Excerpt: Girls, Cigarettes & Illusions

From the short story Butterfly:

My sweet Lila, how did it come to this. I opened my phone and scrolled through photos from eight months ago. She was holding a butterfly with black and yellow wings. A red band over the abdomen. We had gone to an indoor butterfly garden upstate. The red branded butterfly had landed on her hand and she held it close to her face for the snapshot. They were both so beautiful. In constant flux. Fleeting and finessed. Her hazel eyes, dirty blonde hair. That big beautiful smile that reminded me of a sweet young school girl—the one I had fallen in love with early on freshman year. I didn’t know it then. I knew it now as I looked into her eyes on the picture in my phone. My apartment desolate, a murder scene next door, and that sweet freshman girl being sought after by authorities. My God, death, and love had collided. That’s what life was: a never-ending collision of death and love. And I was sure that’s what heaven was—a spiraling staircase leading nowhere. You keep walking, looking up, into the light, feeling as if there’s something greater coming with each step. But that staircase keeps going and you keep stepping. Right foot and then the left foot. Like the wings of that butterfly, fluttering as her eyes did, that day in the garden. I’ll never feel, see, touch, taste, adore, or kiss her again. I fell asleep as rain began to sputter on the windowsill.

You can read Butterfly along with my collection of short stories, Girls Cigarettes & Illusions on Amazon.

 

 

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