Butterflies

Butterflies, for me, are like curses. Seeing a butterfly was like seeing death itself – they were a bad omen for me, indicating that a moment of twisted fate was about to occur. It had always been that way. I always call it the “butterfly effect”, simply because it is one. At least, for me. Butterflies are the only things I fear.

When I was younger, I loved butterflies like they were the only thing that mattered to me. I would be so happy if I saw one pollinating the flowers, and I’d excitedly call my mother over to see it too. If I had the camera she let me use, I would attempt to take a picture of the butterfly and the flower. It was rare that I succeeded – but when I did I’d celebrate.

And that all changed when the curse came for me. It was an ordinary day, no different from any other. But every bit different from the days that followed it. The butterfly began its reign over me on that oh-so-fateful day, as I succumbed to the power that it held on me.

It was simple, really – a butterfly flitted by as I struggled to stay alive in the cold darkness of the sea. I was but a mere child at a simple summer party, and as per traditions at summer parties in the household, it was held at the beach. So we went like every other year, and all was the same like every other day. But a single push ended all of that, as I fell into the water and struggled just to get out. Yet the tendrils of water held their grip on me as I struggled simply to get up, and flee doom. And yet no one, but a butterfly, noticed any of my struggles. Only a butterfly noticed my pain and misfortune. It was but a butterfly, who could never help me with my problem.

Sometimes, I wonder if I really was supposed to drown that day. Six years later, look at me now. Nothing has changed for the better, not even a little bit. Life is just the same for me as it was for my younger self. Call me a pessimist for all I care, but my version of the world still is the same as it was before, if not worse.

By this point, I almost want the butterflies to come and take my breath away. But the thing about the butterfly curse? It would do everything. Everything but the thing I wanted it to do. So here I am, for the rest of my life. The butterfly girl who fears then more than she fears herself – because really, it was just her fault that everything occurred. It was always much easier to frame something else.

I was always the butterfly who ignored myself.

– June 2016. 478 words.

Orolia Chronicles : Myth 1

This folk myth is native to the Srumibanu, or “Lesser-Earth”, region in western Orolia, near the border between Orolia and Scantia Anrenia. It originates from the war during which the two countries split, around 60 years ago, from a small but thriving agricultural town. The town itself is located in a plains and is split between the two countries, and the nearby forest is known to be rich in occasionally harmful wildlife, and is extremely dangerous to travel through alone. Even in the present day, townsfolk still choose to go in groups when they enter the forest, and although they no longer subscribe to the details of the lore, the folk myth is still told to children to prevent them from wandering in.

Once upon a time, there lived a young girl. She was a very merry child, and brought cheer to the villagers wherever she went. Although the town was hit by the war, and distrust amongst townsfolk rose as food harvests dwindled, the young child was willing to help as much as she could. She was willing to share with everyone, anyone, if they even so asked. Her kindness and cheerfulness brought hope to the town, even in the midst of the great war that turned their world upside down.

Now, she lived near the forests, and the villagers would go in increasingly often, as the previously-plentiful plains failed to provide them with all the food they needed, while the war prevented them from outsourcing to other towns nearby. Frequently, they would go hunting for food, and the young girl’s mother was one of their best hunters, due to her skill with the bow. Pitying the poor girl for having to stay on her own and wait, she was allowed to venture into the forest whenever she wanted to, although she never used that right. However, she did spend a lot of her time looking out at the forest instead, and welcomed the hunting party back always with food she made.

One day, while some villagers were out hunting, something caught her eye. A small speck of electric blue descended from the trees, right before her very eyes. And then another, and another, and another, as they cascaded down from high above. No one in the village had ever seen this happen before, and none wou Finding it interesting, she ran out to take a closer look, .

The small specks were in fact fairies, and she observed them with all the curiosity of a young child’s. The fairies were afraid of her at first, but they gradually realised she meant no harm. The fairies decided to show her some things in the forest, and she gradually went to the forest more and more.

One day, however, everything changed. Her mother had died, and in the town, the people didn’t want to take care of an orphan, much less a girl. As a result, she ran into the forest where the fairies greeted her. Telling them of her predicament, they took the poor girl under their charge.

The outside world never heard from the young girl again, as if she just vanished from the earth. They continued with their regular lives, the forest being a commonly visited place, but the citizens began to realise that the young children who entered the forest were beginning to disappear one by one. All those who had been with those children claimed they heard singing from somewhere.

However, the adults began to disappear too. That was when the town decided that the forest was unsafe, and no one was allowed to enter it any more. Most of the town believed that it was that young girl from before’s fault, and everyone hoped those who disappeared did not come to harm.

Now, there are some who say that any who enter the forest would hear the same singing, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a young girl in blue running around. Some also say that venturing in would spell absolute death, as the young girl lured her prey in by singing and did so without fail.

It is interesting to note that in recent years, there has been a rising belief in the interpretation that she is not a vengeful spirit but a kind one instead, especially due to her original nature as explained in the tale. Based on evidence found within the town itself and in the forest, it seems there was an actual event this was based upon – indeed, there are records of the female child’s existence, and it appears that the child herself later ended up in the Demoni caves in the eastern end of the forest and became a part of them. It is not currently known what occurred to her afterwards, as the records afterwards have seemingly been destroyed or hidden. Even her appearance is not known, possibly having been destroyed by her or under her command.

Lesson

Dearest.

When you’ve endured through enough disappointment, you stop being shocked when it happens again. When you’ve gone through enough just to survive, you stop trying to really live. When you’ve fought so hard for nothing in return, you stop fighting and simply give up. You choose to let go of the things you used to love – your passions, your very being, all gone down the drain. Because it doesn’t matter. You won’t get what you want in life anyway.

But that’s the worst lesson to learn in the long run, isn’t it? At the end of the day, you’re still hurt. You still stay in your sorrow, unable to save yourself from your personal storm. You want to simply forget, pretend nothing ever happened and nothing bothered you. You wonder if you really were meant to just give up like that, and you regret everything you do. You chose only to survive, and in doing so lost your will to live. You chose to run away from the pain and yet it only haunted you more.

In your quest to avoid feeling disappointment, pain, heartbreak and everything else ‘negative’ in nature, you shut yourself off from the rest of the world, surrounded yourself with the very negativity you wanted to avoid, and ran away from love, hope, peace, and everything else in between. Without your darkness, you distanced yourself from your light too, and left yourself in a strange grey world. Without darkness, there was no light, and you know that deep inside of you. Anyone could see that.

The real lesson you learnt was the one you hid behind that stone cage. You knew that to get what you really wanted in life, you had to live through disappointment, and if that meant being upset for even just a short while then so be it. You knew that to really find the meaning you hunted for, you had to stop at nothing just to get there, even if it meant facing failure again and again and again. You didn’t want to let go of anything, let alone everything. And yet you did, because you didn’t want to feel the sharp sting of failure, even though you knew that was a requirement to getting where you want to be.

You’re a good person, deep inside. You know that too. But the thing you may not know is that everyone loves you, and everyone wants you to stop being so hard on yourself. Everyone wants you to just be yourself, and accept things the way they are. They may not work out the way you want them to, but things happen for a reason and that’s okay. It’s not your fault. But sometimes, you have to remember not to give up. No matter what happens, have faith in the end, and maybe eventually you’ll find that the journey wasn’t so bad after all.

If you have to learn any lesson from all of this, I hope that’s the lesson you learnt. Smile again, okay? I love you.

April 2017, 507 words.