breaking from my usual pendragon fic to something a little out of the blue? i uh. actually wrote this for an english assignment. we were told to write a backstory for either kreon or antigone, explaining why they act the way they do in the play, in narrative form. so uh. i wrote antigone fanfiction.
so yeah this is a thing. just me, over here being gay for persephone and kinda sorta projecting it onto random ancient greek characters. yeah.
also jesus imitating their style of writing just turned into purple prose im never doing this again
snowdrops used to be omens of death, but also symbolize hope, rebirth, and a bright future.
The screams of her father-brother still rang in her ears, his anguished cries echoing in the vast halls of their home. Shame sang in every reverberation. Hatred, for self, for Fate, for the gods and all his ancestors for cursing him in this way. Fate was inevitable, and by attempting to bypass it, he had only made it more sure to come.
Antigone covered her ears, tears slipping down her face, trying to block out the wretched moans of a cursed man she once called family. His howls came through, though, paining her to her Hades-bound soul. It tore her, to hear someone she once held dear scream in such a way, to hear him hurt in a fashion no man nor woman upon this earth should hurt. But he hurt, and his pain affected all who heard.
She clawed at her ears, the sounds tearing her from the inside. Scratches ran down her face, salty tears stinging in the open cuts as she maimed herself in desperate longing to not hear, not feel what Oedipus felt. Even as his sobs died down, no longer ringing in their suffering, the cloud of dismay lay settled over the castle, unrelenting. She could no longer hear him, but still they echoed in her head.
She fell to her knees, throwing open the nearest drawer and dumping the contents. Clothes and belongings scattered across her floor as she tore her room apart, looking for something to end the pain. Something, anything, to shut out the screams she still heard in her heart.
Finally, her fingers closed around cold metal. Drawing it out from under her bed, the dagger glinted coldly in the dim light of Antigone's room. Beautifully carved, an instrument meant more for decoration than protection, the dagger was a gift from her dear mother upon reaching marrying age.
"There will come a time in your life, my sweet," she had said, her soft voice now but a memory, her body now hanging mournfully in her husband-son's chambers. "There will come a time," she said, "when some man takes you for his own. This is how it is, here, but let it not be so much as they say. If he touches you, and tries to force you against your will, take this dagger and dig it deep in his throat. You are strong, my dear. Do not let them temper you."
The weapon, so artfully made and carefully hidden, had remained unused for years. Only now was it unsheathed, on the floor of a girl too broken for this world, poised over a heart gouged open as her father-brother's eyes.
Before the steel met its mark, a voice sounded. Beautiful, haunting, otherworldly. Antigone raised her eyes, away from the merciful death within her grasp, and sighed, "My lady."
Wreathed in robes too rich for this world, a garland of flowers upon her brow, the goddess Persephone smiled upon her. She fell to her knees in front of Antigone, the radiance of her being lighting up the dismal room. Spring welled up where her feet rested, the smell of fresh flowers and summer rain filling the lost place with hope.
Delicate fingers reached for the dagger, which fell from Antigone's hands as they neared. Persephone caught it, tucking it away in her robes in one smooth motion. Antigone's hands lay open in her lap, her dress pooled on the floor around her. She kept her head bowed in the presence of the goddess, but felt a great sorrow welling within her.
"My dear…" the goddess of spring began. Antigone's head shot up, meeting the sorrowful eyes of the lady before her. She kneeled in front of the girl, the picture of absolute kindness, and opened her arms.
With a sob, Antigone threw herself into the goddess's arms, damning herself for acting like such a child. She expected Persephone to smite her, for no god or goddess would lower themselves to a mortal's level, would tolerate such an attack and invasion of space.
But the kind woman's arms merely encircled the sobbing girl, holding her close in a warm embrace, and let her anguish flow. Antigone held tight, body wracked with sorrow, and let the warmth fill her with hope, with love. She cried, for once letting herself be a child again, held in the arms of one like a mother she will never be held by again.
Some time later, Antigone pulled back, sniffling. She wiped her face hurriedly, embarrassed by her atrocious display. But she found her hands moved, a gentle sleeve wiping her tears for her. Persephone smiled gently, cradling her face carefully, washing away the last traces of misery. She smiled, and Antigone felt true hope within her.
