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Butterfly
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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[Index]

1

A lone figure walks slowly through the wilderness. His stride is weary, as a man who has suffered many years of hardship. A wound in his side festers and pours noisome pus onto the soft green grass. As we watch, he suddenly stumbles. He tries to catch himself, but his arms fail him. He lands on his face with a soft moan. He tries to struggle to his feet, but something catches his eye. Near his head, a tiny flower nods in the spring sunshine. On the petal nearest his face, a delicate white butterfly perches. Its wings flutter in the air, struggling to stay aloft. The man stares, transfixed. He reaches out his hand and carefully, so carefully, captures the struggling insect in his palm.
"Hello, little one," he says. "Getting a drink?"
He opens his hand, but the tiny creature does not fly away, but instead sits peacefully; its wings stilled, antennae waving gently.
He smiles. "Yes, little one. You dan't need to fear me. Not Neithan!" He closes his eyes briefly. "I had another name, once. But I lost it. My mother called me Trin, but I lost the right to that name long years ago. My mother loved creatures like you. She had a garden with all manner of plants which you and your kindred loved. I would lie in the grass and watch the butterflies dance among the blooms for hours." He smiles and shakes his head at the memories.
He tilts his hand and the butterfly slowly flies away.
"Goodbye, little one," he murmurs. "And thank you!"

[Index]

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