modern greek mythology stories i am tired of seeing: gritty, “the gods are dying because we don’t believe in them” stories where the greek gods mingle sadly with mortals and lament their lost power

modern greek mythology stories i would like to see: cerberus manages to escape from the underworld and hades has to find him before he can unleash his rage upon the mortal realm, only to find out that cerberus was found by a child who tamed him by sharing her after-school snack with him and giving him pets, and he now has to figure out a way to sneak into the suburbs and avoid getting the cops called on him while he steals his three-headed hell-hound back from a five year old girl

He was a big dog, but not crazy big. And he was so soft! Her hand sunk into his fur like it was a fuzzy pillow when she went to pet him.

The fact that he had three heads and three sets of sharp teeth didn’t bother her. It was silly. One head licked her face while the others nosed at her pockets for treats.

He was way better than the neighbor’s dog. That one was annoying and small and liked to bite little girls who lost their ball. No, this dog was perfect. This dog was hers.

“Come on, it’s time to go home,” she said. “You can sleep in my bed. But Mommy sneezes around dogs, so we’ll have to be careful.”

The dog yipped excitedly, bounding ahead of her. She noticed a splotch of lighter grey near his butt before he turned around to face her again.

“Spot! That’s a good doggy name. You’ll be my Spot.”

And so she took him home. She pushed him into the backyard so she could go say hi to her mommy like she did every day. The bus stop was at the end of the street, so her mommy said as long as she was really careful she could walk home with the boy next door. She was really, really careful. She was in kindergarten. She was a big kid now.

Spot was digging at the edge of the garden when she went back outside.

“No, Spot! Mommy’s flowers will break!” She hurried after him, ready to play with her new best friend.

There. At the edge of town, tucked in a nondescript neighborhood.

What was he doing there? Waiting, no doubt. He had to admit, it was a good location to begin his rampage. Women, children, families – he could create a lot of damage.

He should have been paying more attention. His duties to Olympus took up too much time lately. Persephone did what she could, but it wasn’t always enough. She wasn’t there the whole year, so the poor boy got lonely.

Hades was lord of the underworld; he should have sensed that something was amiss. But no.

No, now he was lurking in the mortal realm, trying to corral a three-headed hellhound and keep him from unleashing his excess energy by destroying a fifty-mile radius.

He blamed Zeus. He just liked to listen to himself speak, the old windbag.

So, he needed to figure out a way to get Cerberus back without alerting anyone. Shouldn’t be too difficult.

Why did this shit always seem to happen at the end of a double shift? She just wanted to go home and sleep, but they had one last call to respond to.

A neighbor called in that some asshole was trying to steal a dog. Who even did something like that?

So, Officer Marquez geared up, ready to take out her frustration on this douche (seriously, you don’t steal pets – that should get you thrown in the lowest circle of hell) only to find the weirdest thing she’d ever seen.

“What the fuck?” her partner muttered as they got out of the squad car.

A man stood near the road looking very uncomfortable now that they’d garnered an audience. He was tall, pale, and kind of gangly, but he didn’t look like a wackjob. In fact, he looked like a businessman – freshly pressed suit and everything. Just went to show you couldn’t judge a book by its cover.

An adult woman stood in the middle of the yard, clearly not sure what to do.

Then, there was the little girl who had her arms wrapped around a dog. She was about five, but she had the grip of a sumo wrestler on the poor dog. It was about the size of a Great Dane, maybe a little bigger, a deep charcoal grey, almost black.

But it had three heads. And rows upon rows of teeth. And three lolling tongues that occasionally licked the girl’s face.

“Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Marquez murmured to her partner as they approached.

“Scooby Doo with three heads? Oh yeah.”

“Good. I was starting to wonder if they laced the coffee or something at the station.” She took a breath before approaching the man while her partner sidled up to the woman to calm her down. “Sir, may I ask what you’re doing here? From all accounts, this is not your residence.”

The man sighed, his shoulders sagging. He seemed kind of harmless, but she wasn’t about to let him off easy. She waited him out. “No, officer, you’re correct. I am only here for the day, but my dog escaped. I am simply trying to retrieve him.”

“No!” the girl yelled. “You can’t take him! I found him! He’s mine!”

Marquez tried to take a quick survey of the situation. The dog seemed perfectly content with the girl, but he kept his gaze trained on the guy. The girl was almost in tears, but, really, she’s five. That could be about anything.

The mother was the wild card.

“Sir, can I just have you wait here for one moment?”

“Of course.”

And he did actually stay there while she walked towards the mother. Amazing.

Her partner excused herself from talking to the mother. “She’s in the dark. She’s never seen the guy or the dog.”

Marquez rolled her eyes. “Got it. Kid finds dog, kid claims dog.” She raised her voice slightly as she turned back to the guy. “Sir, will he come if you call him?”

The man nodded. “Κέρβερος, άγέ.”

Suddenly, the dog was across the yard sitting in front of the man, tail wagging and three tongues lolling. Marquez would have sworn – only under oath and only if asked directly – the Great Dane sized dog was now the size of the house with glowing red eyes and smoke billowing around him. The girl broke out in piercing sobs breaking her concentration. She couldn’t be sure anyone else saw.

“Please don’t take my Spot!”

The guy paused in checking over the dog and looked at the girl. He smiled sweetly at her. His whole demeanor changed, he looked lighter, more sure of himself, and kind of… glowy.

“You named him Spot?”

She sniffled, “It’s a good puppy name. And he’s got the spot on his butt.”

“You are absolutely right,” he chuckled. “I named him Spot too. It’s just in a different language.”

“Really?” The girl’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head. But she’d stopped crying.

“Really. Listen, would you maybe like it if he came to visit sometimes? I work a lot, as does my wife, so sometimes he gets really lonely.”

“Please! Mommy, can he visit? Please, please, please!!”

The poor woman just nodded, but it was clear she had no idea how to process what was going on.

The man smiled. “Perfect. He’ll be thrilled to have a new friend.”

Marquez left with her head spinning. Her and her partner sat in the squad car silently for a minute before driving back to the station.

“Let’s just skip the paperwork on this one.”

“And that is why we now have a wall covered in drawings of Cerberus from a five year old,” Hades explained to Persephone.