"My dear, do not fear," Persephone said softly. "It is not your time yet. Stay the blade from your heart, for you have much yet to give this world."
"But, madame-" Antigone began, but was stopped by a finger to her lips.
"Shush, little one," she murmured. "Trust in me. You are not finished, and if you left the upper world now, before your time, many things will go wrong. However…" She drew back a little, clasping the young girl's hands in her own, and brought their foreheads together. "If you stay, there is a future for you, and for all others. A future at the end of a long, hard road, but one much deserved in the end."
Antigone closed her eyes, basking in the images the goddess showed her. A vision of a future, some years from now. Her, standing tall and proud with her sister, Ismene, by her side. Her hand is clasped by Haimon, and Antigone gasped at the sight of the wedding rings on their fingers. The kingdom is shining, and her dreaded uncle Kreon has disappeared. But there are people missing, so the young girl asks.
"Where are my brothers? Where are Polyneices and Eteocles? Surely one has taken over, now that Father is gone in disgrace?"
Persephone sighed, a sad sound that would make flowers wilt at it. "I despair saying so, but soon they will feud. Battling over the throne, they will eventually lead Thebes to war, and in the struggle, their lives will end at each others' hands."
Antigone covered her mouth, shocked tears springing forth. "But why would they do such a thing? Surely they could rule together! They have always done everything together, in peace and unity."
"They will try, my dear. They will try, but in the end, greed for power will win out, and any attempt at compromising will fall to the clutches of pride."
More tears fell, blurring the young girl's vision. She lowered her head, sagging back into the goddess's embrace.
"I loathe to hurt you more, but that is not the end of the problems ahead of you," Persephone whispered. Antigone looked back up, fearing what came next.
"When your brothers die, your uncle will not take the news lightly. He will hold Eteocles as a hero, defending the throne, and Polyneices will be hailed a traitor to his family and his home. Kreon is destined to leave him unburied, left to the dogs and crows." She cradled Antigone's head as it fell again, smiling gently in comfort of the sorrowful girl. "It is a great injustice, but Fate has decreed it to happen."
Antigone felt hot anger at her uncle's future actions stirring within her. "I cannot let this be!" she cried. "Surely there is something I can do. I must!"
Persephone shook her head. "No, dear one. If you try, only worse things will come. I know it pains you to do so, but you must leave him be. His soul will suffer, but for the good of all it will be. There is no other way."
"But there must!" Antigone wrenched back, out of the dear goddess's embrace. She would fear for her life later, but the great injustice to come clouded her thoughts. "There is no way I will let my own blood suffer as such. To Hades with Fate, I will do what I must to save Polyneices' soul!"
Desperate fire burned behind the gentle eyes of the spring goddess. "If you do this, you will condemn many more to the fires that only he should stay in," she warned. "Let Fate run its course, do as you should, and you and those you love will stay well. Defy my words, and it will bring only pain. This truth, I speak."
Antigone lowered her head, unable to meet the sorrowful eyes of her goddess as she spoke. "Truth you may speak, but my heart denies it. I am sorry, my lady, but I cannot in good will leave my brother to rot. I will save his soul, whatever the cost."
Silence reigned a brief moment, the young girl terrified to see the goddess she so blatantly disobeyed. Until finally, a hand tilted her head upwards again. Lips pressed to her brow, leaving a gentle warmth in their wake.
"I am sorry," Persephone whispered. "You love too greatly for this world. I pray my husband will covet your soul when you come to us, as you will far too soon down this path you choose."
Her skin glittered, glowing bright in the darkness of the room. Antigone fell back, shielding her eyes as the goddess displayed the brilliance of her true being, before she was gone. The girl looked back, where Persephone stood only a moment ago, leaving nothing but a gift in her wake. A delicate golden rose, the size of her little finger, wreathed in such a fashion as to fit over that very finger.
Sliding a pendant from a long-unused chain on her desk, Antigone threaded the gift on it, before clasping it around her neck. The metal was warm, despite the chilliness of her chambers. It pulsed from within, a minor blessing to keep her soul at rest on the hard journey ahead of her.
Some time later, Antigone clenched the ring in her hand as she stepped off her bed, twisted sheets looped around her bed. Her body jerked silently, before stilling in the darkness of the cave, her tomb.
Forgive me, my lady, she thought as the world fell around her.