UNTITLED (SO FAR)
The itching on her hand wouldn’t stop. Ophelia looked down.
Nothing. No mosquito bite, no small break in the skin, no redness or swelling. Just that awful, gnawing itch under her ring.
Ophelia spun the ring around so the narrowest part of the band faced up. Still nothing.
“It figures,” she thought. She turned the ring around again, so the wider part of the circlet was once more “face out.” “The one nice piece of jewelry he ever gave me, and it’s going rogue on me!”
The ring had been a gift from Jeff the Christmas before they were to be married.
“For ‘Oaf,’ forever,” he’d written on the card attached to the box.
Ophelia had laughed at the play on her name. “Oaf” hardly matched her pixie-ish look!
She opened the tiny jewelry box. It wasn’t the diamond she’d anticipated. Even so, the ring Jeff had chosen for her Christmas present was lovely. A sterling silver spoon ring. Most of the rings Ophelia had seen made from tableware had been fashioned from the tines of forks. This was interesting, and she sensed something special about the ring, but she couldn’t say just what.
She examined it more closely. The pattern was Joan of Arc.
Ophelia looked at Jeff with a smile on her lips.
“Thank you,” she said, giving him a quick hug and kiss. “But … Joan of Arc? Any reason you selected the patron saint of martyrs and militants?”
Jeff kissed her nose and told her, “Well, with all the folks who saddle you with their crap, you are long-suffering,” he pointed out. “And I sure wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of you in any battle that really mattered!”
Ophelia grinned and put the ring on the only finger it would fit: the ring finger on her left hand. She planned to replace it with her engagement ring when Jeff got around to it.
As the ring settled into place, Ophelia swore she felt a tingle. She jumped a little at the sensation.
“Whoa,” she said. “I hope that doesn’t happen again! What is this thing? Alive?”
Jeff grabbed her hand and held it up so the ring faced his girlfriend.
“Ah, my pretty,” he cackled. “Wear this ring forever more, and you’ll be surprised at the things it will reveal … ah, ha-ha-ha-ha!” Jeff released her hand, and his poor imitation of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Ophelia batted at the back of Jeff’s head. “You goof.”
Four months later, Jeff was killed in a car accident.
That ring became more precious to Ophelia than ever, and in the three years since Jeff had died, she often found herself gazing at it, catching her reflection in its polished silver surface.
Now, she stared at the ring and scratched around the itch that seemed to be centered beneath it.Share on Facebook