Ophelia’s Overture Part 2: The Farm

By the time she had found civilization, every name of the deceased had faded. Or perhaps they were merely locked away with subconscious intentions. Nevertheless, she had forgotten, and she didn’t bother to attempt to retrieve them. Even her own name was a vague shadow.

Eventually, the trees had cleared. And sitting at the edge of that forest was a civilization. She had never seen one like it before. Large structures. It was as if a tribe had built their own cave by taking apart trees and stones. It was likely a very large tribe because the wooden cave system seemed to stretch to the sunset.  There were sheep a few yards away, restricted by a blockade of neatly woven branches. There was a large patch of land with plants growing as perfectly lined as her tribe’s medicine storage. At the sight of this town, Ophelia only stood there stupified for minutes as she took it all in. This was all new to her.

After some time, her daze was broken by creaking. The moving of a wooden blockade— a door —from the structure nearest to the sheep.

From the threshold, out stepped a person— male. He looked like her kind, but…different. He had no spider appendages protruding from his back. No markings on his face, the black triangle under each eye. There was nothing “arachnid” about him. Until she caught his scent, and it finally clicked. 

He was just like the people who killed her kind. A human.

As the man made his way to the sheep, the spider woman backed away into the shelter of the trees. Perhaps he was on patrol. Perhaps this was the very town whose army slaughtered her people. And for a moment, the memories seemed so vivid. The names seemed to approach the corners of her mind in a cold, dark vignette. But she replaced the reminiscence with rage. His kind were murderers. They were vile creatures that deserved punishment. 

She sat stiffly in the undergrowth, eyes ablaze as she watched the man tend to the sheep. How badly she wanted to rip through his throat and watch his blood pool onto the grass. And he would have no burial. Sinners didn’t deserve to be honored. They didn’t deserve their place in the stars. Instead, his body would slowly decompose and be eaten by maggots and vultures.

She would have murdered the man that very day. But the image of their glinting weapons and their loud shouts cut through her mind. She was too afraid to exact her revenge. 

So she allowed the trees to envelop her and lead her somewhere else.

[2 pages]


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