Ophelia’s Overture Part 1: The Journey

(Welcome to…a bunch of stuff I’m writing for Ophelia. I’ve had the draft for this in my docs for a while now. Made it a little under a year ago. But my parents keep pestering me to post, so why not see how this goes. I guess it doesn’t matter if what I write is anything big. It only matters that I keep writing. And so writing I shall do! Ophelia’s Overture will be a series of simple vignettes as Ophelia the Arachnian searches for her new purpose. You don’t really need to read Ophelia’s Requiem for this. But you can if you want and it helps to understand some of what’s going on)

How long had the young spider been walking? It must have been a few days now. She had vaguely remembered sleeping a few times, hunting whenever her body asked her to. She had to relearn how to hunt being that she was a priestess and not a hunter. But now she was neither. Now, she was only…

A traveler.

Sometimes, she would forget why she was walking— and then the memories came back to her, painful and searing: those monstrous humans and their strange, shiny tools of mindless destruction and slaughter. Nothing of value was left, just the shambles of her tribe. The bodies of those she had known and loved were strewn across the floor like a pack of sleeping lions, never to wake again. Nevertheless, she had carefully stepped around them and examined what was left of her home in sheer horror. And she had cried- on and off and on again until she had cried enough to fill an ocean almost able to fill the chasm in her heart. Almost.

A dark voice in the back of her head asked her why she had followed her mentor’s instructions to run as fast as she could, away from the bloodbath. She had abilities. Her entire purpose was to help. Perhaps if she had stayed, she could have helped drive off those vile humans…

But no amount of mourning could turn back time and give her a second chance. So with a heart empty after days of tears, she performed the ritual that would see the souls of all of the dead to nest in stars. She burned the bodies– each of eight limbs, two pairs of humanoid, two of insect –in a blaze and buried each and every particle of ash under the ground to assist the soil in nurturing the coming spring. Her tears could have extinguished every cinder. But she never uttered a sob. Who would ever hear it and come to comfort her? And when she finally drifted back into hollow sorrow, she took all of the unraided healing herbs and spell components from inside her old workplace, placed them into a web-woven basket, and left her tunnels, following the sun in the hopes of finding another tribe or some other place to spend the rest of her life in. She had nothing left in this empty shell she had once called home. There was nothing else she could do but move on.

And so there she was. Walking.

She thought she would be walking forever. For all she knew, there was nothing else in the world but the forest and her. The trees and birds and other sights and sounds of the forest, they all blended together—  along with the days —until they merely became forest. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

Sometimes she contemplated giving up. Lying in the middle of the sea of trees and waiting to starve to death. Waiting for the grass to grow over her so that she could join her family, her mentor, her closest companion in a comforting blanket of soil and rise to dance with them in the stars. Then she could finish what she had started with her best friend. Before everything went to ruin.

But, perhaps nature let her live for a reason. It would be an offense to nature to ignore its blessing and allow herself to be consumed by grief. That little whisper in her ear was what carried her feet. It told her to cast away what was painful. What was unneeded.

With each day, she allowed herself to forget more and more of the memories of her past.

For it was merely a burden to her.

[2 pages]


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