vignettes from the door between worlds

the darkening of ophelia richter – part two

vignettes from the door between worlds. Welcome back! Hope you’re having a spooky month, and I’d like to thank you for reading and for returning! If you have not read part one, I’d suggest reading that before this part two, as a spoiler alert is in warning.

We last left Ophelia fainted at the altar (I do love a good cliffhanger). Her beloved husband, Frank is suddenly deceased, and at her wedding of all places! Part two is definitely better than one in my opinion, and I think this part may be my favourite of the entire piece.

As always, thank you for the read, and happy Friday?


Part Two: She is Remade

Ophelia blinked her eyes open slowly to ease back into consciousness only to be startled by the musty smell of a stifling room. She immediately tried to sit up, fearful at her unaware surroundings, but a set of hands forced her back down.

“Not yet, meine Süsse. Rest easy.”

“Lukas?” Her voice was scratchy, throat parched like she’d been sleeping with her mouth open. 

“Here,” he said, offering her a chilled glass to the lips, which he helped pour down her chapped throat. She swallowed it greedily, the coolness trickling down her chin. Lukas wiped it away thoughtfully with the cuff of his crisp white shirt before she could address it herself.

“What happened?” She asked, fearful. She had a feeling she didn’t really want to know the answer to that question.

“You fainted at the funeral.” He looked away, pale eyes lingering on the hardwood floor. She was reclined on some sort of bed, the sheets cool but the same musty chemical scent she’d noted upon waking. A few glimpses around revealed a flat with several curtain closed windows and several towering bookshelves near a lab table. She took a few sniffs more and realized.

This must be Lukas’s place. That smell- it was him.

She sat up quickly at the realization, but he caught her with slender arms, a startled expression across his cheeks. She tried not to tremble still in his chilled grasp. He seemed genuinely concerned, that same thoughtful wrinkle between his eyebrows certainly deep. 

“You’re all right?” He asked, hands still holding her inches from where she’d tried to sit up from the pillows. 

“It really happened, didn’t it?” She said. Oh, but it hadn’t felt real

He lifted a hand. It trembled, and his eyes darted about like he wasn’t sure what to do next, but he settled on swiping a few hairs from her face. “Afraid so.”

She gasped up a breath, chest quavering. His eyes widened, and he pressed a hand to her exposed skin, fingers caressing the skin under her collarbone. She realized someone had changed her into a slip at some point, the black fabric stark against her skin and cut dramatically low in a frayed “V,” revealing a great deal of her breasts. His fingers trailed over the skin just above her heart, and she tried to flinch away at the feeling of another man’s fingers near her bosom, her skin flushing bright crimson. 

“What are you-” She shot up to sit on her own.

He snatched his hand away as quickly as if she were on fire, and looked away from her in surprise. His skinny chest trembled with large heaving breaths, and Ophelia almost felt sorry for him before her reeling mind remembered he’d touched her in such an inappropriate way.

“She’s still a married woman, remember, Lukas.” A female voice sounded. 

They both looked toward the corner of the room where that delicate voice sounded. A girl not even five feet tall stood clad in a bright red gown, pale arms crossed over her little chest. Her steel gray hair seemed longer than her legs, trailing to the backs of her knees, and despite that petite stature, her face was wickedly carnal, lips painted a bright matching shade of crimson, and eyes enveloped in black holes of kohl. She grinned wickedly at Ophelia, and she felt a chill snake down her spine, not sure that the wicked sprite hadn’t put it there herself.

“Andromeda, I told you to-”

“And I knew master would not be able to commit to speaking the truth himself. I thirst for a sister.” She waved her hands graceful as she spoke, dark eyes crinkling with glee.

Ophelia had the odd impulse to run as far away from the room as possible, and Reader, she’d have been much better off if she had, but she was frozen in place, blue eyes blinking back and forth from the little woman and the man she’d called “master.” What in the world was going on here? What had Lukas gotten himself into? And for goodness’ sake how did she end up in his bed? All she wanted was Frank and her own nice and large bathtub.

