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Interview with Persephone (Proserpine)

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The Pomegranate Underground, with Persephone

[Persephone appears on a dusty field of ash. She has her hair pulled tightly back, and she wears a smart news-lady like suit. One bright lilac is stuck behind her ear.]

Persephone: Your host Persephone here, coming at you straight from the Underworld. Tonight, at great personal danger to myself, I will expose the horrible nature of my husband Hades' corrupt regime down here in the Land of the Dead. Some might say it's a radical step for the queen of the Underworld to call out her husband like this, but I never asked to be queen, did I? I was perfectly happy frolicking in meadows and picking flowers before my big, gross uncle—yes, he's my uncle—came and dragged me down here to be his wife. But my kidnapping and forced marriage are only the beginning of Hades' list of crimes. Just take a look behind me if you don't believe it. [In a hushed voice] Okay, Hecate, zoom in behind me.

[Hecate's voice is heard off camera.]

Hecate: Where's the zoom button?

Persephone: On top.

[The camera dips to the ground. We see Hecate's veiny old lady feet.]

Hecate: I don't see it.

Persephone: It says "zoom" on it. Come on, don't embarrass me.

Hecate: Oh, here it is.

[Hecate's veiny feet get really big and fill the frame.]

Persephone: Okay, okay… point it over there.

[A swampy river comes into view. On it, a skinny figure in ragged robes poles a rotten boat.]

Persephone: Here, ladies and gentlemen, we have Charon, the boatman, one of my husband's most loyal henchmen. Watch... I want you to watch what happens as he approaches the opposite shore of the river Acheron here.

[Charon's boat runs aground on the muddy a shore. An enormously long line of silver ghosts mill about and moan on the shore.]

Charon: Get in line... Get in line... It's just like Disneyland, people...

[A ghost approaches the boatman. ]

Ghost: I've been waiting for centuries.

Charon: Hey, there's one of me and a billion of you. What do want me to do about it?

Persephone: [off camera] Did you notice that? Why? I ask you… why? Shouldn't there be more boatmen? Why doesn't Hades just build a stinkin' bridge? If this isn't gross mismanagement, then I don't know what is. Ok, wait... Hecate, make sure you get this.

Hecate: [off camera] No need to be bossy, little missy.

[Charon reaches out a bony hand toward the ghost.]

Charon: One obolos.

Ghost: What?

Charon: Just fork it over, buddy.

Ghost: What on earth is an obolos?

Charon: A coin, idiot. You think this ferry ride is free?

Ghost: I didn't bring any money with me.

Charon: Next!

[More spirits try to shove the Ghost out of the way.]

Ghost: Whoa, whoa, whoa... do you know how long I've waiting for your crappy boat?

Charon: Don't care. Next.

Ghost: I didn't know I was supposed to bring a coin.

Charon: Not my problem. If your family loved you they would've buried you with one.

Ghost: My family is poor. They need every coin they have.

Charon: No coin, no ferry ride, buddy.

Ghost: But what do I do?

Charon: You stay right here on the shore of the river Acheron for all eternity. Now let somebody go.

[The ghost moans.]

Persephone [off camera] Okay, back to me.

[Persephone's face appears, gigantic on the screen.]

Persephone: The poor don't even have a chance in the realm of Hades. My hateful husband squeezes every soul for all they're worth. There is no justice in this hateful place. And what exactly, you might ask, becomes of all these coins? Well, you're about to find out the most shameful secret of all the Underworld. Cut, Hecate.

Hecate: Cut what?

Persephone: Cut the camera off. We have to go to the next location.

Hecate: Well, which button is that?

Persephone: I really should've thought harder before I asked you to be my camera goddess.

Hecate: I'm the goddess of magic, not... oh, here it is...

[The screen goes black for a second.]

Suddenly, the inside of an extremely bright and rowdy casino is seen. Lights flash. Music blares. Ghosts from all eras weave in and out of an endless room full of gaudy slot machines and blackjack tables.]

Persephone: Here we are: Elysian Fields Casino in the city of Elysium. This place is supposed to be for the blessed dead. The dead who have done good things in life and deserve a reward. But does this look blessed to you?

[The camera whips to a gorgeous woman and a beautiful man making out in a dark corner.]

Persephone: [off camera] Hey there, Helen and Paris. Haven't you two sunk enough ships?

[Helen of Troy jumps off of Paris. Lipstick is smeared all over her (and his) face.]

Helen: He forced me! I swear, My Queen.

Persephone: [off camera] You look pretty willing to me, mortal. Whatever, I have bigger fish to fry. Back on me, Hecate.

[The camera whips back to Persephone.]

Persephone: You're getting good at this.

Hecate: [off camera] Thanks, sweetie.

Persephone: Now for the biggest reveal of all. Want to know where all those coins go? Do they go for improving the conditions for the dead? Do they go to help the poor? NO! They go right here...

[The camera whips toward Charon, who sits at a slot machine with a massive sack full of coins.]

Persephone: [off camera] This is the Underworld of Hades...

[Charon cackles, sips an ambrosia margarita, and slides a coin into the machine with his grimy fingers.]

Persephone: [off camera] Corrupt. Senseless. Evil. Hades. The question is not will the revolution begin... but when.

[The slot machine comes up with three skulls. Oboli pour from the slot. Charon does a happy dance and cackles even more loudly.

The camera pans back to Persephone.]

Persephone: This has been the Pomegranate Underground with your host, Persephone.

[The screen goes black.]

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