He saw a butterfly today and it reminded him of her.

It wasn’t a real butterfly, of course. A little jeweled thing in a shop window.

It would be disingenuous to convince himself that he does not want to be here. He wants to be here, very much. He wishes she could be here too, but asking her to join him now would not do her any good. Nor him.

He thinks of a half-remembered poem about a butterfly and a moth. Lost in thought, he wanders into an unfamiliar part of town, where the streets are less even, winding up a hill. Distraction. This is ridiculous. He shakes his head but the imagery remains. Should he go back and purchase this little butterfly charm for her? Another gift? There have been many of those, but not enough time in which to wrap them.

Is the airship he pilots the butterfly, bearing him helplessly along in the air? The airship is not the butterfly: it is the moth. With thick wings capable of withstanding more extreme conditions.

Frustrated, he kicks the curb. No handy stones here to imbue with the kinetic energy of his unhappiness. No large swath of painterly sky, no lilac-tinted lover, no music because although the instruments for it are here, he cannot make them sound.

Later he returns to the shop window encasing the little jeweled butterfly. He will fly it over to her. Moth bearing butterfly, meta-winged. Not as impressive as it sounds, but it will have to do.

Story © 2015 Clio Em.

Read all the other Airships stories here: clio-em.com/airships

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