Ate hated the underworld. She may have been considered something of a dark goddess herself, but this place of death and loss and forgetting was not a place that she belonged and every moment that passed made her feel that more acutely. How was the goddess of impulse ever supposed to be at home somewhere where none felt her influence? The ghosts that walked the Asphodel Meadows ignored her and Ate wanted to go home.
Home wasn't Greece anymore though. Home was the dry alive soil of America, where her tendrils could slip into the minds of those who would let her in, even a little.
But slowly strength gathered within her and Ate knew - knew - that she could use it to make her escape and she was even sure she knew how. It had been a month (although she couldn't follow time here) and Ate was ready to say adiós to this damn hole of hopelessness and shadows.
In the middle of the Asphodel Meadows Ate sat down heavily, ripping those white flowers from the ground and leaving dirt and torn up grass behind. She didn't stop then though. On her hands and knees Ate dug into the earth, finding it rough and loose under her nails even as she did so. The smell of dead flowers lingered in the air. Spirits passed by but didn't even see her. Time passed but wasn't measured.
Ate tore at the dirt viciously, a rabid animal fighting to free itself, and when she'd made a deep hollow, a hole that she could crawl into, she pressed herself against the earth, disturbed to find it smelled like nothing at all. She pressed down, down, against the cold dirt and torn flowers, pressed her skin into it until she felt like fire.
Then, a crack - not as much within the ground as within herself - and she cried out as pain shot through her and the earth dragged her into it just as she'd been demanding.
No air, no light, no space. Crushing dirt, and lungs that needed to breathe for the first time in many weeks. Real, true, alive lungs. The earth around her softened, dampened, and Ate pushed through it, needing air, needing to open her lips and breathe.
Push, push, push. Up, up, up.
And then she found freedom, face breaking the surface of not earth but thick, swamp-water. Ate gasped, newborn lungs dragging in the thick air around her as she floundered in the swamp, throwing her body over a nearby log as she tried to catch her breath. She lay like that for a long time, just breathing and hearing the sounds of swamp life all around her, familiar and incredibly comforting. Thunder rolled overhead as storm clouds thickened, keeping the heavy heat from going anywhere.
An alligator eyed her lazily from nearby, though it seemed that Ate was of little interest to it. A blessing, the goddess thought, as being eaten by a hungry reptile moments after staging her own resurrection would, in technical terms, really suck.
Ate knew where she was though, and when she felt her strength returning she waded out of the water and onto the bank, clambering ungracefully to her bare feet. Had anyone been around to see her in that moment, she would have looked a horrifying sight. A deathly pale naked woman, muddy and eerily expressionless, hands bloody from digging, movements jerky from a body disused.
The swamp house belonging to Deimos and Phobos stood just as she remembered it and Ate walked heavily up the front steps, busting the door open and making her way inside.
Food seemed more important than anything and Ate raided the kitchen, looking for anything edible, no matter what it was. Once she had something in her stomach she showered, and then in Deimos' room found one of his shirts - his scent still on it - and buttoned it up with fingers that were still a little stiff from death and digging.
On the front steps Ate watched quietly as the storm come rolling in, letting the static in the air chase away the lingering taste of death in her mouth.