Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: butterflies


Here, Brad (@Squidshire), I wrote a fanfic about you.


A thought stopped him dead in the middle of the moment, and he forgot what he was doing. He had been holding a knife, but he was not holding a knife anymore: it was safely lodged in the middle of a loaf. He always cut the loaves in half, in half in half in half until they were the thickness he preferred, this was his way, a thought stopped him dead: I wonder how things would go if I pupated right this moment. Another thought: Leather gets more grim the more you think about it.

He bought long bandages of silk and they arrived rolled up like papyrus scrolls. He half-expected there to be hieroglyphs, but it was just so smooth. Right this moment – perhaps a moment could be a few days long. Brad had always considered moments to be like loaves of bread, infinitely divisible. Maybe a moment was composed of several moments closely stacked together. In someone’s eyes, in the eyes of a very old tree spirit perhaps, his whole life was but a moment. He paused momentarily. What was he doing?

He was in the bathtub. He was wrapping himself in silk, a contorted dance in a small space, and he could already feel the new enzymes in his body begin to bite at him, break him down. This was good. People said you could not feel your insides, because you have no nerve endings there, but Brad had always felt inverse like that.

There was the issue of whether he should leave room to breathe or not. He decided against it, but he covered his nostrils the very last thing that he did, writhing around in the bathtub because he had wrapped his arms in silk and could not move them. And then he felt the oxygen leave him like a lover, reluctantly saying farewell, promising to come back.

He was in a deep sleep.

He had never considered himself to be divisible by half, but it turned out that he was. By half by half by half. His organs, once content to be contiguous, loosened their border policies and enmeshed. The silk was his skin and not. New organs were forming, like ex-Soviet states after the fall. He had never counted his organs before but he was sure there was more of them now. Something cracked. It was the sarcophagus he had made himself of silk; to think that something so soft could still crack like ice.

Brad realized that his life was divisible by half, and he had just heard the crack. The thought that had stopped him dead had actually killed him, and for a transitional period he had been dead. He looked at his wings in the too-small mirror of the bathroom, after wiping away the dust. There was a lot of dust to wipe away.

Neon Butterfly

The larvae of the neon butterfly crawl in formation, as opaque as clouded glass but not more. They’re a thin line up wooden telephone masts, over clothing lines, on the underside of precariously balanced planks, just to reach the neon-brimming signs adorning the faces of pizzerias or other greasy venues. In a concerted effort, the larvae wrap their translucent silk around one chosen pipe, and crawl in under the wraps, causing that single letter of the sign to flicker for a season or two until it pops, in the middle of the night, releasing neon butterflies into the urban sky.


“Come on, just bloody shoot me,” said the first child, impatiently shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

The second child was unsteady, resting the barrel on the first child’s shoulder.

“You need to blow my head clean off, pick up that thing and point it.”

He made some swallowing gestures but couldn’t complete the motion, and then he pointed it straight at her ear. “And you’re sure about this?”

“Sure as day.”

He pulled the trigger and there was a hellish noise and when he opened his eyes again, there was but a cloud of butterflies dispersing.

Social Moth

Social butterfly? No, a moth. Daytime, I wriggle and slip in-between and dissipate. The social lubrication ushers me; my smile, unfaltering, propels me. I hang from the ceiling. I rub up to people with the grease of a well-oiled machine. We intergrin, anecdotize, thank each other for the pleasant company.

Nighttime, whenever night is, all this liquid wavers within me, leaks out through my pores. I toss, turn. I never sleep. I hang from the ceiling, all my water rushing to my head. All my blood at the edge of my skin. I rotate. I burn my sheets after sleeping.