Kingdom of Fire and Darkness was my entry for last week's Microcosms flash fiction contest. The special challenge asked that you create a 'new' myth as well as incorporate the prompts. I chose the creation of the Underworld.
Kingdom of Fire and Darkness
Half-flesh, he crawled through dead tunnels. The skin of him, albino patches splintered by bone. Blind eyes bleeding tears of despair as fingers tore at rock, guided old roots of ancient trees into a mouth forever hungry. Exhausted, he collapsed and once more allowed himself to remember.
“Creatures move beneath our land,” had said the Elders as the ground opened to swallow the year’s harvest. “We need a warrior to go down into the dark, destroy those who seek to destroy us.”
Erebus had volunteered, entering the belly of the mountain with eyes wide open only to close them as he starved and found his nails picking at the meat of himself, making him lesser. His mind began to wander and his mutterings echoed along tunnels, crept out across the valley, disturbing those who had long since given him up for dead. The lands had been quiet since Erebus had gone into the below world.
But then he returned. Half-man, half-abomination he crawled out of the dark, slithered amongst villagers frozen in horror, wrenched a child from its mother’s arms, dragged it back into the tunnels from which he came. There he showed it the lakes of fire, the bodies of others, strangers he had captured, taught the child his ways.
“This is my kingdom,” he rasped. “I will let you return above but you must tell them of the fires that await them, tell them of this world of the dead, tell them to send me their madmen and murderers. If you do not, I will come for you.”
So the child, now a youth, returned to the light; told of the inferno below, spread the story of Erebus, travelled far and wide until all knew of the horrors of the Kingdom of Fire and Darkness.
A writer - I think that says it all.