You are probably here, as a loyal patron of The Underworld Examiner, to satisfy your interests in our fine realm's newest arrivals or to hear moving tributes to the dead. I must caution you: if you have come to hear the dead honored by those they loved, you've come to the wrong obituary section. Welcome to "Obituaries from Hell," a new weekly obit series and correspondence from the entrance of the Underworld in which I'll share the stories of the most unfortunate souls entering scenic Hades.
I’m Hermes, your guide through the stories of Hades' incoming residents. What makes me, the devilishly handsome messenger to the gods, qualified to tell such morbid tales? Each day my coworker and fellow psychopomp Charon ferries new souls across the Acheron and Styx into the Underworld, and my chief job in the realm below is to deliver them to him. So each day I’ll bring you these souls’ stories as they pass from the realm of the living into the realm of the (un)dead.
Be warned: some of these tales will be dark, hopeless, or contain what could be disturbing descriptions of the Underworld's various fates, especially for our few readers who are still in the land of the living, those in our peaceful realm of Elysium, and those in idyllic Olympus. The Underworld can be a brutal realm or the gates to a sweet paradise — your fate here will reflect your choices in the land of the living. You'll see our scenic Elysian Fields and taste the suffering of Tartarus. If you're already a resident of this dark realm, you'll find new spirits to commiserate with through these tales; if you're not, you'll more fully understand the scope of human tragedy, wickedness, and goodness (and to those still living, may you be forewarned and examine the course of your own fate). As witness to the Underworld's most cruel and most beautiful fates, and as author of these tributes, I'm bound to share the often brutal realities of the Underworld with you, dear reader.
If you've made it this far, be prepared to hear from the darkness of Tartarus next week, when I tell the tale of one of my most recent arrivals, the treacherous Ixion.
For now, yours truly,
God of herds, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery, cunning, diplomacy, language and writing
Special Messenger to Zeus
"Charon carries souls across the River Styx" by Alexander Dmitrievich Litovchenko.