Oh, Frank. 

“Ophelia, you had a bit of an accident when you fainted-”

“A ‘bit’?” The girl gawked at Lukas. “I spent hours working!”

Lukas rolled his eyes, turning back to Ophelia. She almost snatched her hand away, but he took his hand in hers with pleading eyes. “I brought you here because there wasn’t much anyone else could do. And you didn’t have anyone to look after you with your family all back at home. I couldn’t let you be alone-”

Ophelia let out a startled and confused noise. “When did this happen? Lukas, I don’t remember anything after I fainted from seeing-” Her voice cracked with tears, and she had to swallow before talking again. “I don’t remember coming here or seeing anyone else.”

He looked frantic for a few moments, running a hand through his blond waves before he cupped her cheek in a palm. Ophelia was too consumed in the confusing grief swirling at her temples to notice Andromeda- the little girl- laughing openly beside them.

“They thought you wouldn’t. Your heart- You simply couldn’t handle all of it at once. The stress was too much. They thought you might never get better again.” He looked up from her to consider Andromeda, who seemed strangely excited at the present. “The doctors said-”

“Your sudden stress caused those little muscle fibers in your left ventricle to atrophy. To your body, it was like you were having a heart attack, but not really. It’s quite literally possible to die of a broken heart, my dears. Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. My training all those years ago in that world a millenia in the future compared to here-”

“In English, Andromeda.”

“You broke your heart.” The girl smiled, twisting a strand of gray hair around her finger and giggling at Ophelia’s shocked face. “Oh, don’t worry. I fixed it for you.”

“You can do that?” Ophelia asked incredulously.

Lukas frowned at Andromeda. She was saying too much.

Reader, it should be known that in Ophelia’s little world, when one had a problem with his heart, it was simply unable to be fixed. Surgery was not an option at that time, and so when one was told their heart was “broken” it meant surely they’d die within days, hours, or even seconds.

The very fact Andromeda said she’d fixed Ophelia’s heart suggested that magic, just as Ophelia’s stories suggested, really did exist. Of course, in Andromeda’s world, one very familiar to our own, heart surgeries were done all the time and magic had nothing to do with science.

“Dear god, Lukas, what’s the point in keeping the secret any longer?” The girl’s red lips tilted upwards, and Ophelia could have sworn all of the girl’s teeth were pointed. “I’m a witch.”

Ophelia’s eyes widened to the size of tea saucers. 

You see, since the moment she’d been roused from sleep, she’d once again felt the crushing weight of her circumstance, the fact Frank was dead and never to see her again, but at the mention of that one word, Ophelia’s ears perked up like a dog hearing whistling birds. The stories bubbled to the surface of her brain, and slowly, not abandoning Frank, for she never could her other half, her lips tilted into the most grand smiles.

She was sure Lukas was to quash it immediately. Sure Andromeda would laugh it off as a joke, but to Ophelia’s amazement, the girl remained dead serious.

“You are not a witch, Dromeda.” Lukas shook his head, standing to distance himself from Ophelia. He rubbed at his face in that way Ophelia had noticed him when teaching labs to imbecilic students who knew nothing of bunsen burners. “Call yourself an enchantress, a sorceress, just not a witch.

It was like night and day. Ophelia could hardly believe her Lukas was talking aloud as if he had no doubt in the magical things of the unknown! The very thought of it sent thrills through her, and she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, trying to stand to her feet but falling backwards onto her bottom after a peculiar fluttering filled her chest. She let out a startled noise of surprise.

Lukas ran to her, pressing his hand to her back and right over the area he had before. To her surprise, the fluttering ceased. Her heart, she realized, slowly resumed its normal pace, softening into its typical sixty beat-a-minute lub dub. She didn’t flinch from him this time, but rather leaned in with wonder, eyes alight in pure astonishment.

Lukas had magic.

And he’d used it on her.

