Ceres strode to the beach. She could just see the forms of the nymphs, lying on the shore. But she couldn't see her daughter's bright green dress among the pale shades of blue. A bad feeling gnawed at her gut. She had warned Proserpine again and again not to wander off on her own.
She walked up to the nymphs, and, sure enough, Proserpine wasn't among them. She scowled, then calmed herself.
"Oh nymphs, where might my daughter be?"
They leapt up, startled. They looked around, eyes blurry with sleep.
"Maybe she went to go to the latrine." One offered.
"Or she went to talk to some dolphins" another replied
"Or maybe she went to find some pretty flowers for you" one guessed.
Ceres shook her head. Her daughter wasn't anywhere in sight. And she couldn't sense her presence anywhere. That's when one nymph's eyes widened.
"I just remembered. We were lying down, the others were falling asleep, and she stood up and told me she was going into the forest a little bit. I nodded and told her to not stay long and come right back."
Ceres raced into the forest, searching high and low for her daughter. Eventually, she came across a rose bush with too many flowers on it. It reeked of power. A strange power that she didn't recognize.
Nearby, almost at the foot of the bush, was a strange, circular gleam. Ceres knelt down. It was a small, silver bracelet, engraved with flowers, that Proserpine had gotten for her birthday.
Ceres wailed, knowing something terrible had happened to her poor daughter. As she cried softly, she remembered why Proserpine was even her daughter.
17 years ago, Ceres had been in a field of wheat, making it grow, when a gray thundercloud crossed over the field. Jupiter, king of the gods, appeared in a flash of lightning.
He had wavy black hair, a black beard, a white tunic, and enough muscles to scare an average demon. His blue eyes were fixed on her. She did not like the look in them.
He winked at her, "Hey Ceres. You're looking good today."
"Why are you here? And also, are you implying that I don't look good any other day?"
"Nah, I'm just saying that you're even prettier today. You do something with your hair? Cause you look awesome. I'm thunderstruck."
Ceres rolled her eyes "go away Jupiter. I am not interested in you, or your lame jokes."
"Oh, come on babe. If you hook up with me, you would be the most powerful goddess in the world!"
"If I hooked up with you, I would be made an instant laughing stock of. You are nothing but a womanizer and a lying cheat. The answer is no."
She changed into a snake and slithered into the wheat, hoping to lose him. She had forgotten that he could do the same. He followed right after her.
She made the mistake of slithering into a hole. He slithered after her, effectively blocking her exit. Ceres shuddered. She remembered her utter shame. Jupiter had forced her to… no, she refused to think about that.
She stood, her wheat colored hair sticking to her tan face due to tears flowing out of her brown eyes. She looked around. It was dusk. Some cracking came to her ears. Suddenly, a woman, pale, almost pure white, with black hair, and deep purple eyes, carrying a torch.
She looked at Ceres surprised, "Well hello there. I didn't see you there." She took a closer at Ceres face, "Why, dear, what's wrong?"
Ceres broke down, "My daughter is gone. I fear that she has been stolen."
The woman looked furious, "Well in that case, come with me. I'll help you. My name is Hecate. What is your name?"
"My name is Ceres."
"Well then Ceres, let's go find your daughter." Together they strode off through the forest.