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“Why the moth prince? Why would anyone call you that?” she sounded skeptical. You see, she had been raised to never believe in anything that wasn’t laid flesh and blood in front of her. A man being a moth was just absurd and the idea of him being royalty was even harder to swallow. “Because, you see, my sweet childish love, there are things not known. My eyes hold glimmers that arrive only when you I am the Moth Prince, And my name suits me well.” He unlike his name as he was of the rain that fell above their heads. in my past that you have have fallen fast asleep. her, sounded as sure of A fall it did.
“Ill be glad when you stop all this stupid bullshit, its getting old you know. You’ve ruined yourself with this stupid obsession. They are just bugs.” her eyes were narrowed at him, but he didn’t see them. “Look at yourself, just look.” Her words fell on deaf ears. For it had been a long night and he was in no mood to entertain people. He had spent most of his time inside, reorganizing jars and humming old tired songs under his breath that mimicked the wind that roared against the windows. It was his safe haven. No people stood screaming, begging and expecting only to find themselves disappointed in him. He had no responsibilities to tie him to the world outside of his room. Names were unimportant to him, most that knew him simply called him The Moth Prince or Moth, and suit him it did, despite what that foul girl had to say. He was thankful she had thrown her arms up in the air in frustration and left him be in his dark, warm room. It felt much safer without her angry words and condemning glances. They would never just be bugs to him. Never. The world had never before seen a man who was more moth than human, more dust and scales than flesh and blood. He was new to them. Made from their fluttering wings, their tiny buzzing bodies, he was unsettling to glace upon once the streetlights flickered to a start on the streets. They were a part of him. Their quiet songs ran like orchestras in his head and he had days in which he could hear nothing else. Whereas most men stood and gossiped about their sexual exploits, he hovered and purred and fluttered against the danger in his life. He was drawn to that which hurt him, which wounded his pale skin and left him with scars and marks that marred his surface. Those scars were his trophies. His victories. Yes, he was the Moth Prince and never once had he lied about it. The light bulb swayed overhead erratically. Flickering on and off every few seconds as he ran his slender fingers over the lid of a tank that had mesh stretched taught Page 1
moth across its frame. There was a short in the wiring somewhere, he was sure of that, but he felt no need to fix it. He never noticed the light anyways, he noticed them and only them. In the tank that held his attention were two beautiful Cecropia moths, a male and a female who sat perched atop a rather leafy looking twig. They were close together and buzzing so loudly that he couldn’t help but feel electrified by it. His pulse was in their hands. His heart beat only when their wings flapped. Shelves towered around him. Some great and wide, others weak and spindly. But they all had the same purpose. To hold up the large glass entrapments that held his love. Jars of all sizes and tanks of all shapes that held all that he knew better than anything else. Many were like the tank he leaned over, humble and dim, but some were smaller and darker, others larger and brighter. Not all of the inhabitants of those jars and tanks and containers were alive, many were, but quite a few were not. They were all his children, however, some had passed on and others had moved on to greater things with bigger hopes… They all died with a purpose and were kept to remind him of the great fragility of his life. If he were to be dropped or if his dreams were tread upon he would cease to exist and for this reason, he guarded them closely. He trembled with excitement. Soon, he thought. Only a few more minutes.
There was no noise in that little room other than the occasional crackle of electricity circling through the wires above his head. No, nothing made noise but plenty moved around him. Quivering wings that batted against their glass confines and begged to be set free. “I wont be apart from you forever, sweetest dears…” he whispered, his eyes, like pools of black were only a breath away from the tank. Being a part of the human race was sickening to him. They didn’t understand how vital it was, how important it was, to love that which hurts you. And love he did. Those lovely little angels of greys and whites knew all too well how his heart raced. Their’s was a perfect paradise, where heliotrope grew and flourished and it was eternally night. The flames didn’t burn and the predators didn’t prey. He couldn’t wait to be a part of it and rid himself of the world’s troubles. Breathing became harder as he looked at all around him, his eyes wouldn’t focus. It was time and they seemed to know it too. After all the waiting and crying and suffering, it was finally here. He could join them. He smiled and in one swift movement, grabbed the chain that wavered precociously above his head and tore the light from its station sending a short lived shower of sparks raining down to the floor. The was only darkness. In the night there had been an ungodly noise that could have been heard from blocks away, but no one listened. It happened just after the fuses blew and his one well calculated movement sent half the town into a blackout. No one knew why and no one cared to find answers. Glass cases fell and shattered all around him as he lay on the floor. They impersonated the heavens as they would shake stars from their place in the navy blue skies and send them tumbling to the earth below. Blood pooled under him, but it wasn’t red or black, but a dark, clotted grey. He was covered in them, all of them. As he had fell, and the light vanished from the small room, he had seemed to glow. Every inch of his skin was alive and emanating a silvery light that pulled them to him like invisible strings held by an ever forgiving puppeteer. Each and every moth he had ever loved found themselves irresistibly drawn to him, bumping themselves against him and sticking to the thick red wounds that stretched across his skin. His love for them finally found its way through his skin and to its surface and now they were a part of him, body and soul. Their wings, as they Page 2
moth struggled to move, sent veils of dust into his wounds and mixed with his blood. He was no longer a human, but their protection, their patron saint. When they found him, some many hours later, there were no moths to be collected, no wings to be picked clean from his body. No one could find a single antennae or even a speck of dust. Somewhere in the span of the night, when the world had gone to bed and even the loudest drunks had fallen quiet, the moths had affixed themselves to his skin, settling into his arms and legs and chest and hands, leaving behind vibrant lines of ink and scales. Their dust and scales became dyes and pigment that left his skin stained in every colour they once claimed. And as they looked upon him, misplaced grief in their hearts and a great puzzle in their heads, they didn’t realize that the skin stretched across his bones held the only proof that they ever existed.
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