A cute giggle escaped her lips as she covered Lukas’s hand with hers. Lukas had magic. Why, it was absurd! And certainly any other woman would have dismissed it as just a flighty dizziness from standing too quick, but not Ophelia. No, she knew from her stories in an instant that Lukas was not human but rather something of the unknown.

His shock was still painted on his face. She saw the same cautious human professor in his gaze, but slowly, she began to realize his difference. The usual wire framed glasses, so like her own, were abandoned, his grey irises beaming to her clearly. The clothes that usually hung limp on a skinny body were now seemingly too tight. Where frail arms had once stood on the chemistry professor now rested toned muscle. Where the slight balding at his temples had sprouted was blond curls that cascaded to his shoulders. Ophelia barely recognized him in this state, and at the sight of her realization, his eyes widened in fear of the beast he’d just loosed.

She simply marveled at it all. Her lips parted in a soft pop, and she took him in once more. 

“Do it again.” She whispered, pressing his hand tighter to her chest. 

He breathed out a laugh, and one corner of his now-full lips tilted up. “Can’t when there’s nothing there to heal.”

She ought to have gasped, but Andromeda cut her off with a yawn. “Master, you bore me! Get on with it, will you?”

“You’re a witch, too?” Ophelia asked, eyes still locked on Lukas. “Or, no, sorry. A sorcerer? A magician?”

Lukas smirked at her, hand sliding finally from her chest as he looked the dreamer in the eyes. “No, no. I’m none of that sort.”

“But my stories-”

“How could I possibly let you believe they were true? We’ve several enchanted species to protect, don’t you know?” 

She felt silly, then. Was all her pursuit of the enchanted all to the detriment of the very creatures she adored? She let her mind linger, face crinkling as she tore her eyes from Lukas and stared at her hands writhing in her lap. If what Lukas was saying was true, all of her stories were fact. A naiad had in fact saved her from drowning in the lake one summer. Little pixies had truthfully flitted about her on spring nights chattering on about their trip to this new world. Nymphs truly did live in Nysa, the land of the nymphs. Monsters did wander the earth, and sprites did travel the world to teach us lessons. 

She met his gaze again. “You never told me what you are.” She said softly, words meant just for his ears.

He crouched before her, taking her chin in his thumb and forefinger. “I am Seelie Fae. I was swapped with a human changeling as a baby to keep watch on the human realm for my faerie brethren.”

She smiled, and a tear somehow tracked its way down her cheek. He caught it with a finger. “Frank…” 

Lukas took a shaky breath. “Treated me as he would his natural born brother but there was no doubt we were different. You understand I had to hide it all. Weakness is the best means of disguise.”

It is true, Reader. The meek, weak, and unsuspecting are the ones no one believes will be the powerful ones in the end. Ophelia often thought of herself in those terms- small, fragile, weak, and, when faced with explaining her stories, beyond silly. But the fact Lukas had revealed himself to be not simply a common human chemistry professor, but rather a faerie of the courts of light proved the fact that appearances could be deceiving.

“I wish he could have known.” Ophelia’s voice was tear laden. “He’d be thrilled. He always believed but mostly I think because of me.”

Lukas sighed and they sat in silence for a few moments. Finally, he pressed a soft kiss to her brow, and Ophelia felt the calmest she had since seeing that black casket. Not quite happy, but content.

“What if you could do something that might-” She could feel his breath hot at her forehead. “That might bring him back?”

Andromeda scoffed in the corner.

Ophelia backed away to reach his eyes in wonder. “Bring Frank back? What- wake him from the dead?” She pondered it. Well, at first glance it sounded too sweet to be true, odd for sure but- well, Andromeda had healed her heart, and Lukas had at that very moment prevented her from cascading into cardiac arrest. 

“It’s never been done before, but I think if there’s anyone who might be able to do it,” he smiled, and she thought she saw his gaze flick down at her lips. “It would be you.” 

