate’s apartment; it was a little underwhelming to say the least. There were vials and jars covering every countertop. Hecate looked as though she had been in the middle of an incantation when we casually waltzed in. She looked over at us, seemingly annoyed.

“The God of Darkness is hanging around with Eros. Well, this is a sight I’d never thought I’d see. What are you two up to?”

“We need your help,” Eros smiled.

I could feel my dark shadows slowly creeping around from corner to corner of the small apartment, investigating. My eyes closed in on her and the room felt heavy. “Someone has wronged me.” 

“Inadvertently,” Eros spoke.

I shot him a quick look. Like it mattered; Hecate didn’t need to know the details of why we were there. All I wanted from her was a potion, or a spell, something to torture Melinoë for her involvement in my temporary capture. 

“Is this about Nyxie? Because I am not about to help―”

“No. I’m over that,” I said harshly. 

Hecate gave me a cockeyed look from over her spell and I could feel Eros’ eyes burning a hole in the back of my head.

“Just a little something to payback someone for―”

“He wants revenge on Melinoë for putting him in the nightmare realm for three months.”

I turned on my heel and tightly wrapped my shadows around Eros. Squeezing him gently, not enough to hurt him, but enough that he could barely shrug sorry. I’d forgotten how much energy and impatience the young God had.

“Just something to scare her, I don’t want to hurt her.”

Hecate grabbed a leafy green plant and some clear liquid, mashing them together, all the while mumbling to herself. Eros and I sat back and watched, unsure if we should speak. When she was finished, she handed me a small vial. 

“What is it?” I asked, looking at it, unsure if this tiny little vial would do the trick.

“Atropa belladonna, with a little extra something I made up myself. Just put a little into whatever it is Melinoë is drinking and voila! Let the fun begin.”

I looked at Hecate doubtfully. “Not meaning to judge you, but do you think this will get by her? She does know a thing or two about spells.”

“Trust me, you’re good. You just have to get close enough to her to put it in her drink.”

Releasing my shadows from Eros and grabbing him by the shoulders, I said, “Why do you think I brought him along?”

                        ~

I had received word that Melinoë had picked up a job working for Nyx at Whole Latte Love since the last time I’d seen her. Go figure. Little Goddess running to safety. While it might not be the best place for her to take the potion, it was our only option.

I sent Eros ahead to make sure Nyx wasn’t in. I wouldn’t want a war to breakout. This was just a harmless prank, no need to involve Ares.

When I got the all-clear from Eros, I sauntered in slowly. The plan was for me to distract Melinoë long enough for Eros to slip the potion into her water. It wouldn’t suffice for me to just watch from the sidelines. No, I desired to witness Hecate’s handy work in action. Otherwise, what was the point?

Melinoë was sitting at a small table at the back of the room away from the little mortal critters.

Perfect.

As I walked closer to her, I saw her eyes dilate. Immediately, she threw up a wall of defence. Smart Goddess, but it would be of no use. Not against Hecate’s concoction, which Eros had safely tucked in the palm of his hand.

“What can I help you with, Erebus?” her voice, soft and cautious, held a distinct darkness.

“Well, I think we got off on the wrong foot. I’ve had some time to mull things over and I’m willing to forgive and forget.” I flashed her a quick smile, hoping she was buying what I was selling.

“I may have been south for the last few decades or maybe hundred, but I’m not stupid.” Melinoë side glanced at Eros. “If you’re travelling with him these days, Hades help us all.”

I looked at Eros, who was spinning an arrow between his fingers like a drumstick. “I don’t know… he’s kind of rubbing off on me. Who doesn’t like a little fun and chaos every now and again. I don’t always have to be doom and gloom.”

Eros “accidentally” let the arrow slip from his grasp, and it ricocheted across the room, buzzing a little too close to a germ-bag’s head.

“Oh shit,” he exclaimed. “Melinoë, I’m so sorry.”

Melinoë jumped up from the table and ran over to the child to make sure he wasn’t hurt.

I leaned against the table, blocking her view of Eros while he casually poured the potion into her water.

“Just great, Eros! Nyx will have my head if any of these children are hurt. Are you two trying to get me fired?” Melinoë fussed over the little human and made sure he was okay before returning her focus to us.

“On the contrary, I am here to offer you a job.” Eros pulled out another arrow and began twirling it around.

She paused, squinting at him for so long of a moment that I thought she might actually be interested. With a swift and subtle shake of her head though, the expression vanished. “If you haven’t noticed, I already have one.”

“A better one,” he added, stroking the fletching.

Melinoë stood up and crossed the room to us. “Will you put that away?” she growled, grabbing the arrow from Eros’ hand and snapping it in two. 

Eros was the best God to involve in this form of trickery. He knew just how to push everyone’s buttons.

Pushing myself off the table, I nonchalantly nudged her glass of water towards her. She absentmindedly picked it up and chugged it back. A devious smile spread across my face. I counted in my head as each second passed, waiting for the potion to kick in.

