Flash Fiction: Home for the Holidays

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. Other stories featuring the prompt can be found here.

Hades hated Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Winter — whatever mortals call the holiday nowadays. For him, it was torture season. The one time of year his mother-in-law visited. She claimed his throne and openly questioned his judgement over the dead. The goddess stole his remote and dictated the viewing. His favourite station being Tartarus. 

“How can you watch all this maiming?”

“I find it pleasurable. That man did… indecent actions to children… and his mother-in-law.”

Not a bad idea, but Hades could never kill his mother-in-law, he’d wind up suffering eternity with her… 

“See you next year, Demeter.”

Hades cranked up the music — the new season was a time to celebrate. 

Happy festive season all!

This week’s story featured the Greek deities Hades and Demeter. In short, Hades ruled the underworld, including the hellish Tartarus. Demeter was the goddess of crops. Life was hunky-dory until Hades decided to kidnap Demeter’s daughter because that’s what Greek gods do. Demeter threw a tantrum and punished the innocent because that’s what all gods do. There was a world famine and Zeus had a hissy fit because humans stopped worshipping him and his ego was wounded. Zeus used his king-like powers and drew up a custody agreement for Hades and Demeter because Persephone was mentally challenged and unable to make her own decisions like a grown woman?, just because. Anyway, Persephone married Hades but split her time between her mother and husband. Demeter attended to crops again and goes on strike whenever her daughter is with Hades. Hence we have seasons. More can be read here. I may have used a bit of creative license but you get the point.


  1. It’s awful when the in-laws come for the holidays. I mean, the dead have to wear their best togas and behave (not that they did much misbehaving or anything else the rest of the year…), she insists on putting flowers out. Hmm, actually, I think they spontaneously sprout, but that’s beside the point… Fun story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Years ago I read a whole series of books containing Greek and Roman mythology. A fascinating record of man trying to explain the unexplainable–blame it on a god :). I got a laugh from your story today, although I seriously doubt there’s much humor in hell!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the Greek/Roman gods are more human than we are. The myths are fun and insane. I think for some people humour can be found in hell as a way of coping. Years ago I wrote a historical story and looked up ANZACs during WWI. I found a lot of dark humour. For example ANZAC soup was what they called bodies of soldiers floating in the muddy trenches. I can only imagine the hell known as war. Any humour would be dark.

      Thanks L!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think Hades is a great son-in-law, so fairs fair. But yes, it could be where the bad mother-in-law myth started. Although, Hera would be worse, I think.

      Thanks for the fab picture, D.

      Liked by 1 person

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