Story: The Fall of a Butterfly

By: Vijay Johnson-Tanco

fall of a butterfly

From a very young age people all begin to learn, so they can work, love, and appreciate.

-Please don’t! I didn’t mean to do this, I shouldn’t die! God no!-

It is said that humans need to learn as they go, through trial and error.

-Yes! I pulled the trigger okay? Yes my brains are dripping from the wall but please, I’m begging you for another chance-

Poke! And my latest client goes to the abyss.

That is how a toddler knows what the feeling of warmth is when they touch the stove, or how a post-pubescent boy thinks he is a man when his genitalia is inside of a woman, or how an oppressed housewife realizes her life is over when a last droplet of blood slides from the knife lodged in her husband’s throat.

This is how we learn and live, it’s only a simple fact.

My only regret, actually more than just my only regret as it comes from a list of little mistakes I’ve made, is that I’m overburdened with responsibility, and slightly disappointed in the way I handle my issues. For example, I spent a small amount of time in Nanjing enjoying my stay until Japanese troops arrived and ambushed innocent, blameless civilians. Bayonets swung and stabbed multiple unarmed men of youth and old, gunfire went off, and killing a family of four, and a man who was well into his older years was decorated with gasoline. Like a Christmas light, the old man lit up, the only difference is that he was lit ablaze instead of glowing with a green hue. Unfortunately, I have the burden of deciding which souls will make their way into the afterlife, or who will stay behind on this earth. For those who are at the end of the rope, I give them a light and cold tap of my finger.

And then. . . Poke! Just like that, it’s all gone and I’ve done my job. It seems my career, out of the millions of others on earth, is of the highest importance, and the most miserable position in existence. My only wish is that I could’ve become like a man, with high goals and aspirations to become a doctor (ironic don’t remind me), or a woman with endless love for all living creatures, and to experience the joy of emotion. It’s an impossibility I realize, but seeing that old man’s skin boil away, sliding off his body and watching his black dirtied fingers peeling the remaining skin and muscle away, only to cause himself more pain by scratching at his bare skull and jaw, I was envious. Being what I am, I can’t feel emotion of any sort. No tingling of the skin when a butterfly lands on my nose or a fast beating of the heart when I enter a stroke. I can’t feel much of anything.

How I wish I could peel away my boiling skin. . . and feel my beautiful cranium for the majesty it was. The human skeleton is a work of art, and contrary to popular belief I am not a skeleton, though I wish for it each day. My figure is only a black cloud that is lethal on contact. Nothing more.

Love is also one of the grand virtues inaccessible to me. In my own unique little ways, I’ve fallen in love with several women. These females included near-death glazy eyed smokers, feminists who had a fetish for conflicts instead of the struggle for civil rights (Femi-nazi is my title for them), and of course my favorite being hedonistic sadists. I remember a young sweetheart named Suzie. This little dainty flower made love to her husband while a thorny black whip, composed of nine separate tails, were flung into the man’s flesh. It’s a very good, gracious, and general ideology that women are the most fragile fairer sex of the two.

Suzie perished in flames after stealing a cigar from her beloved, but I still embraced her in my cold presence. Though my stories may differ from what I try to convey, they still have moral values. I don’t particularly hate mankind, but I’m not opposed to my job, which is comparable to being a farmer. I search through my crops, watching them as they grow, or as they rot, and when they’re ready I pick them from the ground and decide what to do then.

Ralphie was the most extraordinary sinner I’ve had the pleasure of following. The man was large in the gut, shiny on the scalp, pale as the clouds above, dressed in riches earned from blood-money, and full of Jew-

“-ish blood! There’s nothing but brutish blood in those veins German lapdog!” Ralphie barked to a blonde blue-eyed fellow monster, as he was thrown past a gate that locked tight behind him. Here was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between prey and predator. Little did the sinner know, luck was the only force in this place saving his life, if the previously mentioned Nazi didn’t need to report for duty, Ralphie would be a twitching, rotting, maggot-filled corpse.

“Take heed my new friends, death cannot touch or hold a finger to me! I am invincible!” Ralphie boasted to his friends later on, simultaneously I was contemplating touching his flesh and ending his existence, but I didn’t. Those friends that my acquaintance met were only more expendables in the man’s scheme to escape.

Ralphie acted especially kind to the other lambs for slaughter, giving them meager feasts in his very basic household, this was due to Ralph still having old friends outside the walls. The fat lump held wonderfully deceit poker games as he generously took the few belongings away from the others.

“This is easier than taking candy from a newborn!” Coincidentally, Ralphie stole candy from the only three children present in the area, building their character and depriving them of the only sustenance they brought. Women in this place weren’t safe from the plump gentleman either, when the night fell and all was silent, he roamed the small area for women to “comfort”. Either by mutual feelings caused by persuasion, or promises to find an escape for them, which never came. Ralphie always got his way, always taking a bite from the forbidden fruit.

Black-uniformed hell spawns arrived in the early morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see substitutes for my job coming and knocking on Ralphie’s old wooden door.

“I told you Marcus! Get the hell away from me! We don’t have a thing to discuss!” Marcus was dead, I confirmed that this morning. Ralphie did hit Marcus a little too hard at the last party. . .

Aryan soldiers broke through the man’s door, letting themselves in and stealing all of Ralphie’s valuables. The bulbous flapping jaw opened, and out came curses and swears; the soldiers retaliated by beating Ralphie to the cold ground, taking him away. Technically the beating was capable for killing Ralphie dead, but I decided he deserved more precious moments of life.

