Monday, March 15, 2010

The Butterfly Killer

Flash Fiction - Unfinished.

She gazed upwards in delight at the quivering wings of a million butterflies. Sparkling, shimmering, vibrant colours. All on the most delicate of wings. Her smile grew wider as she used her fingers to nudge them into position. A thousand pictures created from swiftly moving wings, all for her enjoyment. A nod from her and they swirled all around her, encasing her in their faint caress.

The doctor looked on in disapproval. His patient wasn’t showing any sign of progress. Current medication does not appear to affect the patient’s mental state, he noted. Unresponsive. Time for ECT? He watched her a little longer, as a captivated smile curled up her lips, a soft cooing came from her throat, as her fingers twitched and swayed in response to nothing. Lithium next, he decided instead.

Lights and colours, colours and lights. Lights all around her, dashes of colour. Every sound its own special tint, every movement a new shade that glowed until it disappeared. The butterflies led the way, directing her to every new source of colour and light there was. It was magical. She traced colours with her fingertips, touched the pulsating vibrations of sound, all the while following her friends, the butterflies. They kept her safe and warm and happy. They fluttered their every changing wings across her skin to contain her within their love.

He could barely hide his frustration. Nothing got through to this woman. He only had one option left. Electroshock therapy. He was keen to see the results. Nobody had found success with her, they had all given up on her; if he could manage it… He was already mentally composing the papers he would publish about it afterwards as he signed the consent form happily, convinced he was going to save this woman’s life. He would review the situation after twelve sessions. He would know then if she was a lost cause or if he could still hope.

Dying. Dead and dying butterflies falling to the ground. Grey and lifeless. Aching. She felt each sting, each dark light of death catching more of them, striking them down. She wanted to scream but she didn’t have the energy, not without the butterflies. Empty now. The lights were gone. The colours had faded. No light, no sound, no colour, no joy. She was alone. Except for the butterfly killer.

The triumph of success flooded through him when she turned her head wearily and looked him straight in the eye. No more twitching, chanting, swaying or smiling at absolutely nothing. Treatment successful thus far, he scribbled in his notes.

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