by Acey

Disclaimer: Only borrowing.

On his way back from school one day he found a butterfly lying on the ground, one fragile wing ripped slightly at an edge, just enough to keep it where it was.

Schoolmates passed it by, more interested in each other's company, but he had no friend anymore to distract him from things in nature. He stopped walking and set his book bag on the grass to look at it, entranced, for it was beautiful there in its broken state. He watched it flail about helplessly, crouched down on the sidewalk to examine it more closely. The blue-green of the edges of its still-beating wings was a lovely color in the afternoon sun.

He knew he ought to prefer it in the air where it belonged, flying free, but there was a certain attraction to seeing it like this, seeing it defeated, fallen. It was as though paradise had rejected it, yet the butterfly did not understand and would spend eternity trying to get back up, beating those useless wings on and on as though if it gave its best effort paradise would open its doors once more.

So, quietly he picked it up, and tore off its wings to spare it the attempt.