Humans are dreadfully afraid of dying, which is an understandably popular belief, but in all reality I’m just like the sandman.

Get off me you blonde bastards-

All I give people is eternal rest from misery, hardship and toil, and my gift eliminates the need for any worry.

Beat his head in! Go for the eyes!-

It’s another fact of life that most people know; every being in existence will die off at one time or another. Why not enjoy the time left?

No more! I’ll do anything. . . leave me be-

What use is there in delaying my arrival by the doomed effort of finding immortality? Logic escapes the grasp of these mammals, and that is a brutally truthful statement.

“You can’t kill me! I’m invincible! I’m goddamned Ralphie Collins!” The Gestapo dragged him off and I followed closely.

I needed popcorn, this is hysterical.

The camp wasn’t warm, though there was a furnace, the land was blanketed by snowflakes, but the snow was warmer than what awaited, I could tell right away my attention would be needed here. A long while passed and my favorite tortured soul now walks past. The fat was fried away, a beard as white as the surrounding ground grew upon his cheek, the years have not been easy on him. . .

Ralphie Collins was now a fallen angel, stripped of his wealthy clothes, and left to rot with the souls he once wronged. Ralphie’s teeth chattered and clattered, grinding away at the remainders of his molars, whilst under his breath I made out his cries for mercy. “Please. . . angel of death. . . Let me pass on”

Nope. Not that any human could possibly hear me say anything, but I thought it best for Ralphie to have a nice learning experience. He reached his and out to the cold wilderness as I stood face to face with him, almost like he caught a glimpse of me. Ralphie was the prime model of the dead, his skeleton almost exposed in addition with the snow eating away at any warmth, he reached out at me with glazed over eyes, he was wishing I could take him from this hell.

I was the prime model of life, for if I could feel anything, my lips would be curving a smile. I would flail these old arms about, my legs jumping as high as they could, and the days would be filled with sunshine and bliss.

Ralphie held his hand out to me again, and if respect was comparable to raising one’s middle finger to another, I respectfully declined.

“Down!” A nearby soldier yelled in German batting down Ralphie’s arm. Orders were given to the prisoners and they all moved off, Ralphie as an exception to the heard. The decrepit sheepleton was motionless, standing still, and for this he was beaten down with clubs, kicked and crushed by boots, then thrown into a room with his old “Friends”. The other prisoners, people who had bought into Ralphie’s greed and treachery, had the chance to exact their vengeance. Ripping Ralphie from limb to bloody limb, throwing him over the fence onto the concrete, letting bloodthirsty hounds and speeding bullets finish him, is what the other prisoners should’ve done. They didn’t, instead nothing but kindness and love was given to this man who cheated some, claimed the bare flesh of some for his own carnal needs, and caused the death of several.

The snow dropped heavier and for once the events in this camp were so calm that a certain soldier, clad in black with one dreadful red armband, brought his child. The soldier’s intent was to instill the popular ideological belief back then, which was to “purify the melting pot”.

In the end, corpses are all equal to the maggots and more work for me.

The young infant got a close view of all the men, women, and other children blanketed by snow and heavy misery. “Father, why does this one stare with graying eyes?” the child inquired about Ralphie’s eyes, which were focused and fixated on one tiny object in the child’s hands. A succulent red-as-apples lollipop.

“Those people are not bad people father” the young boy protested.

The father argued, and they spoke against on another at each turn. I need it, thought the withering stick. Every thought Ralphie had advised against it, but basic primal instinct overruled. He punched the child off, snatching the candy with utter delight. Before a tear slid down the youth’s plump white cheek, fists, boots, and the butts of rifles, all violently bashed on this man. What teeth remained in his jaw, were yanked out with knives, his nails were torn away with these same knives, and lastly, every hair on his body was slowly and painfully plucked away.

After a while of torture, I decided that the next fatal event Ralphie endures will be his last. Ralphie was herded off to a gas chamber; he could meet his end there. With the beating Ralphie’s eyes ceased to function, but in that moment I could tell he repented and saw the very best of people in his fellow humans walking to their death. Ralphie was blind once, but now he saw the world.

Directly before entering the building of death sentences, Ralphie ran off from the industrial line, and with a smile he jumped. The cosmos and heavens were so close! What were once two purple lumps on his shoulder blades from the beatings were now fleshy wings with a 3-foot span for each. The wings were covered with pale flesh that was remarkably clean without a scratch. The underside of these new body parts revealed the inner workings of Ralphie’s body. Bones crunched together and every movement of his wings injured and broke more of him. Nonetheless, he was happy, but just before touch the first cloud above using his wings, that were ever so beautiful and monstrous to witness, a bullet from the angry father punctured his left wing.

The angel fell, as he did once before in life, to the ground. The father prepared a shotgun and walked to Ralphie. Three gunshots went off, and I snapped my fingers. Ralphie was gone, dead and gone.

Just a gunshot and Ralphie fell a third time. First from the heavens in life, then from the clouds in his second chance, and the third time he fell was from the earth, to whatever awaits below. This flying Jew has taught a valuable lesson today. It can always be too late for redemption, for goals, for life. One can hope and hope and hope, but I won’t do. I know from experience that this world will kill hope dead in its tracks. What can hope bring? A doomed flight to heaven. Hope will kill a person, it’s only a simple fact.

Just as a caterpillar goes through difficulty and pain to become the butterfly, so did Ralphie go through sin and punishment for angelic wings, with the same fate as a butterfly. Death. 

Categories: Fiction

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