She glanced sadly toward the floor. “I’m flattered you think I was born with such- such magic, but I’m no more than a plain human girl.” She swallowed. “I’m simply a dreamer and admirer of the fantastic. I’m no faerie. I’m no witch.”

“Silly,” the girl smiled brightly. “Witches aren’t born. They’re made.”

“That’s blasphemous, isn’t it?” Ophelia looked at her from under furrowed brows. 

Andromeda cackled. “The Creator hates us, don’t you know? But there’s a reason He lets us be.”

Ophelia didn’t like her line of speaking. If she’d heard more stories about the other worlds around her, she would have known there was only a little bit of truth to what Andromeda said. In all the worlds tethered by the Door Between Worlds, one Creator reigned, and it was truthful that creating outside what He’d deemed already was practically sinful. Had Ophelia been told that particular story, she would have seen right through Lukas’s offer from the start, but alas, dear Reader, sometimes we are foolish of the unknown.

One may find himself blinded by passion and desire that leads to foolish, prideful decisions for which He will always forgive, yet the sins of these characters in our theatre cannot be ignored as neither can their pride. For the things we don’t know, we can still face punishment for.

“Made?” Ophelia asked. 

To her, at last there seemed a means to insert herself into the narrative that so many in her life had deemed fictional nonsense. Could she become one of the very creatures she’d championed for existence?

“Yes, made, dear.” Andromeda sunk into the spot beside her, bed bouncing from the added weight. “Witches are humans gifted with the power of the fae in exchange for eternal servitude.” On the last few words she spoke in a nasaly voice and bobbed her head at Lukas, who offered a sarcastic smile in return.

“So you’re…”

Lukas interrupted before Andromeda could speak. “Andromeda is my charge. She’s a human I made a blood pact with. In exchange for a few errands for me, Andromeda enjoys the gifts of fae living -the power you’ve seen us wield and more in addition to youth and… longer life.”

She breathed out. The stories are all real. 

“Sounds too good to be true.” She admitted.

Andromeda snickered.

“The world of the enchanted is… vast beyond comprehension. But for you, Ophelia,” he trailed a finger along her arm and grabbed her hand. “I’m willing to do anything.”

“I don’t know if I could really do it though.” She mumbled.

“Well, you’d have me with you.” Andromeda nudged her with an elbow. “Two witches are better than one, and I’ve always wanted my name in someone’s grimoire.”

It felt instantly darker with Andromeda there. Lukas noticed her wariness and gripped her palm tighter, his touch forcing her to look into his eyes. “I’ve no doubt the two of you could come up with something to win him back to us.”

“Witches for centuries have been writing about a weapon, a dagger of life and death. With once slice the witch or faerie who wields it can either rouse one from eternal sleep or send one to the fiery pits.” Andromeda grinned devilishly.

“And it could help Frank.” Ophelia smiled softly. She caught Lukas staring at the quirked lips on her face, and she thought he seemed off, but the expression vanished almost as instantaneously as she’d seen it appear. 

“Yes.” Lukas whispered.

“What do I need to do?” Her solemnity seemed to scare him, as if he was taken aback she’d so readily complied.

It was true she had her doubts. What exactly did it mean to be a witch? What other powers did Lukas possess? Where did faeries live? Could this new power really, truly bring Frank back? 

Oh, Frank. At the thought of his name, though, all of those doubts and odd feelings behind her belly button vanished. There was something mildly treacherous about Lukas, but she wasn’t going to give up her one chance to get her true love back.

“And you’re sure?” Lukas asked. He stood before her and peered down at her. She’d never noticed his sooty lashes over vivid gray and blue kaleidoscope eyes. She’d heard stories of faeries who could glamour their appearance, and she supposed here was the proof before her very eyes. Lukas wasn’t the same creature he had been before she’d woken.

He offered a smooth palm, open faced and ready to take hers. She stared at it only briefly before pressing her warm, kind flesh on top of his frigid skin.

“What do I need to do?”

