The book belonged to my cousin.

A relic of her childhood

it was thick and heavy.

Greek legends,

she told me,

myths and fantasies,

gods and goddesses,

not quite fairy stories

and not many pictures,

not enough to interest me,

the eight year old me, 

so we both thought.

But then it fell open

and so entranced me

that I was afraid

to look

at the dark

fearsome picture,

the god of the underworld,

a king and his queen 

both dark as night.

I closed it quickly,

then opened it

just as quickly

again and again.

I did this each time I visited

just to feel the pleasure of the fear.

She gave it to me eventually,

sacrificed her book to my fear

which wore away 

with familiarity.

But the book remained,

so did the underworld

and its dark god.



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