The butterflies drifted along on painted wings. From flower to flower, they boasted their stained glass patterns with pride. Frederick loved to be the first to rise.
Beating the sun meant that he could thoroughly enjoy the state of his garden he sometimes missed. It was when the early morning dew hadn’t yet dried up, that the fresh fragrance of flourishing, fertile flowers was at its peak.
Silently standing there on the deck, fully immersed in the atmosphere around him, he was quite surprised when he heard a small, groggy voice behind him. “Good morning, Daddy.”
“Mia! Why are you up so early?” Fred asked. Although somewhat worried, Fred was undeniably excited about the chance of his 5 year old little girl also coming to appreciate the morning ambience.
“I dunno, my head was hurting a little bit, but it’s okay now I think,” she explained, still rubbing her eyes. Mia didn’t seem to share her father’s concern. Before he could respond, she was already throwing her hands forward, pointing to a point of extreme interest. “Look daddy! Look! Butterflies!” She exclaimed. You could tell she was raised right. As pumped as she was to see her favourite thing in the whole wide world, she still tried to suppress her shouts, obviously as to not “wake up” the colourful creatures.
Scooping his daughter up into his arms, together they gazed at the breathing wings painted with a tame lilac purple, just a few feet in front of them.
“Mummy says they’re angels. This angel’s purple, see!” Mia giggled. She gradually increased her volume, still ecstatic as ever. “I want to be an angel! I want to be a blue one!”
“Hah!” Fred laughed. “Well love, you’re certainly not blue, but you’ll always be my little angel,” he said, planting a kiss on his daughter’s forehead.
It was true that Mummy believed butterflies were spiritual. She thought they were God’s way of helping us feel closer to the ones we’ve lost. For a while, Fred had also seen them as souls, shedding their previous restraining mold, free to spread their newfound wings.
But what kind of God strikes down on an innocent child, yanking it away from her mother? What kind of sick creator plagues a child with an illness so evil and forces her father to watch helplessly? No, Fred refused to believe they were more than just a silly old bug, creating illusions of beauty and elegance, only to die a few days later.