“Come on, Melinoë. Don’t you want to be on the hottest reality dating show? It will be even better than ‘The Bachelor’. I’ll let you have first crack at the dating pool. I mean, of course you would have to interview beforehand, and get a background check―the network insists.” Eros rolled his eyes dramatically.

Melinoë looked at the two of us like we were crazy. I couldn’t help but smile. Oh sister, you have no idea the amount of crazy that’s about to start.

“No, I think I’ll pass. When I’m ready for grotesque things like love, I’ll ask Aphrodite.” Melinoë sat back down and resumed mindlessly making shadow puppets again. “Is that all?”

I took a step back, all the while whistling. My patience growing thin, when would this blasted potion kick in? We were running out of time. Eros looked to me; it was up to me to stall. I had nothing, my mind drew a blank. I had been so wrapped up in this revenge scheme I couldn’t see straight. I needed to come up with something…anything.

“Err― How about you and I go out? For coffee…or something?” Oh, that was awkward.

“You two?” Eros couldn’t hold back his laughter. “Actually, I can ship that,” he said, pulling out yet another arrow.

Melinoë waved her hands in protest. “Stop. Get out!”

I looked to Eros and shrugged. Now what?

Just then, a chunk of black hair fell from Melinoë’s head and fell across the table in front of her. All eyes went to her missing hair. Immediately, her hands went to her head.

“What—”

Like ghosts, her fingers floated to her scalp. They tapped hesitantly, softly, searching for a bald spot. When she ran them through her hair and pulled them in front of her face, she was staring back at entire chunks of hair, black in one hand and white in the other.

Without her help, it continued falling out in chunks. Eros and I backed up, inching our way towards the exit. Melinoë stood from the table again, frantically calling for the other childcare provider to come over. When her coworker arrived, she looked just as perplexed as she did. 

I stifled a laugh.

The noise caught Melinoë’s attention. She glared and struck a finger in my direction. “You did this!”

“Me? I don’t know what you’re referring to. I can’t make your hair disappear. Perhaps it was something you drank?” I said with a chuckle.

She snapped her attention to the glass of water, her cheeks flushing red. She roared, clutching her head as if it would protect what little hair she had left already. “How could you do this?”

“How? No, why would I do such a thing? I couldn’t possibly harm a single hair on your head.” Eros and I burst into laughter. Revenge was sweet.

Despite her best efforts, her long, luxurious hair continued drifting to the ground. “It—it keeps falling out,” she uttered, her eyes wide with terror. Her legs crumbled beneath her as she began rocking.

For a split second, I felt something deep within my gut…regret? Nah…with every groan and whimper, Melinoë became louder and the children in the room started to take notice of the commotion and came to see what was wrong. I expected them to run away in fear, but to my surprise, they came and sat down beside her.

One of the little rugrats took Melinoë’s hand in hers and held it gently. They were looking up to her with admiration and concern.

“What’s wrong, Miss Mellie?” 

Melinoë looked up to the small thing, pulling at her remaining hair. “I—my hair—it won’t stop falling. I’m going to be bald.”

The spawnlings looked up at her head, confusion plain in all of their expressions.

What appeared to be the youngest of the group reached up and gently ran their hands around Melinoë’s head, as if their fingers were running through hair. “You have beeaaauuteefwal hair, Miss Melwie.”

Eros and I looked at one another, puzzled. Could they not see that her hair had fallen out? What exactly did Hecate’s potion do? 

“I wish I had hair like you, Miss Mellie,” said the first one.

The remaining hell-spawns circled her, giving her a group hug. Life returned to Melinoë’s eyes as she smiled at the children surrounding her.

As the room quieted, Eros and I ducked out into the street, still puzzled by what had happened.

“Well, that was weird.” Eros scratched his head with an arrow.

I spun to face him. “You saw her hair come out right?”

“Totally. She looked like an old crone.” Eros laughed at the visualization.

I looked back inside through the windows, but Melinoë had disappeared. Probably to the washroom to collect herself and what was left of her hair. I was still smiling at the memory of Melinoë’s face when she realized her hair was falling out. I wondered why the little gremlins weren’t afraid of her? Maybe they were protected somehow? Nyx would have thought of everything to make sure her little humans wouldn’t get hurt while in her care. Either way, I would say it was a successful Mischief Night. 

Turning away from Whole Latte Love, Eros and I walked down the street. I could tell Eros was itching to pull another prank. My phone vibrated, alerting me to a text message. I stopped to pull the mobile from my pants pocket. Eros was ahead of me, scoping out a couple outside of a bar; surely his trigger finger itched. I looked at the message from Hecate.

“Hope you enjoyed the show. The illusion should wear off soon enough. Of course I couldn’t really make her hair fall out. Hope you understand.  Xoxo.”

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Erebus (Melissa Stoddart)
Erebus us portrayed fiction writer MK Stoddart. A resident in central Canada, Melissa writes when she can find the time between spending time at the lake and working as a secretary. She is a wife and mother of one. In 2010 Melissa lost a friend when a drunk driver claimed her life. This tragedy inspired Melissa to write her first novel, Living Secrets which will be published in the spring of 2020 by Sandspress Publishing.
Erebus (Melissa Stoddart)

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