Moth

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

The picture was an old Polaroid, in that unique squarish format with the thick white border on the bottom. Mom had left it on my desk. She was downstairs in the kitchen, sniffling quietly. I didn’t really want to, but what choice did I have at this point? I picked up the old photo. It was dark, a forest, shot with flash. A thing, a creature that looked more than six feet tall, was in it. It looked like a giant moth, with a bug head with two glowing red faceted eyes, antennae, and two feathery fronds sticking out where a human’s ears would have been. It had bizarrely human-looking arms, which were lovingly (again, bizarre) draped around a small, pale figure. The creature’s wings extended behind it, several square feet of mottled butterfly wing. I stared at the female figure cradled against the thing’s chest. Half of a face was visible where it was pressed against the moth man’s chest. She was much younger then, but it was clear… Mom? She didn’t look scared. In fact, she looked content, happy, the edges of her mouth upturned. Who took this photo? So many questions. I went downstairs.

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