[…] As she returned downstairs, she saw two doors to her left that she hadn’t noticed before and wondered if there might be anything worth investigating in them. She turned the handle of the left-hand door. Just as she did so, a voice behind her made her jump. "I shouldn’t go in there if I were you." Harriet turned to see a girl standing behind her, a little younger than herself. She was dressed in expensive, if rather old-fashioned, clothes. "Hello there," said Harriet with her most winning smile. "What’s your name, then?" "Olivia." "Olivia?" said Harriet. "That’s a pretty name. Well, I’m sorry, Olivia. I’m afraid I was lost." "Lost?" said the girl with a little snort. Harriet did not much like her tone. "Yes," said Harriet. "But the door was locked. I see now I came the wrong way." "The door is not locked, miss," said Olivia, stepping closer in a way that Harriet found unaccountably threatening. "It is blocked. We call it the Un-Door." "The Un-Door?" said Harriet. Olivia nodded, smiling even more. "That’s what we call it," she said. "Because it’s a door, but it’s not a door."
— Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror, Chris Priestley
The river of which many know its name, without knowing its origin or what it really stood for. A river that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead. Styx it is said winds around Hades (hell or the underworld are other names) nine times. Its name comes from the Greek word stugein which means hate, Styx, the river of hate. This river was so respected by the gods of Greek mythology that they would take life binding oaths just by mentioning its name, as referenced in the story of Bacchus-Ariadne, where Jove “confirms it with the irrevocable oath, attesting the river Styx.”
There are five rivers that separate Hades from the world of the living, they are: Acheron - the river of woe; Cocytus - the river of lamentation; Phlegethon - the river of fire; Lethe - the river of forgetfulness; Styx - the river of hate.
It is thought that Charon, the old ferry man who ferries the dead onto the underworld, crosses the river Styx where the dragon tailed dog Cerberus guards, allowing all souls to enter but none to leave. This is a misconception, Charon crosses the river Acheron where also Cerebus stands his eternal guard. Also while on this subject, Charon only takes the souls across that are buried properly with a coin (called an obol) that was placed in their mouths upon burial.
If a god gave his oath upon the river Styx and failed to keep his word, Zeus forced that god to drink from the river itself. The water is said to be so foul that the god would lose his/her voice for nine years. The river is not the subject of any story itself but is mentioned in several. These little pieces give a wonderful view of not only the river but the ancient Greeks view of the underworld. From its Adamantine gates to its separate levels of Tartarus and Erebus onto the Elysian fields.
“Fate, or Karma or, or whatever they call it.
Kismet? I know that was a play or something, a musical, but I think that word means the same sort of thing. Something happening that was supposed to happen and then it does. It comes true. Wham! Just like that. “Instant Karma,” isn’t that what Lennon called it? Not the dictator, but the Beatles guy. In his song. Right? He said “it’s gonna get you” and that is just so goddamn true. It reaches out — figures out where you are, takes its time to find you — and bam! Before you can even move or anything, it’s got you by the throat and you are fucked. It’s true, my dear. You are motherfucked. And so that’s you, today, at this very minute. Or second, or whatever you wanna call it. You are about to be motherfucked. By me.”—Neil LaBute, With Hair of Hand-Spun Gold