Since it has to do with the holiday. Warning, this is unedited and may differ from what you read in the final version of Daughter of the Earth and Sky:
“Mom, I’m home!” I dropped my book bag on the floor by the door. I didn’t have a lot of time to hang out at the house. I was due in the Underworld soon.
“Mom?” I rounded the corner into the kitchen, anticipating my after school snack. Sure she couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth, and she was scheming and manipulative, but she always made a good snack.
A Reaper was sitting at the table in her place. I came to a surprised stop, aware of two other Reapers slipping behind me. “Where is she?” It took more effort than I cared to admit to keep my voice from trembling.
The Reaper picked up a note from the table and read in a ridiculous falsetto voice. “Persephone, went to Buford with Minthe to shop. Cookies are in the oven. See you in the morning.”
I threw a quick glance at the oven to make sure the house wasn’t going to catch on fire. It was off, she must have left them in there just to keep them warm.
Shit. Buford, Mall of Georgia, the Melting Pot, and outlet malls. Mom would be home late. Again. She’d been out almost every day lately. It was all our fighting, I realized with a sudden clarity. She was avoiding me too, just like everyone else.
“Looks like we have you all to ourselves,” the redheaded Reaper said with a grin.
I shrieked in pain as one of the Reapers grabbed me from behind, fingers digging painfully into my ribs. Something in their touch was different. I actually felt it. Not just a tearing feeling at my soul, but actual hands on my actual flesh.
It hurt like hell.
“Happy Halloween,” one of the Reapers hissed.
I screamed as they dragged me through my house. One of the Reapers bumped into a chair and knocked it down. That never happened. Were they corporeal?
“Let me go!” I lashed out and actually managed to land a blow on one of their shoulders. It hurt me, I was still touching him after all, but for a second I thought I saw the Reaper wince.
“Swear fealty to Zeus.”
I shook my head and he wrapped his hand around my neck, sending shock waves through my body. I couldn’t breathe. I clawed desperately at his hand, and his grip tightened. I felt myself getting dizzy. He released his hand, and slammed me into the wall. “Swear fealty to Zeus!”
His fingers dug into my jaw, and he lifted my chin until I was staring into his eyes. “You think this hurts? We’re just getting started.”
His lips found mine in a cruel, bruising kiss, tearing at my soul. There was no desire in his kiss, no attraction at all. It was just supposed to hurt. I struggled against the pain, trying to kick my way free, but the other Reapers shifted, one grabbing me roughly by the arms, the other taking hold of my legs so I couldn’t lash out.
Light sparked in the redhead’s fingertips. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it couldn’t be good. Suddenly his fingers passed through my flesh. My screams ricocheted off the walls and one of the Reapers clapped his hand over my mouth. With strength I didn’t know I possessed, I wrenched free. I was out the door in a flash and halfway to the driveway, car keys in hand, when I smacked into a solid wall of flesh. I shrieked and fell backward, scrambling away.
“No! Please! Don’t!” I lashed out blind with panic.