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I reclined on the flat warm rock next to the cool spring water and bathed my skin in heat. The sultry sun smoldered and seeped into my pores and I reveled in the absolute comfort and sanctuary offered by its familiarity. I was untamed-wild-the epitome of freedom and strength.
Youthful and carefree, I dozed in and out of cordial dreams of adventure and tales of glory. Independence was all that pulsed through my veins. Consumed in this vivacity we know as being ALIVE.
I caught a glimpse of something colorful and moving in the water. A reflection. I looked upward at the sky and before me was the most marvelous, enigmatic creature I had ever laid my eyes upon. A butterfly, every color of the rainbow, with hues blending into one another and complimenting each other, ebbing and flowing on the wind. The scintillating mosaic held a beauty so profound I need not breathe another breath, for to live to only see such a marvelous beast would suffice.
But this vision of elegance disappeared as quickly as it appeared and before I could relish the moment, it was gone. And the magnificent beast lived only in my memory.
Afternoon became evening, and evening became night. I attempted to think of other things, but I was fascinated. I was captivated. I could think of nothing else. The butterfly, in all it’s wondrous hope, could not leave my mind.
I began my search for the creature that I knew existed. I spent every single waking moment looking for this butterfly, and every night I dreamed of it.
It became haunting. Was I crazy for wanting to see this creature again? I was paralyzed with this obsession. It was all that I could be, it was everything about me, it was the reason I lived. The colors dominated my mind. I looked all over the country, through forests, rivers and streams, searching, searching, searching, yearning, yearning, yearning for the deep blues, the blushing reds, the bright yellows, the burning oranges, the earthy greens, the rich purples, and all the colors in between. It never left my thoughts. I was fixated, captured, and intrigued by this butterfly.
It poisoned my thoughts. I saw the butterfly everywhere I went, all I could remember was it floating delicately on the wind, eerie and seductive. I could remember the silence and reverence that followed it’s descent through the wind. I could remember the thrill that I felt as it felt it’s presence, passing around me. Lunacy. Mania. A beautiful delusion in everything I did. This is what I lived for. My psychosis hypnotized me, but I began to fade.
Outside there was a storm brewing. Rain begin to trickle from the sky and onto my wizened skin. I could see thunder and lightening in the distance. I slowly made the climb up a tall formation of rocks to reach a cave that I would stay the night in. I was tired. I still loved the butterfly. Don’t overlook this. I loved it with every part of my soul. But I was wasting away, empty, collapsing. The air was wintery and frigid and my bones shivered in my old skin. My brittle bones shook and ached. I was growing older, growing sadder. I made my way to the back of the cave and gently placed my emaciated body upon the frigid ground. The lightening and thunder outside became frequent and loud, echoing within the cave and resonating all of my fears: you will never find the butterfly…
I gently closed my eyes, I would have time to sleep before the storm passed, so I began to dream of my love, my dear butterfly. No matter what happened, I would always have this symbol of brilliance and hope in my life. I would always be happy.
But at the back of the cave, I heard a fluttering. Could it be? Could it be the butterfly? My lovely butterfly that I had so long searched for?
I opened my eyes, and beheld the butterfly. It was transcendental. It’s large, beautiful, colorful wings were almost as big as my body. It fluttered gently. I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. I had found it. After all the years and years of searching for this butterfly, I had succeeded. I had won the fight.
But before I could comprehend its jerking movements, I felt something grasp my throat and throw me back on the ground. I looked up at my butterfly, my beautiful butterfly, my murderer.
There were claws upon my throat and I waxed and waned in and out of consciousness. I was dying. I began to panic, the horrifying black eyes of the butterfly stared deep into my soul, mocking my ignorance.
“What have I ever done to you, beautiful butterfly? What have I ever done, but love you?” I thought to myself. And in those last moments of my life, as the claws cut deeper into my throat, suffocating me, spilling my blood and ultimately killing me, I realized and recognized the butterfly for what it really was: a raven with butterfly wings.