Wednesday April 4th, 2012

The exercise:

Let's see what we can do with: the butterfly.

Went to my local writing group this morning, then took a trip up to Penticton this afternoon to run some errands. This evening I caught the tail end of St. Louis losing in overtime, which leaves Vancouver 2 points up in the west with two games to go.

Top seed gets home ice advantage until the finals, or however far the team makes it. First overall in the league gets home ice right through the finals and that's still in reach too, but New York has the edge for that right now.

It's going down to the wire, but the Canucks are definitely moving in the right direction with the playoffs looming around the corner. Can't wait for them to start!


The butterfly in the mason jar is dead. When I went to bed last night it seemed perfectly healthy. Who killed my beautiful pet?

I live alone. The doors and windows were locked. I've never spotted anything that might suggest I sleepwalk. No cats, no dogs.

I don't understand.

Maybe it was something it ate before I caught it. Some weird, slow-acting poison. It couldn't have been anything in the jar - I'd sterilized it by the book, and there are no openings through which any sort of predator could have made its way inside, no matter how small...

So who killed my magnificent butterfly?


Greg said...

It seems like the Canucks are getting there, ever so steadily! The home ice thing is interesting, I'm more used to these things being played on neutral grounds.
Ah, a locked room (jar?) mystery! And you sealed the jar up so firmly as well, I'm sure nothing could have gotten inside :)
Must be that ghost you were writing about last week ;-)

The butterfly
"Butterflies were, of course, originally called Flutterbys," said Miss Snippet in her posh reading voice. The classroom sat attentively, five- and six-year-olds listening to every word she said. "Which is a much more sensible name. However, what not many people know is that if you sneak up behind someone and shout 'Boo!' they will jump and shout out 'Butterfly!'"
The bell rang, signifying the end of class, so Miss Snippet dismissed them, a mischievous smile playing across her lips. Sure enough, less than a minute after the last child had left she heard the first high-pitched voice yelling 'BOO!'
Then there a sound like a small child collapsing in a heap.
Miss Snippet frowned and checked the register on her desk. Four lines down she found what she was looking for.
"Chloe Smith," she read under her breath. "Weak heart."

writebite said...

the butterfly

he waved his tiny hand around
curling and unfurling his fingers in a fluttery way
he pointed to a whiff of colour airily wafting through the trees on our rainforest walk
someone said the word "butterfly"
and he began with his hand movement again

he couldn't yet say the word
but he'd invented his own symbol
he'd connected the dots - the hand motion and the sound of the word all met up when he saw one

that's how he told me he knew what a butterfly was

and he's only just turned one
what a treasure

Iron Bess said...

The Butterfly stood by the window looking out onto the crowded street at the people strolling, walking, running, jumping, and whizzing by. He turned to stare at Marsha slightly raising an eyebrow before yawning. “So’s how lang er we a stayin?”

Marsha squinted at his watch then scrapped hard calloused fingers through his coarse hair. “Spec maybe nother hour er so,” he said. “Cain’t be too lang now,” he added. “Lille Joe an Buck day’s a fast when day wanna be.”

“Day hain’t fas enough fer me,” The Butterfly growled. He began to pace from the window to the back door. “Ah’m jus a tad hungry s’all,” he muttered to himself. The Butterfly hated being closed in, had hated it ever since he was a small boy when his mother used to shut him up in a trunk whenever she had enough of his “doings”. “Ah’s goin down to the corner, youse wan enyting?” he asked.

Marsha swung his head ponderously from side to side. “Nah, ahm jus a goin to sit,” he said. “You goes and ah’ll sit a spell.” Unlike his brother Marsha was contented to sit all day he was like a giant grey boulder to his brother’s spinning wheel. One never stopped moving the other never started.

Suddenly the door burst open and Lille Jo waddled in her cheeks pink with exertion and her chins jiggling with every breath. “Buck gots herself rested,” she puffed. “We gots to go now.”

The Butterfly stared at his sister his mouth agape. “Rested for what?” his face blanched. “How can youse get rested for signin up for school?”

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Greg - did you know Flutterbye is the name of a book? Fond Memories of those tales, especially Leo the Lop, but that gets me nowhere with the prompt...


Butterfly, butterfly,
in the air.
Flutter by, flutter by,
without care.

Brightly colored,
flitting in the sun.
Drinking nectar,
one by one...

But wait, what is this I see?
Millions of butterflies in a tree?
No they are diving to the ground.
Landing on the carcass that you found.

Butterfly, butterfly,
you're not the same.
When I see you there,
eating dead game.

Krystin Scott said...

@Marc - Cough Cough... Air! I keep telling the twinnies that this is essential, but they are determined to stop them from getting away. Now we're keeping them in the lanai.


On zebra wings of black and white,
The swallow tail takes off in flight.
Shallow puddles it tends to seek,
Extends its tongue and takes a drink.
Paw Paw Trees provide a treat,
The sweet nectar it loves to eat.
Then off again into the sky,
To wander past and flutter by.

H.N. said...

Hello! Sorry to have been gone so long but writing that extended theme story(even though I never finished mine and probably won't) made me realize that I wanted to start working again on a story that's been in my head about 10 years. And I really felt I had to give it all my un-interrupted creative energy. BUT I miss it here and all of you so I figured if I could tie a prompt into my story it would be helpful instead. So here I am! : )

Weariness had begun to overtake her, the flight from the confusing and gruesome scene at the pond's edge had turned to a brisk walk and then to steady plodding. Aleta had no idea how long she had been here now, any sense of time seemed to have stayed gaping at the pond. She rounded a soft curve in the trail wondering how it was here, who had made this trail, narrow as it was?

A flit of movement drew her attention. A brightly iridescent blue and gray butterfly fluttered dramatically in wide, random patterns before darting into a thick hedge. She hesitated for only a moment before fighting through the branches. On the other side, she stopped abruptly, drawing in a sharp breath.

The twisted, wild form of an enormous willow tree rose imposingly into the sky, it's branches a rich, light green at places while others suggested a pale silver. The murky fog that had hung in patches as she walked pooled gracefully around its trunk. Something about it seemed so familiar.

With every step, the beating of her heart was gradually abating. The cool stillness of its leafy presence felt calm, quelling the panic that had consumed her from the moment she had opened the book. Reaching out, her fingers grazed the rough texture of its bark and her brow furrowed at the sensation. Life...calm seemed to emanate from it, adding itself to the problem of here.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, each playoff series is best of 7, so the higher ranked team gets 4 games at home if it goes all 7.

Ah, poor Chloe. We hardly knew ye.

Writebite - definitely a treasure, and a moment to be treasured. Very nicely conveyed.

Iron Bess - the dangers of trying to become educated, taken to a whole new level. I like it.

Cathryn - eek, great twist in the final stanza.

Krystin - indeed :)

Love the way you brought us back to flutter by in your final line.

H.N. - well that's pretty much the best reason to go away from the blog! As long as you make your way back at some point, I shall never complain that you're off working on a longer piece of writing :)

Very, very intriguing snippet you've given us here. Would love to read more of this.