She is called a Comma.
Her outstretched wings are black inkblots on lava-red tissue paper. On her abdomen, a white mark, like a comma, her life in perpetual pause.
Her mate rests beside her. They flutter and they dance. The musty forest air flashes with their punctuated splendour.
The net swoops through the air and the boy grins. She is trapped.
The boy grasps the tweezers and picks her up gently. He doesn’t want to harm her, not yet.
He engages the trigger on the lighter. First, her wings. And when they are reduced to cinder, he completes his work.
The male Comma files alone.
His frantic swirling and diving disrupt the atmosphere microscopically. Airflow disrupts airflow. Pressure builds on pressure. Until the breeze becomes swirl becomes storm becomes typhoon.
On the shore, the girl faces the typhoon. She cannot run or hide. She faces it armed with tatty umbrella and broken gasmask. Her fate determined by delicate wings.
I’ve been submitting two stories each week mostly because my mind is active with ideas and I want to stretch the prompt in different directions.
I loved this idea. The butterfly effect (where the flapping of a butterfly wing can influence weather patterns weeks later thousands of miles away), is one that has been debated. It remains just a theory.
The idea of a comma butterfly was too hard to resist. The comma butterfly is real and is as described in the piece. It also allowed me to play on words.
No recognition, but I was really pleased with this entry.
Thanks for all the fantastic comments this week.