Chapter 5 – January 14A

Instead of following her friends into the woods, The Bird walked down the bank of the wide river, once again guided by her instincts. She didn’t know why this was the best way to get to the next scene — she remembered now, Annie had been right, the gravediggers were next, they bury Ophelia just a few lines after announcing her death — but she nevertheless knew she was heading in the right direction.

She kept her head down, keeping the dense mist from fogging her eyes, paying attention to the stones she kicked in front of her. Then suddenly, there were no stones to kick. Only tall grass at her feet. She looked up, then behind her — the river and woods, they were no longer in sight. Perhaps concealed behind the thick mist, but The Bird did not care enough to verify by stepping backwards. Nothing about what had happened had made any sense since she and her friends on the Bark Bay High School fencing team had suddenly appeared in the middle of “Hamlet,” the performance they had been watching. If she had just now suddenly been transported from the river to what looked to her now as a wild, wide field — that would have made as much sense as anything else that had happened to her.

And suddenly, there were soldiers, marching past her, their leather armor seeming to soak in the moist fog. The Bird saw a motion at the front of the line, a man waving his arm, motioning another to come towards him.

Go, captain, from me greet the Danish king.

She recognized the line, from Fortinbras, the Norwegian prince who threatens to invade Denmark throughout the play.

You know the rendezvous.

But this scene, it was from earlier in the play, before Ophelia’s death. How could . . . but then again, why not? She watched with disinterest as the Norwegian captain nodded in acknowledgement of his leader’s command.

I will do’t, my lord.

Her disinterest disintegrated in an explosion of disbelief that defied her acceptance of this absurd situation. She knew that voice.

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