Love and Money

He held an orange slice between the pads of my fingers and cringed as a butterfly landed atop it. The thing had antennae like mascara wands and reflective eyes, so he dropped the orange and walked out.

“Where are you going?” Morgan asked. She moved slowly toward the door to catch me, trying not to jostle the bugs scurrying across the fruit.

“I can’t do this. They have eyes, Morgan. Did you see their eyes?”

The air outside of the greenhouse was arid. Sweat evaporated off his cheeks as he hyperventilated in the parking lot, bending forward to hold his shins. All he could see was furry eyeballs dangling from every tree branch and every untied shoelace.

“I have to shut the door so they don’t get out, Cal. Come back inside. You’ll get hit by a car out there.”

They were crawling up his arms, tugging at the blond hairs, using them as little stepladders leading to his earholes, where they’d wriggle themselves in and have a go at his brain. It’d been Morgan’s idea to drive across the river to see the famous Monarch butterflies that suffocated inside the moldy glass walls of the conservatory, and he’d followed like the sad, hungry puppy that he was, hoping to see her giggle at being tickled by filmy wings.

But this was not what he’d signed up for. He’d paid five bucks for a piece of overripe fruit and was expected to just hold it as the creatures tried to use him as a breeding ground or whatever it is they did. And now she was giggling within the glass confines of that humid room alone, and he was out here thinking about how he wanted nothing more than his money back.

Published at Goon and Darling Do Flash Fiction on August 1, 2012.


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