CREATIVE

Ahalya

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash
Written by kreetycrawly

Hey, okay, how about I give her a weapon that responds only to her, and she learns how to wield it better with every battle. That could work.

Ahalya scanned the path ahead of her. Satisfied, she slumped against the base of an old, weary oak. The sun made its way through a branch here or there, but it was unmistakable, the chill in the air. There was still a long way to go, but she couldn’t possibly move any further. The soles of her feet ached and her calves and thighs were sore. The wound in her arm was beginning to be a problem, the blood just wouldn’t stop. Not only did she have a lot more ground to cover, but she would have to climb most of the way. “All because of this damned sword”, she muttered to herself, pulling her cloak tighter around herself. Life as she had known it was over the moment she touched the sword and it glowed. The whole village immediately turned upon her. Witch. Her mother snuck her out. She didn’t even get to say goodbye. Her throat tightened, and her eyes glazed over as she thought, “I never asked for this, then why…” 

No, no wait a second, it’s not supposed to be this way, okay, no, she’s allowed to be sad of course, but maybe I should choose a happier part of the story.

Ahalya sat on the grass, facing the sun. The river tinkled in her ears, and the wind brought the fragrance of the flowers to her. For a moment, nothing else mattered, and a calm spread across her chest like a butterfly luxuriously unfurling her wings. Her mind drifted to simpler times. The memory was so hazy now – dancing with her mother on a sunny day just like this, smiling, her feet rejoicing in the coolness of the stone. A little ache twisted in her heart, then. If only she could have brought her mother along with her. If only she could see Ahalya as she was now, with everything she ever could have wanted, spend a day with her, an hour even. Two tears trailed down her cheek and vanished. It was to be that kind of day. Oh well. 

This…is not working. Maybe if I changed the origin… Maybe you don’t need a sword at all, just, let me write you a story that doesn’t hurt so much.

You know it won’t help, don’t you?

But why? I am trying to give you some happiness, why does the story always spin out of my control this way? I can do it, I promise you!

But the story is mine to live child, you’re just the one who materializes it. What can you possibly give me that I do not already have? What corner of the earth will you find for a human that she may not find some sorrow in? 

No! No. It will not be like this. You are just a figment of my imagination. 

Quite right.

Then listen.

Of course.

“Ahalya…” they breathed. Drawing their thumb from the arch of her cheekbone to the swell of her lower lip, heart-pounding, barely concealed by the rain outside the window. Ahalya pulled them to her and rested her forehead against theirs. “I know,” she whispered back, “thank you for all this time we’ve spent together. I will always cherish these memories.” The rain wouldn’t relent, and neither could time. “I should go now.” She said. “As should I.” Yet how were the two to pull away, so dear to each –

Stop!

But don’t you wish to know what happens next?

No, I –  

A different one then, perhaps?

Please

Why here I go breaking someone’s heart.

Please

And here goes someone breaking mine. And in this one, I die too soon. But in that one, I live too long. Sometimes, I have too much power, and other times, not enough, but when I do, then someone leaves. It’s not right, not right, and the sorrow never leaves. This is the way it’s always been. What will you do about that? You know, don’t you, I never asked to be born. 

I know, I’m sorry. I didn’t either. 

Rest, child. Stop trying to forge me into the best thing I can be. Stop trying to contort yourself into a thousand positions to perfection. Maybe it’s better this way. Maybe the sadness will never leave. But maybe, this too is fine.

About the author

kreetycrawly

Impulsive poet. Hungry for connection.

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