Once upon a time, there was a mad cool lady named Perceptiony, who lived in a castle in industrial Brooklyn.
One beautiful, Spring day, Perceptiony was at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, meditating under a cherry blossom tree, listening to the koto.
Suddenly, the earth shook--the ground cracked open before her!
When she awoke, Perceptiony found herself in the depths of Hell.
Before her stood Hades, Master of the Underworld.
"What?--I was just at the--!" Cried Perceptiony.
"Chill out." Said Hades. "You'll be here for awhile."
"But--NO! Um... Don't I get a phone call? I need to call Socrates--"
"No." Said Hades. "There's really bad reception down here."
"Why am I here?" Asked Perceptiony. "What did I do?"
"This isn't a moral quandary," Hades said. "It happens to everybody at some point--Especially in the Spring."
"But here, if you must make a phone call, use my celly," offered Hades.
"Oh, I have the Coven album as my screen saver, too..." Said Perceptiony.
Perceptiony dialed Hecate's cell number.
Hecate Answered. "What."
"Hecate! It's Perceptiony! I'm in Hell!"
"Me, too," said Hecate. "I'm in the Hell studio. And I have seasonal allergies."
"Me, too!--Why are we here? What's going on? It's Spring!"
"I know," said Hecate. "I'm wondering the same thing."
"Have you spoken to Bathory?" Perceptiony said.
"Yes." Hecate said. "She's here, too. At the Hell office. We'll get together soon and figure this out."
"But I don't understand! It was such a beautiful day..."
Hades took the phone from Perceptiony. "Time's up," he said.
"What happened?" asked Perceptiony. "Why am I in such pain? Everything was going so great. I was writing about persistence and strength. And now I'm here in the darkness, suffering..."
"Who said life was fun?" asked Hades. "I thought you were a Cubs fan."
"I am! But they're doing so great this year, and..."
"There's still the Bears in the Fall." Offered Hades.
At this point Perceptiony began to cry. She thought of all the beauty she had experienced in the Spring. She remembered the joy she had felt up on Earth's surface.
"Why do you want to torture me, Hades?" She asked.
"I don't." Hades said. "I'm actually an integral part of life. There's a dark side to every joy, every sense of beauty. I'm here to remind you of that. I'm your guide through the suffering."
Glancing out the window, Perceptiony spied four young ladies walk by in floral dresses and pumps.
"Where are those ladies going?" She asked.
"The Sex and the City movie is opening," said Hades. "It opens in London, then Hell, then New York."
"Oh God!" Perceptiony cried. "It's the same down here, isn't it?"
"Sort of." Hades said. "But here, you have to forego your routine and surrender to nothingness."
"Nothingness? Isn't that like death?" Perceptiony cried, frightened.
"Yes. Something like that." Said Hades. "Now I will leave you alone for awhile."
Then, Perceptiony was alone in the darkness.
There was a howling wind and sheets of rain came down outside the window of the barren chamber. Inside, on Hades' HD TV, the Cavs took on the Celtics.
Perceptiony paced around, thinking about how and why she had landed there.
She wondered if other people had, too, landed there, and assumed that they had.
She wondered about the future. About hope. About humanity. And, in doing so, cried a thousand tears.
"I surrender!" Perceptiony cried. "You win, life! You win!"
After what seemed like months, Hades emerged from his library, wearing a smoking jacket, holding a pipe.
"It's time you gave the Cerberus a walk," Hades said.
Out of the library, the terrible Cerberus appeared, drooling, fangs exposed.
"Here, take these three plastic bags to pick up after him," Hades said.
"Okay," said Perceptiony. "But maybe you could help us upstairs with our natural resource situation, Hades!"
And with that, Perceptiony took the leash, and started walking Cerberus through the sidewalks of Hell.
As they walked, Perceptiony found herself becoming as angry and savage as the Cerberus, cursing everything in her path.
When at once, everything began to have a light glow about it.
All of a sudden, beside a park, Perceptiony saw Socrates and Biggie Smalls standing there, chatting.
"Socrates!" Perceptiony shouted. "Biggie!"
"Yes." Replied Socrates.
"Another everyday struggle." Offered Biggie.
And the three friends walked the Cerberus into the sunset.