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Welcome to Alternative-Read.com
Today’s guest post is all about some of the characters within Ovidius.
Worthington the Tiger
Worthington the tiger’s weariness with captivity was a heavy truth, a reluctant move towards his acceptance of the blatant prejudice of God’s blessing of some animals with autonomy but not others. His family had accepted their lives of salvation denied, agreeing that by divine design, some animals were born condemned to human servitude, such as they, living in a zoo. Worthington fully disagreed.
W could source the beginning of his increasingly dire irritation with his life to the moment he first considered where the misfit animals went. The whole system seemed sinister to him. If an animal didn’t fit in at the zoo, they were taken away, never to be seen nor heard from again. Gone, he thought, annoyed at the idea. Thus began a torrent of curiosities, becoming an irrational pattern of thinking, growing less reasonable every time W considered the options for the rebellious animals.
Philodendrum the Bullfrog
Philodendrum woke in his Ovidius neighborhood and began his day like any other. He kissed on his wife, Philomena, played with his kids and went to work. It was when he sat down to eat his lunch that his world fell down around him, pulling him with it, to the ground, P landing with a thud. Not taking the necessary steps to ensure one’s soul can tolerate one’s lifestyle will lead to the body revolting. P’s heart muscles openly declared they had had enough, that being a sinner’s heart was just too grueling. The heart went on strike, its only sane choice. To that end, everything else in Philodendrum started to say their goodbyes as well. Take care all, his organs shouted to the world, we loved you and this beautiful Earth, but it is time to go!
Godiva and Clarence, the Cats
Godiva was a gloriously magnificent, grey-and-white, part Maine Coon Ovidian cat. She loved poetry, delighted in writing it, relished reading it out loud, even taught other animals of its wonder. Godiva thought that as a genuine purveyor of beauty, she ought to be granted a living for such giving and was slightly miffed that she wasn’t a full-time poet. Instead, she was forced to endure gatherings of animals who knew next to nothing about an authentic voice, who wouldn’t know a real poem if it bit them in the butt. To them, she must reveal her deepest love, her most closely held desires and beliefs which landed on her students’ deaf, but kind, ears, most of the time.
Clarence’s willingness to learn to read endeared him even more to Godiva. No one in her world wanted what she did. It was selfish, really, what she was asking of him. She wanted a partner in crime. She didn’t want to be so alone in the world of words. Breaching her feline self and the one who was so aware of humans and their thoughts, their fears, their doings as well as their plans had stretched her thin. Godiva considered her problem from the lens of addiction- she was paying the price for the ride she wanted to take but she yearned for Clarence’s company.
Xavier the Human
No one treated Xavier like a guy who had a good heart. No one saw potential in him, worthy of developing. His future endeavors didn’t matter to anyone at that funeral, nor to anyone in his hometown of Ovidius. They cared when Xavier was young. When he was fresh and innocent, he was showered with support. But when his world disintegrated, and he was left with nothing, that was all anyone was willing to give him- nothing.
Xavier wondered, post release, if all the mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics and anti-anxiety meds, which had wreaked havoc on his entire self, had been more of a blessing than a curse. Not taking any drugs at all showed Xavier how glad he was he didn’t have all his senses about him while he was incarcerated. Life without all those pharmaceuticals was harsh and direct, it was in-your-face. Reality didn’t pull any punches and, at 22 years old, Xavier found himself being expected to deal with himself like a man. But he was not a man. He had been babied by the system, dumbed down and ignored until he no longer listened to himself.
Sam the Bird
Sam had figured out how to do something no other animal had. He was such a dick. See, Sam was literally the was a voice inside your head that made you believe that that the way you felt about some stupid issue when you were eleven years’ old is still the outlook for you. Though you may have grown and changed, adapted and survived so many things, Sam’s power made others think they were screwed when it came to limitations they created when they knew nothing. Welcome home, he made you think to yourself, because those thoughts are the parameters of your whole world now. You will not feel comfortable unless there are four, solid walls are around your new, supplanted belief, keeping it safe and sound, if unwanted and uninvited.
by Karin Mabry
Genre: Literary Fiction, Fantasy
‘Ovidius’ follows the lives of members of the Ovidius community, a neighborhood surrounding The Ovidius Zoo, home of Worthington the Tiger. The animals of Ovidius communicate with each other using mental telepathy, unbeknownst to humans. Some, like Godiva the Cat and Sam the Bird, tweak the agreed-upon system to fit their agendas, Godiva, to write poetry, Sam, to wreak havoc. Others, like Philodendrum the Bullfrog and Xavier the human, friend of Godiva, are just trying to figure out who they really are. Written in the fix-up style, ‘Ovidius’ is a beautiful reflection on animals, spirituality and being wild and free.
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