Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Uncle's Legacy

My uncle made butterflies for a living. Other custom creatures too, if the commission was high enough, but butterflies were his speciality. They would unfurl from their cocoons and shake out wet wings to reveal the most intricate patterns imaginable. A perfectly-rendered dollar bill print. Tube maps. Family photographs. Intricate leaves complete with veins.

He was an artist, but not everybody recognised him as such. Daily there were protests outside the lab. Frankenstein, they called him, as though he were crafting something monstrous rather than beautiful. The eco-radicals claimed he was playing god, meddling with nature. They called his work an abomination. And, eventually, they killed him.

It was a bomb that did it. Placed outside his house in the dead on night. It detonated when he opened his front door, and blew away the whole front half of the building. Nobody had ever known that my uncle had been taking his work home with him for years. From the shattered ruins a thousand butterflies arose, drifting away on the wind. Released from captivity, they spread like fire.

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