Fiction: ‘Little Lives’

44 - Little Lives
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She flutters above the flowers, her wings shimmering in the golden light. The gentle scent of daisies rises from the ground. She settles onto the pure white petals of a cheerful little flower, and drinks from its yellow centre.

The light changes to a cool silver.

Large clear drops begin to shake the blades of grass. She hurries up to the trees, hiding beneath their veil of leaves. Birds flit passed between branches. They don’t glance in her direction, but work busily in the rain to finish their nests, clasping twigs in their pointed beaks. When the drops grow smaller and less frequent, she ventures back out to her garden.

She doesn’t notice a set of yellow eyes appear behind her.

They linger in the shrubs, lying low and still as she searches for her beloved daisy. She drops closer and closer to the ground. The eyes seem to grow larger as she hovers above the flowers. All is still for just a moment before the creature pounces, its claw piercing through her delicate little wings.

She spirals downwards into the grass.

The cat leans over her, its paw raised.

‘Why?’ the butterfly asks. ‘I’ve done nothing to upset you. I only sought my favourite flower in the garden I was born in.’

‘Such foolish things you say,’ marvels the cat, its eyes twinkling with amusement.

‘Please, I have but one day here,’ she pleads, ‘why do you wish to end it early?’

The cat turns its head to one side as if considering the question, and gazes down at the helpless thing lying before it. ‘Because it’s in my nature,’ it finally replies, and then snatches up the butterfly and swallows it.

The sun appears once more as the clouds scatter away. Everything dries in a hurry under its light. The cat wanders back onto the porch and stretches lazily in the warm sun, without a thought to spare for the loss of such a little life.

 ~ Ekaterina

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