Ice crystals reflect this afternoon’s sun onto my cozy chrysalis, casting shadows onto lavender crocus buds below. Bright marigold, crimson and azure shock my dark dull dreams. A gentle breeze caresses my wrinkled wet wings. Delirious and dizzy, my tongue uncoils reaching for sweet nectar, knowing that spring has sprung.
Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney has published scientific peer-reviewed articles, news media opinion pieces, and short fiction stories. Recently he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his 100-word story “The Quiet Raspberry Wormhole,” published in Crack The Spine. He serves as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Kean University.
After admiring the specimen, I forced a pin through its middle, then delicately bent back the wings. I used tweezers to gently manipulate each wing flat, because butterflies get pretty brittle after they’re dead.
My granddaughter was noticeably unimpressed. Her scream remains, pinned to my heart, framed in my brain.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble”. Visit BobThurber.net.
The butterfly hit the windscreen, but rather than splatter on the glass it seemed to filter through into the car in a burst of colour, then just vanished and everything for a second was still.
He looked across at her, took her hand and smiled.
They were no longer afraid.
N.F. Barlow is an English writer living in Friuli, Italy.