“How to Become a Butterfly Martian” Dark Flash Fiction by Jeniya Mard

"How to Become a Butterfly Martian" Dark Flash Fiction by Jeniya Mard

First, find two butterflies. 

Butterflies are a crucial part of your transformation, you can’t fully convert without two, so find the biggest, healthiest ones you can. Make sure they're happy, give them nectar, a soft place on your finger to perch, and whatever else they need until a week goes by and they’re still alive and well in your care. Once the butterflies begin to hover around your room, land on your pile of dirty clothes, and stick their thin legs to the lip of your drinking glass, as if tap dancing against it, then you know it’s time. 

Second, set the table. 

First impressions are very important, so it's even more important that you get your scenery correct. If your kitchen table isn’t facing a window with clear access to the moon, move it into a spot where it is. Once the table is in its spot, make sure that all of the lights are off, including any cell phones or smartwatches; it has to be completely dark. Gently set the butterflies down so they lay on their backs against the table, as if they were in some sort of a frame. 

Third, wait until the moon rises. 

Once it’s high enough in the sky that your table is engulfed in the gentle grey hue of the night, pick out a metal spoon and take your seat in front of the table. When the moonlight is hitting your face through the window, take the tip of the spoon and place it in the corner of your eye.

Four, begin scooping. 

You’ve practiced it a lot of times, so there shouldn’t be any hesitation. Penetrate the cornea if you have to, dig into the back and sever nerves and binding tissue if you must, but don’t flinch. You wouldn’t want to scare the butterflies away. Continue until the spoon holds your eye, and allow it to roll onto the table, your iris shivering in the moonlight. 

Repeat until the second eye is out. 

Fifth, reach forward. 

It’s dark, but it won’t be for long. With what little breaths you can take in between the never-ending rush of blood gushing down your face and into your mouth threatening to drown you, take a hold of the butterflies, careful not to pinch or snag at their wings as you used your pointer finger and thumb to raise them. 

Sixth, transform. 

With their feet flailing before your face, place the butterflies within your sockets; press onto their backs with a gentle, asserting force as their feet and wings bob in an uncertain commotion, only for their resistance to stop as they begin to have a taste. Sweet like berries you are; they begin to dig, their antennas dragging against the inside of your sockets as they burrow deeper and deeper until the world suddenly burst with color; the crystallization of their bodies leaving you in awe; vulnerable and willing, all for the moon. 

Jeniya Mard is a writer from Metro-Detroit and has a passion for writing strange, thought-provoking pieces of fiction and poetry. She loves to push the boundaries of what traditional writing looks and feels like, often writing about topics some tend to steer away from, pieces that make a reader uncomfortable in curiosity; wonder. Her writing has appeared in The Central Review, Quirk Magazine, Sky Island Journal, and others. 


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