Ophelia’s Overture Part 4: The Hunt

The maestro weaves a symphony of stars.
Each dazzling light has its place and its purpose.

Some of them heal, some destroy all they touch,
some protect or whisper of change,
some fester with unknown potential.

Some are dim and ordinary
some are explosions of purest radiance.
Each and every glow is important.

With gossamer threads, their fates are entwined,
the method, the madness in glittering webs.
Connecting constellations of creation and calamity.

Celestial organization is the chore of we gods.


The spider woman’s eyes fluttered open, feeling the blur of sleep gradually clear like the aftermath of a rainstorm. She sat up slow and heavy. Her spider limbs flexed to greet the morning where sunlight trickled into the house above her. Despite her bed being of stone and dirt instead of foliage, she felt refreshed from her sleep. That was new. Her body didn’t even feel stiff. Perhaps the knowledge that her traveling was finally over contributed to this. Or perhaps it was the exhaustion of the past day and a half, clearing away rubble and carving a livable home.

Her vocal cords tensed behind her mandibles for a satisfying yawn, but it was abruptly interrupted as she gazed across her new cavernous quarters. She had presumed to find the discouraging sight of her work half-finished, just as she had left it the day prior. However, it seemed her cleaning had, overnight, been miraculously completed. The last of the walls had been smoothed and packed steady. The very large boulder in the corner she had been planning on turning into a work table was now moved to the middle of the room, and where it once was now sat a gaping hole in the ground.

The pleasantness of her sleep fizzled away to make room for an unsettling feeling. Someone had been here. Her first fear was death. That someone could kill her in her sleep. And yet…all they had done was clean. Why would anyone go through the trouble of fixing up her new home just to kill her? And who was this entity? The very fact that they existed meant that they weren’t located far. This could be good. This could be bad. Either way, she could not ignore her burning curiosity.

She almost leapt out of her cottage to wander the forest without even a plan, in search of this mysterious cleaner. However, a squirming in her stomach grounded her in sensibility.

She was hungry.


The forest was livelier than ever on this particular morning. The sun filtered warmly through the leaves; birds thanked the pleasant weather with their songs, and squirrels stirred droplets of dew as they skittered up and across the trees overhead. It was a perfect day for hunting.

With the sudden isolated change in lifestyle, the spider woman had found herself having to hunt more and more often. Walking for miles every day, rather than working in one place, had her eating almost every day instead of the usual two or three times a week. It was a very good thing that it was now summertime, otherwise, her journey would have been far more difficult. Now that she was settled down, she could spend less time forced to fuel her small body.

One thing she could thank her constant hunting for though was her new aptitude for the task. As she lifted her head to the cloud-dusted sky, the smells of the forest greeted her in unison. Each plant, each creature both big and small, some familiar and others foreign, her nose found more than the many pupils of her eyes ever could. A rare gift for her kind to have a sense so acute. Her wrapped feet carried her into the trees as she focused on sorting through the clutter for something that would satisfy her. 

Lately, she had been craving deer. The problem was, she had never hunted one before. For big kills, hunters of her tribe were taught how to shift into large spiders, hulking and venomous apex predators. It was evolved as an intensely taxing fight-or-flight capability that her tribe had learned to overcome and control with magic. The spider woman had only learned to execute its cowardly counterpart of shifting into a very small spider which all of her kind learned at a young age. There was also the issue of lacking the appetite to eat a creature her size, if not bigger. All in all, deer would not be an option for perhaps her whole life from now on. A long explanation for a simple and disappointing answer.

She hadn’t eaten rabbit in a while, she reluctantly decided, honing in on a whiff of the furry thing. Not wasting her chance, the novice hunter slipped after the scent. She was aware of her prey’s acute hearing, and she did her best to be more silent than quick as her body brushed against the foliage. Step by step, the smell grew ever stronger until she spotted its tiny grey-brown head munching at a clover patch. 

The spider crouched low to the ground with bated breath. Anticipation and animalistic hunger were forcibly held in her throat. She reminded herself of patience. On more than one account, she had been reckless with her hunt and scared away her first or second victim. Slow and purposeful, all eight of her limbs flexed against the earth, brandishing the power of her strange hybrid race. She needed only a moment longer. 

The blood pumping in her ears muffled her hearing, so she was oblivious to what mistake she had made when her kill anxiously perked up from its meal. 

As soon as she noticed it tense to flee, she leapt. The spider woman was just lucky enough to pin it with her upper arachnid appendage before it could race into the bushes. She did not hesitate to eagerly sink her teeth in its side. Her venom ceased its writhing in seconds, leaving it motionless for her to liquefy from the inside and feast on. 

Another thing she could thank for this new lifestyle, she remembered, was the satisfaction of a successful kill. 

Not only that. This had been one of her more effective hunts. She suspected it was likely tied to the refreshing sleep of the night prior. The thought reminded her of the mystery surrounding her tidy house. Perhaps the culprit was watching her at this very moment… 

And, as her senses cleared from her finished meal to focus on her surroundings, she picked up an odd scent, faint, far, and very slightly familiar. A kind of familiarity that formed a pit in her stomach. It spoke of violent hostility and of danger. 

It spoke of human.

[4 pages]

(I hope this one wasn’t too boring. I was exploring Ophelia’s physical capabilities. If you haven’t noticed, each part is a page longer than the last. It’s annoying how defeated I feel after writing so much, just for it to look SO much shorter when I post it here. But this tactic gives me a goal each time I sit down to write! It reminds me that each post has more work put in than the last!)


The amazing owner of WRandR!

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