Hello. I’ve been an appalling blog owner. If there was an RSPCB this one would have been reported long ago for sheer neglect.
I have several lovely and kind people who have answered my ” getting to know you” questions – have I posted them yet? Or thanked them yet? No. (Thank you oh so very much btw. So, so appreciated *HUGS*)
I have not posted or even written the two posts I’ve been meaning to do for a month. (A video type one and a day in the life type one)
I have not replied to your kind & thoughtful comments.
All just appalling Blog care and maintenance.
(If it helps at all I’ve slept about 8 hours in the last two days, I have an infected eye & a mouth ulcer on my lip, my floor is on such a tilt bub is scared to stand on it, we’re trying to work out where to move, bub 1 & 2 are going through the usual & have an interview at a new high school; Dad of All has been especially unconscious and had toothache; I’ve been trying to organize extra home school activities (blog there- ugh); I’ve been trying to find bub 3 friendly recipes and blaaaaargh. I’m exhausted and worn to a ravelling.)
Please don’t leave. I promise to provide the care this Blog and, more importantly, it’s readers, deserve.
So whilst I get blog in order here is the equivalent of blog elevator music (anyone Australian ever heard music in an elevator NOT from an mp3 player or the distant “oosh oosh” from someone else’s headphones? Thought not) my uni assignment. Not because I think its particularly good – it isn’t, but because it was good to write and fun and I based it just a wee bit on bubs 1 & 2.
This is a scene from a written adaptation of “Hamlet” turned into a novella.
I chose the moment Ophelias death is announced as I’ve always felt Shakespeare gave her short shrift and not enough credit – especially compared to Juliet.
So, here it is….
Her hands bunched then released then bunched again the mud sodden hem of her favourite pale blue skirt.
She watched the water and silt run in between her fingers and down her wrist. Dripping a slow tattoo from there to the half frozen grass below. In the late afternoon light one could almost believe it blood, so dark were the earthen particles. The tighter she gripped the fabric, the more she felt like the world she knew wasn’t tilting, fading, vanishing up into the grey snow sky. Her fingertips paled then greyed as she clutched tighter again.
Her mind was a clatter of words, of sounds.
She had lost him. Loved him with all her heart, then gone. As she knew he would when he went away to school.
She’d heard her brother speak of places where he could get, for a few Ducats, the one thing he never could from her. He had sworn it didn’t matter, that he loved only her, yet he had returned hating her. She had thought for a time it was because of his father’s death but no; he had made it plain – calling her a nun. Hot tears seeped from her swollen eyes.
Perhaps he was mad? Perchance it was not an act? Hope flowered in her heart for a moment. He had, after all, slain her father – an accident for certain sure – and such violence was at enmity with his character.
But no, more tears flowed down her burning cheeks, she had had to go and create a scene with those herbs in front of the queen. It was meant to be a courtly dance and a poem – in memoriam of her father – as was right.
She had it all pat, but the moment she walked into the chamber, her mind went blank and she had babbled and jogged about like… like… her brother around her chambermaid.
He would never dare gaze in her direction after such a spectacle, even if he were lost of his wits, and even if he did, surely his mother thought her quite insane and would never permit the match.
She squeezed tighter, digging nails into palms. The pain giving her a moment of peace, of clarity.
She remembered being small and warm, her mother singing to her, her father being the strongest tree of a man. Always kind. Always loving.
A father she had held on to as age and court politics had warped and twisted him. Shrunken and made small in body and mind.
She couldn’t believe him dead. Her mind wouldn’t settle on it, moth like.
Surely he must be alive elsewhere safe, perhaps where they had lived awhile when she was small – a cottage near the castle wall – quite empty now but sturdy still, it would provide ample accommodations.
It must be a plot to trap her love in insanity. That’s what court life seemed to revolve around, the plots and schemes of many against the few…
Her eyes bright thoughts raced.
They knew the only thing that would break him was killing someone. That that would kill the innermost him.
So her father and the king and queen had plotted and schemed – oh, how like him – and used a bladder of pig’s blood to make him appear a corpse.
Her father could certainly feign the noises of death; she had heard them many a time when he had found her reading or fencing with her brother.
That was it, she freed her skirts and stood, a lone figure on a grassy bank. Eyes feverish, hair storm tossed, skirt dirtied and torn.
Now for her part. There must be some way to twist this plot.
She strode up and down the river’s edge, seeking an answer in the churning milk brown flow.
Absentmindedly, as she was wont to do, she sang to herself. Childhood rondels.
How best to help him? How to make him love her again?
When her mind settled on an answer she found her hands full of odd blooms and foliage pulled in handfuls from the plants she passed.
All the better.
This river flowed fast to the castle and then onward past her old home.
She knew her true love’s chambers overlooked it.
If he were to see her float past- all beautiful like the Lady of Shallot then surely he would love her again and rush to save her.
By the time he reached her she would be at the weir by the cottage, he would ‘save’ her, they would go inside to get warm lest she die of cold and ‘find’ her father.
He would be whole and love her again. They would marry and she at fourteen would have many years to mend his poor damaged heart with children and love and song.
He would be a wonderful father and king.
Fearing that she would retreat at slow exposure to the icy current she climbed a tree as far as her skirts would allow, taking the blossoms and herbs with her, weaving them into her hair and bodice as she sat on a branch overhanging the river.
A fine romantic touch with petals floating behind her, the sunlight dappling the clear blue water as…
A sudden cry startled her and she tumbled headlong into the brown foam realizing too late that this tumult was beyond her abilities gleaned at age five in shallow pools.
The dark river roared in the ears, the rain pelted hard and harder.
Just managing to float she swept towards to castle wall. In her freezing almost-panic her one thought was that he see her from the window; she was sure she saw him through the water blur in gasps of moments; and so she sang, rondels from her childhood so he would hear her and the plan hit its mark.
Her mind cluttered with noise, eyes fever bright closing. Rain stopping her mouth and nose.
But he was here, whispering soft and warm “never doubt I love” and her mother on the hearth singing with her brother Laertes stood by her side with his special Ophelia smile – and there was father, dear father, calling her his lamb as he used to do… she was so so warm and free, safe and home.
Her hands clenched and released, clenched and released the fabric of her favourite sky blue skirt, fingers finally letting loose to float away.