Chapter 2 - A Chance and a Curfew

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November 11th. 2 days before Ophelia went missing

Ophelia was sat in her bedroom, her violin case open next to her. She had just finished practicing and was holding the white violin between her pale fingers, annoyed. Once she put it away, she would have nothing to do. Yes, she could continue practicing but she had already done that for three hours. She could play with Romeo but there wasn't really much to do with him in the house..
She hopped off her bed, pushed her violin underneath and ran to her dads room, knocking on the door.

"Yes, dear?" Hannibal called from inside the room, holding a leg.

"Dad, can we go to the park?" Ophelia asked from the other side of the door. She knew she couldn't go into his room without his explicit permission so just remained on one side.

"I'm a bit busy at the moment, perhaps later?" He offered, putting the leg down on his plastic-covered table.

Ophelia sighed. She pouted and looked around, seeing if there was anything to do in the immediate vicinity to cure her boredom. Then, she got an idea.

"Hey dad?" She asked again. Hannibal made a small 'hmm?' noise to show he was listening. "You know you love me more than anything and I'm like the best daughter in the world?"

Hannibal laughed, "That's true my dear, now, what do you need?"

"Could I go out by myself? Well.. Not really by myself, Romeo can come too!"

Hannibal paled. He didn't trust the world with his ray of sunshine. Why should he? He had first hand experience with the cruel fates of the universe and he desperately wanted to protect his dear, sweet daughter from anything that might taint her innocence.

"Ophelia.." He began but paused upon hearing her sigh softly. He was about to outright refuse but hearing how sad she was.. Maybe just a few hours would be okay. "Come home before its dark."

Ophelia grinned, "I promise!" And with that, she ran down the stairs to grab her dog.

The woods was strange when she was alone. Usually she was too distracted by the conversation between her and her dad to realise how thick the trees were, how dark they made the forest appear. She desperately tried to stick to the path of leaves she had so often walked but got distracted by birds and falling leaves. Then, she saw him. The buck, asking her to dance again. She smiled and ran over to him, Romeo at her heels. The three played together as they so often had, dancing along the leaves until it was near dark. Once the golden light faded away from the three, Ophelia turned to look at the sky. The sun was beginning to slip behind the hill as it did every day. She bid the buck farewell and began her treck back to her house, Romeo panting beside her.

One she got back onto the path, she was greeted by an overwhelming sense of paranoia. She didn't know why but it oddly felt as if she was being watched. She often felt like that, especially when she was alone. On long nights when Hannibal was gone, Ophelia could swear she saw a man outside her window. She shook the fear from her and kept walking, only slightly faster. Romeo kicked his pace up too, keeping even closer to his owners heels. Ophelia stopped. Another pair of footsteps was following her. A pair that didn't belong to her. It didn't sound like the familiar hooves of her dear friend either.

A nearby bush shook. No wind. She whipped herself around, despite having a nagging feeling in her gut that she should just run home. A tall, dark haired man stood behind a bush, grinning menacingly at the girl. He raised a stained hand, red with what Ophelia hoped wasn't blood, and waved. That was all it took for Ophelia to spin back around and sprint home.

Once she got to the safety of her home, she let out a breath she forgot she was holding. Maybe she was just imagining things. Maybe she didn't really see the man. The man who so often stood outside her window on the long nights her dad was gone. The thought brought a question forward. Should she tell her dad? She hadn't told him of the man outside her window, not wanting to worry him. So, she decided. She would keep it a secret. If she saw him again, she would tell her dad.

With the question safely answered, she bade her dad goodnight and slipped into her room.

Ophelia Lecter.  |   HannibalWhere stories live. Discover now