Andromeda clapped her hands excitedly beside her, shaking her by the shoulders before remembering she’d only just been healed from her broken heart. She chanted something gleefully, but Ophelia didn’t hear her. She was ready to make a deal, and she stood from the bed, enchanted by the new feeling she felt from Lukas. 

It was thrumming, wild and wicked. Something seemed to vibrate between their entwined hands, and it felt impossibly dark. Darker than midnight, darker that pitch, darker than the color of Frank’s coffin. It was entrancing and vivid. Lukas noticed her look of pure wonder and grinned devilishly. 

It was his power. She realized. There was so much of it. It felt like a black hole, a bottomless pit. And for once in her pure few years, she wanted the darkness.

What would Frank think of her now? She’d once believed in only associating with the pure beings of heart. Fairy godmothers, nymphs who protected the earth, sprites who told lessons, but she’d never expected this.

This was wicked.

And in that one moment she believed so dreadfully firm that if there was one way to bring her Frank back, it was this. Perhaps it was by darker means, but if it brought back her husband, with whom she shared the most pure union of her life, wasn’t it always worth it? If she darkened herself to embrace the magic she’d loved in her stories, wouldn’t it be justified when she laid eyes on Frank, breathing, smiling, full of life? 

She longed for his kiss so much she believed it had to be so.

She stood and followed Lukas, who led her behind a few tables to his home laboratory. The countertop before her was cluttered with flasks of all shapes and sizes. Some were filled with rancid smelling concoctions while others were thankfully empty. A few bunsen burners were lit with golden and red flames, heating up substances in Erlenmeyer flasks. A few Florence flasks were littered in the sink, soaking in soapy grey dishwater. In long plastic tubes, liquid moved from one flask to another, and Ophelia marveled at it.

She’d seen Lukas’s chemistry lab back at the University, but this felt somehow different. Like she’d felt when she touched Lukas, the place seemed to ooze magic, and she stared for so long, eyes alight in the fire of the unknown, that Lukas chuckled at her. His voice seemed now unusually low.

He squeezed her palm and pulled her to the only empty space on the countertop. On a cutting board rested a knife. By the look of it, Ophelia decided it was iron. She knew from her stories that iron was said to weaken such powerful beings as the fae, and so when Lukas nodded his head toward it, she flinched a bit.

“That shouldn’t be here, should it?” She wanted to cast it away if it was going to harm the creature before her.

He smiled. “In all reality, no.” To her surprise, Lukas lifted the dagger. His eyebrows knitted together as if the knife plagued him somehow but he wasn’t exactly sure how. He handed it to her, and she looked up at him for permission. He nodded swiftly, and she took it. “Faeries hate iron, you know, and stick it in our hearts and we’re goners. Having it nearby can be useful though.”

The thing glittered dimly in her hand, and she nearly jumped as Lukas readjusted her grip on the hilt. 

“Like this, Liebchen.” He even adjusted her wrist. To our naive heroine, Reader, it felt nearly absurd to wield a weapon. “If you’re going to slice me deep enough for a blood oath we might as well get it done in one clean swipe.”

She nearly dropped the knife. “Cut you? Why, I won’t. I swore long ago I’d never harm a creature of the unknown if I met one.”

“Stupid!” Andromeda called from the bed. Ophelia had nearly forgotten the girl was in the room watching them. “You’ve got to cut him, and he’s gotta cut you. It’s how blood oaths work.”

Lukas nodded. “Unfortunately, dear, it’s how witches are made.” 

She stared at the pale flesh on Lukas’s palm. “I’m sorry I have to do this to you.” She murmured, but urgency had begun to grip her. If she was to save Frank, the sooner she began the sooner she’d be able to finish, and they could resume their lives as if nothing had ever happened. 

She gripped his hand tightly in her right and with her left hand holding the knife she cut deeply and quickly from his thumb to the base of his forefinger. Lukas let out a deep hiss, swearing under his breath. Ophelia didn’t know much German, but she figured whatever he’d said went along the lines of surprise from how such a little, kind girl could inflict such pain. Andromeda giggled playfully from across the room, standing on tiptoes to watch as the bright red blood welled along Lukas’s palm. 

