Interview with Cerberus
The Hellhound Whisperer, with Cesar Shmilan
[A dismal black river appears. An announcer's voice booms as the camera sweeps across the swampy waters.]
Announcer: The Underworld: a place no one looks forward to visiting... but is one hellhound making it even more dismal than it needs to be?
[The camera closes in on a vicious looking dog, chained to an ominous black gate. The beast has three snarling canine heads, snapping and biting at each other. Rivulets of steaming drool drip from between its jagged yellow fangs. A mane of snakes, hissing and dripping venom, writhes wildly around its dog heads. It tears up chunks of muddy earth with lion's claws and growls menacingly as the camera draws near.
Caption: Cerberus, Watchdog of the Underworld
Cut to: A pale and beautiful goddess, sitting on a golden, gem encrusted throne. Her bright blonde hair is drawn tightly back, with a few purple flowers tucked into a bun.
Caption: Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, Goddess of Spring]
Persephone: Being forced into marriage with Hades was bad enough, but dealing with his awful dog is really making a horrible situation even worse. Cerberus has been a problem ever since Hades first adopted him. All three of his heads howl all night. You can even hear the snakes hissing all the way up here in the palace. He leaves pools of venom and flaming droppings everywhere he goes. And I can't even begin to describe the rank stench of his flatulence. Worst of all, you should see how he behaves when new guests arrive in the Land of the Dead.
[Cut to: In the swampy river, an old, bony man with a long white beard poles a shabby boat full of ghosts to shore.
Caption: Charon, Boatman of the Dead]
Charon: Okay, we're here. Stop your moaning. That's right, just walk through that gate. Pay no attention to the big vicious monster. Come on, now. Did you see the line I have waiting for me on the other side of the River? Hurry it up.
[He swipes the boat pole at the ghosts, herding them toward the black gate and the snarling Cerberus. As the ghosts tentatively float near, Cerberus goes totally nuts, barking viciously, leaping toward them, nearly choking himself on his chain as he tries to snap them up in his jaws. The terrified ghosts all flit back to hide behind Charon.]
Charon: Hell and damnation! Again! Cerberus... sit! Heel! Sit!
[Cerberus only barks louder, neck muscles straining against his iron collar. His eyes glow red, and tongues of flame flare from his mouths.]
Charon: You're supposed to keep them from getting out, not getting in! Sit! I told you to sit!
[Charon swings his pole at the beast. The monstrous hound chomps down on the pole, whipping it and Charon into the air. The old boatman goes flying and plops directly into the stagnant water. ]
Charon: One day, I will destroy that dog.
[Cut to: Persephone on her golden throne.]
Persephone: You see what I'm saying, right? Even for a hellhound, this dog is out of control.
[A muscular, dark-bearded god suddenly looms behind Persephone, his brawny arms crossed tightly over his naked chest. He has a large iron crown and a particularly nasty look on his face.]
Hades: What is this? I didn't sign off on any camera crews.
Persephone: Oh, um, I'm sure I mentioned it.
Hades: You most certainly did not.
Persephone: I told you on Facebook the other day. Something has to be done about Cerberus. If you won't take charge, I will.
Hades: Who are these people, Persephone?
Persephone: This is the crew from the Hellhound Whisper, with Cesar Shmilan.
Hades: With who?
Persephone: Cesar Shmilan. He did wonders with Fenrir and Garm over in Norse mythology land. He's the best hellhound whisperer there is.
[The iron door of the throne room flings open, and well dressed man with bronze skin and bright white teeth steps into the room.]
Cesar: You've got that right, My Queen.
Persephone: Oh, Cesar... you're even more handsome in person.
Hades: Go away! Cerberus doesn't need any whispering. He's perfectly well adjusted.
Cesar: I'm afraid I've heard different stories, My Lord.
Persephone: He's a horrible beast.
Hades: He's a hellhound! What do you expect? Am I supposed to have a friendly labradoodle guarding the gates of my realm?
Persephone: He's out of control, and he's not even all that good of a watchdog.
Hades: Take that back.
Persephone: Orpheus, Aeneas, Psyche—all got past him.
Hades: Which only proves he's not quite vicious enough!
Cesar: Now, now... I have to tell you, all of this fighting might just be the reason Cerberus is so out of control.
Hades: He is not out of control. He is in my control. He is how I wish him to be!
Cesar: Are you sure about that, Lord Hades?
[Cesar whistles and pats his thigh.]
Cesar: Come here, Cerberus. Come here, boy.
[The hellhound meekly pads into the room, with all three heads bowed submissively toward Cesar.]
Persephone: Amazing! Oh, Cesar, you're so commanding.
Hades: Cerberus, to me!
[Cerberus's eyes glow red. He leaps on Hades snarling and growling with flame coming from his mouth.]
[The Lord of the Dead disappears in a heap of fur, fire, and writhing snakes.
Cesar gives a sharp whistle and Cerberus instantly gets off of Hades, trots over to the hellhound whisperer, and sits obediently beside him.
Hades smiles sheepishly, with his face swelling with snakebites and smoke coming from his beard.]
Hades: [laughs] That's just how we play.
Persephone: Hades, please, Cesar can help you.
Hades: Oh, very well. Do your whispering.
Cesar: Now... let's get started. The first thing you need is confidence.