Wormwood and Rue

She runs away into the woods, wormwood and rue cascading around her feet in the autumn woods. The smell of the end of summer, the decay of leaves sticking to her like judgement. Does she notice accidentally falling in the water, simply neglecting to save herself from sinking?
Her garments pull her down, as if they had a mind of their own.

It is simply the way she’d lead her life: doing what her father and brother — and boyfriend— tell her to do, rather than making decisions for herself. She’d been seen with him was proof enough. Imaginations of authority created all the crime there was to see, obvious to everyone where the blame truly lay.

It is only when she realizes that she’s seeing the lilies from below, watching her dress float around her like a mermaid’s gown, that the warmest smile spreads across her face and Ophelia takes her last breath.