She’d gotten him good, for the cut was already sending rivulets of blood down to the tips of his fingers. She stood frozen at the sight of it all, but Lukas, clearly pained at the iron in the wound, snatched the dagger from Ophelia’s loose hands and squeezed her child sized palm to him. 

The knife tore through the soft flesh of her reader’s hands, and she yelped. The fiery cut was numb with shock for a brief few seconds before her own bright red blood began to stream from the wound. Pain tore up the nerves from her fingertips to her armpit, and she tried to blink away the instinctual tears in her eyes.

She grimaced as he laced their two bloodied hands together. Blood squeaked between their palms and mixed in big bright red drips to the floor. It coated her forearms down to her elbows, and she stood astonished. She’d never seen so much blood in her life.

And Lukas seemed pale but still impossibly focused. She watched him closely in his eyes, and he began to murmur words. For a brief moment, she wanted to scream “no!” and turn away. What fresh hell was she getting herself into? What kind of dark sorcery was this? Surely this was something from the fiery pits not the pure creatures she’d taught lessons on. 

She glanced frantically toward Andromeda, but the girl was simply watching with the most excited face. Ophelia thought she looked like a child behind an ice cream counter, thrilled at the server piling on endless toppings, and ready for the most delicious treat of her life. The small woman was murmuring words of her own, rubbing her hands together in delight of what was getting ready to be hers. 

She looked up worriedly to Lukas, and the man paused his chanting. He noticed her fear, she realized. He knew she was afraid, and something flashed briefly across his inhuman eyes before he moved. At once, she thought he’d end this, but she was mistaken. The magic was already beginning.

He bent to her height, and she felt his lips press feather light to her ear. She nearly jumped at the intimacy of it. She felt as if she’d been transported somewhere other than here, and Lukas didn’t feel so different as she. They did want the same thing, didn’t they? His lips slowly began to move, whispering ancient words that felt nearly naughty in her ears like some sort of swear word or curse. 

“Repeat.” He whispered, and the words began again. 

To her surprise, her lips moved of their own volition. She had no power over them now. Words she didn’t know nor understand flew out of her mouth as if she spoke this odd language. Across the room, Andromeda licked her lips in a stifled cackle at the strange wide look on Ophelia’s face, and our heroine tried briefly to resist the change.

Reader, she was just two seconds too late. The faerie magic within Lukas was already streaming into the human child’s veins. She looked away for a moment and all of a sudden she could feel it. She could feel some warmness slinking up inside her and burning in the pleasant way like liquor.

Instantly, she felt somehow impossibly different. Something thrummed within her veins, and she looked down and could have sworn she was glowing. Yes, like a blazing white beam of light, she was glowing just like the sun. She watched as the light spread from her bloodied hand upward, illuminating her veins which remained blue and nearly black under her skin. 

Beside her, Lukas relished every moment. In her glow, Ophelia appeared his angel of death. 

Again, if Ophelia knew a few more stories, she might have heard the tragic tale of the very first witch. Stella was a plain girl who fell in love with a faerie warrior. She realized he didn’t have the same feelings for her, but they were friendly enough. She loved his world and begged him to find a way to join it. In trying to find a way, they’d accidentally cut open their palms, but the instant they touched they knew what to say. In this story, Ophelia would have learned that she wasn’t imagining this glow. Oh, no. It was this very glow that consumed the fae warrior. Stella shined like a bright star in that one moment, and she was very beautiful. He fell in love with her, and they hadn’t been heard of since. Rumor had it that the man had been cursed to spend the moons as a beast, but a little village girl swore she could see them sometimes walking together in the woods, happily, blissfully. Well, that turned out to be a lie. So many stories tend to be riddled with those. Years later, the story got its real ending. Ophelia wouldn’t have liked it. 

