Community Stories. Get Inspired, Get Underlined


By @ldsdotter


I looked out over the valley, my legs weakened from the journey and my throat sore from crying through the night. I could feel the streaks now drying on my face, but did not lift my ruined hands to wipe them off. Let them see what he has done to us. Let them look on my torn face, on my worthless hands. Let them see me and howl in rage and despair, I thought. Once again I was overcome with the grief and sank to my knees, wishing I could have him back—wishing, even, that it could have been me. I felt more tears pouring down my cheeks and lifted my head, letting loose a howl that rang through the hills and the valley below.

Then there was an answering call below—the low moan of my sister, filled with longing and dread. She knows why I have come, I thought. Oh, I cannot bear it! If only—if only it had been me—we could have saved him. I stood, trembling with the weight of my sorrow, knowing that I must walk just a little further; that I must tell them what had happened to their Star, their Prince.

My sister stood waiting for me at the crack between the two mountains, her long hair thrashing behind her in the wind. Her solemn face was split with happiness in seeing me and unbearable pain. She took my hand and then pulled me close to her, holding me with shaking hands, examining my destroyed figure.

“Is it true, Opline?” She whispered through our mingled tears. “Has he truly gone?”

Summoning all of the strength left in me, I nodded. Then I collapsed, suddenly overcome with the pain of my loss and worn from my long journey. All went dark, and the last thing I heard was my sister’s howl—all of her feelings put into one noise that broke the night. 


“Opline. Are you awake?”

I opened my eyes—I was home and my sister sat at the foot of my bed, smiling softly. My hands, face, and the left side of my body was covered in bandages and ointments. I studied the burns, my sister doing the same. Though her face was masked with her beautiful smile, I was not fooled. Her eyes were wide with fear and grief and I could see that she had not slept.

“You always were the prettier of us both.” She said, her voice calm, though it shook a little. Her eyes met mine and her smile widened so that I could see the dimple under her right eye. “How did you manage to change such a reputation?” She asked.

I sat up, wincing. I had not noticed how serious my burns were after he passed.

“I tried to save him.” I said. “They threw him into the fire and kept me, but I broke through the guards with a strength only a giantess could wish for and retrieved his body, but it was too late.”

My sister thought for a long while before saying “It is not your fault, Opline. Do not dwell on what has been done already. We have much to prepare if there is to be a war.”

“There will be no war.” I said.

My sister, who had been gazing at the coverings on my arm, looked up at me. “What? How is that…?”

I smiled. “Not all has been lost, sister. I believe I have found the lost Queen Taramay and her people.”

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