Brody finds a butterfly on the sidewalk and doesn’t know whether he should step on it or not. It’s injured, crippled wings are still attempting to take flight on the hard sidewalk. Brody read once that a butterfly’s wings are patterned certain ways to protect them from predators. He also read that if you touch a butterfly’s wings it will kill them instantly. There’s no one around. There hasn’t been for quite a while which is unusual for these walks to school. Could she have fallen? Not many high trees in the city, not much greenery at all. The only thing the young boy sees is some bare bushes nearby, branches sticking out every which way. She seems to be an orange miracle. The only color in this dull morning.
Brody finds a butterfly on the sidewalk and doesn’t know whether he should step on it or not. He tries to remember what his daddy told him on the first (and last) hunting trip they ever took together. Scully, their German Shepherd puppy, was new to the hunt but so was Brody. The only difference is that Brody was much more eager to follow instruction, to appease his father however he could. Brody learned too early in life that you don’t get too close to a man with a loaded gun…or if you do make sure mommy is front of you to make it stop. Scully, merely a young pup with no conceptions beyond instinct, wanted to run! There was soft snow everywhere, so enticing and so new. The outside world never-ending in his little head. Brody however, even at six years old, knows that everything ends.
Brody finds a butterfly on the sidewalk and doesn’t know whether he should step on it or not. Much like Scully, there’s still life in her it seems. She’s crawling towards the grass, bottom wing in shreds left behind as she continues this trek. Brody remembers Scully crawling towards them, leg bleeding and useless and filled with metal behind him. They were both crying in the silent, empty wood. Scully was an early Christmas present from mommy, their friendship still new, but Brody remembers looking into Scully’s eyes and feeling his heart break. Daddy would tell him to step on it. He’d say, “Sometimes mercy is ugly.” and shoot it in the head. BAM !
A door slams across the street loud enough to jolt Brody out of that snowy day. He brushes his hand across his face, expecting the same color of red, and comes away empty. That’s always a surprise to him. Sometimes he looks in the mirror and sees Scully’s blood like face paint across his youthful cheeks. But mommy says that it’s only a nightmare, that sometimes they happen when you’re awake. Mommy promises that Daddy saved Scully and Brody wonders if it means the same when Daddy pulled the gun out at them. Did he want to save them too?
Brody finds a butterfly on the sidewalk and doesn’t know whether he should step on it or not. wings are still fluttering. He sniffs and wipes at his eyes with cold stubby fingers. After he squats down closer, he reaches out his fingers careful not to touch her wings. They’re beautiful. Bent and covered in holes and she’s beautiful. Without a second thought, the broken thing crawls onto to his fingers seemingly relieved not to have to crawl anymore. Her wings stretch out and start to flap gently. Brody read once that butterflies don’t feel pain. She crawls up his hand and settles into his palm, orange wings tickling his palm. Butterfly kisses. He can feel his mommy’s eyelashes against his cheek for just a fleeting moment before she’s forever gone again.
Brody finds a butterfly on the sidewalk and doesn’t know whether he should step on it or not. He holds her in his hands, careful to keep her safe from the wind and looks at her tiny eyes. They’re not as expressive as Scully’s. It’s merely an insect. He opens the side of his hoodie to shield around her and continues his walk.