They’d both been burned on pyres like enchanted, suicidal moths on a wick.

Lukas, though, knew of this story. He’d heard it many times in his childhood spent with the faerie men who came through the Door to train him in who he was and why he wasn’t to trust his human parents or brother. It was why he shut his eyes to Ophelia at first and squinted only second because he just had to see what the dreamer would look like becoming that which she wished so desperately did exist. 

It was as enchanting as he thought it would be. She was radiant as a thousand suns, and entranced by just that moment, he slammed his eyes shut before he could thirst for more.

The glow, however, faded dramatically when the words began to close. Ophelia would have said it reminded her of her wedding day. 

As the last few words tapered, twisted syllables crinkling in the corner of her mouth, the bright light, burning her veins so hot she quite literally felt like she was walking on the sun, instantly shot out from her in a dark flash. 

The room went dark as pitch. Andromeda cackled. Lukas said something more in that wicked language. 

And Ophelia shivered. The sunlight was gone and what was left was frigid winter inside her. She recalled one winter on the farm when the family had been snowed in for weeks, freezing with only their prayers the wood would last to keep them warm. She recalled the feeling of numb bright red fingers and trembling muscles, and she thought that was the closest to how she felt.

It might have felt empty, but in the memory, something in her mind hummed to life. Lightning seemed to skitter down her arms to her fingers and finally out to her lips and nose. She’d felt this once before, though. She’d felt it when she’d rested her hands on Lukas, and she’d felt that power.

It was simply that it was in her now. She shivered at the idea, shoulders trembling, and she felt like that memory. It felt like her veins were freezing but moving in the softest little dusting of snowfall. 

It triggered something in her mind, and she spoke the only word, the only thing that could explain how it felt.

She whispered that word. It was the language that she’d heard in Lukas’s mouth. It was the language she’d echoed without thinking. 

The room lightened, and the fluorescent bulbs slowly tinkered back on. She shivered still, but this time not at the transformation that had just occurred inside but rather the fallen temperature inside the room.

Something cold and wet kissed her cheek, and she blinked her eyes a few times, the light slowly illuminating the place. Little spots of wetness kept dotting her face, and as her eyes adjusted she realized it wasn’t a drippy leak in the ceiling but it was the result of her power in that little word she’d said. 

It was snowing. Reader, it was snowing inside Lukas’s little flat. She looked about herself in wonder as little full flakes dusted every surface in sight, spawning from something in the ceiling. They landed in her gold curls and melted on her eyelashes and cheeks. She let out an astonished giggle.

Snow. She realized. It means snow.

“Gorgeous, my darling.” Lukas looked upward, and he grinned, revealing brilliant straight white teeth. He dropped her hand and wrapped an arm around her waist, hand pulling her hip close to him, but she didn’t mind. 

This darkness within her had done this. It seemed to Ophelia in this moment, perhaps all darkness wasn’t all bad. If it could do this what else could it do?

She smiled up toward Lukas, who swiped a curl from her eyes. “Welcome, witchling.” He smiled.

Oh yes, this newfound power could bring her Frank back, she no longer had any doubt. And what fun it was to be while she went on the journey to raise her beloved from his eternal sleep! She could have fun in this world she’d longed to be a part of for so long.

Andromeda clapped her hands giddily as the snowflakes dusted her, and Ophelia was struck with the fact she noticed a dark aura of power around the girl she hadn’t noticed prior. Looking at Lukas, she saw it, too.

It was scary almost, but she ignored that thought. Why, it could do this! 

She waved her hand and the snow twirled at her bidding, dancing like little sprites and pixies in the air. She formed some to swirl like roses, and Lukas smiled down at her in awe.

“Told you you’re a natural.” He smiled once more, and a fear within her awakened at the pitch darkness she felt swarming within her like a flock of dark moths.

It’s all right. She reminded herself. All for the goodness of Frank, my sweet soldier boy.

And so. Ophelia Richter began to darken.

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