This is a very old thing that I just gave a bit of a polish to. It’s still not great by any standards, but it’s kind of sweet somehow.
The sky is so blue that it almost makes my eyes ache. From the open window I can hear the gramophone. A sarabande by Satie. The record is old and scratchy and the sound seem to come from very far away, frail and distant. The curtains rustle in the warm breeze as I lie in the shade, my skin caressed by strands of grass. The book I was reading has come to rest on my chest. My body feels heavy as I stare up into the mesmerising blue. Two butterflies, a bright shade of blue, flutter past my field of vision. I never knew that days could be this peaceful. It is as though the world has been emptied and I, alone, have been left behind. A fly walks lazily across my leg, stops and rubs a pair of its legs against each other. It tickles my skin and I blink.
Slowly, slowly, the wispy clouds float across the cerulean sky. They blend together, shapes shifting and interchanging. The grass is so soft that I feel as though it’s lulling me to sleep.
Another butterfly. The book is starting to weigh heavily on my chest and I push it aside. It slowly slides off my body and down onto the grass where it comes to rest with a subdued thud. The moment it hits the ground I find that I can’t remember the title, or the contents. It is as if I had never even opened it at all. The trees rustle in the breeze that lifts a strand of hair and leads it to my lips. I exhale and it skips up into the air before sliding down my cheek with a gentle caress.
My mind has been emptied of everything but the present. It’s as if I was a newborn, yet I feel older than the earth. Three more butterflies.
Who am I?
I find I can no longer remember.
Where am I?
This place feels familiar yet I cannot remember coming here.
Why am I here?
I don’t care.
All these questions make my head ache and I realise how unimportant they are. More butterflies. Cyanide blue. I remember something I once read: butterflies are high-born souls. I raise my hand and reach out toward them. It feels strange and I hold the hand up to my eyes. I stare at the dark shadow it makes against the bright sky, almost ominous, and irrational fears grip me, so I let the arm fall back to the ground. Now I couldn’t lift it again even if I tried. I can feel my body turning to stone. I will become an immobile statue. Ivy will cover my unseeing eyes and cold, dry lips.
I notice more and more of the blue butterflies, they flutter like dry leaves. The brutal gentleness of the piece being played on the old gramophone make my cold heart beat faster. It is getting increasingly hard to keep my heavy eyelids open. The wind plays with the pages of the book on the grass beside me. The soft rustling of paper, the gentle piano, the butterflies, and the achingly blue sky all blend together in my mind. They become pieces of a whole.
Five more butterflies. Suddenly, my entire field of vision is covered by a multitude of blue butterflies. They are blocking out the sky and the trees. They are all that exist in the world. The beauty of their frantic fluttering makes my heart ache and I am mesmerised. My eyes widen and I try to look to the side but I can’t move my head.
My metamorphosis to a statue is complete.
I cease to think, cease to struggle.
The world has disappeared.
Nothing remains but me and the butterflies.
I am cold marble and at peace.