I reached for them when they came for me and welcomed them home. I knew there was no more I could do to stave off the inevitable. It was my time.
Despite the morbid delights of the beautiful creatures, it was once believed to be a touch from the divine to be graced by the presence of a butterfly alighting upon you. A way for the gods to show favor upon the children of man they prized most, or even as a sign from a loved one of their presence from the beyond. All were blind to the deaths that followed their touch however, choosing only to see the beauty of such delicate life.
It was during the end of the fall, when man had descended upon man in a frenzied feast of flesh, when we did truly understand the enormous prophecy carried on their colorful wings during their great migrations.
And when the kaleidoscope danced around you, you ran.
You ran not away from certain death, but towards the salvation of your loved ones. For it would be a matter of ever shortening time before you became one of the fallen; a beast of decaying flesh whose humanity was stripped away with each whisper of a butterfly’s wings, stealing your breath and eating your soul.
When I felt the first tickle upon my ear, I was alone and brushed it away like a pesky fly, choosing to ignore the sign and instead continued to hope we would finally encounter someone with a cure. The next time there were two, and it was while I was gathering wood for the morning fire. Soon to be surrounded by my chosen family, those of us left to wander for survival, I believed I would not be able hide what was to come from me any longer.
Not wanting them to bear the burden of ensuring I would never rise a beast, I whispered my goodbyes in the direction of camp and wished the wind to carry my love to them. Then, I fled.
Now, as I lie in this field, my head resting momentarily upon a large sharp stone and the red blood of my life seeping steadily from self-inflicted wounds, I raise my arms and welcome my executioners’ kiss, hoping that once again the touch of a butterfly will be welcomed as a beautiful thing and not a warrant for death.
c.2017 Deidre Meyrick
*This piece was prompted by a photo from the Monday Flash Fic facebook group of which I’m a member. If you’d like to see the photo and read more flashes revolving around this image, please be sure to check out the group page & post for this particular prompt here.
Have a great Monday!