She could smell the bodies burning below, from the butterfly room, where she sat. Watching, waiting for her turn. It was to be a future of flames. Did she believe in God, did it matter? Because not long from now she would find out, what awaited her on the other side. Would she know the place she was going, would she remember where she was when she got there? Would someone be there to take her at the threshold – where maybe…just maybe – her old memories were waiting. Memories of other times just like this one…where in the end, she was ok…perhaps. Or would she just disappear into the blackest silence she could imagine?
Yes, she thought about these things as she watched the unmoving butterflies on the wall. The ones she had carved with a sharp stick as the days slowly passed. The ones she remembered from the sky. That flew. Before. When she was free.
She was still young, and she was beautiful. Of course that didn’t matter now. Because all that was coming to an end. It was almost her turn. One body per day was the rate at which they killed and burned. Those like her; the dark and the evil. The ones cursed by God. They celebrated these deaths as blessed victories of their piety.
So her body became a cocoon where she hid. Until there was nothing inside but the sound of rustling wings.
The killers believed they were doing God’s work. Nothing else mattered but their fear of forces beyond their control. Whether that force be a God or a Devil it didn’t matter, only choosing sides and acting accordingly did. Which meant she was not on there side. Based on accusations and imaginings of what she did out in the forest. Unmarried, not clothed modestly. Behaving in ways that were inappropriate to those on God’s side. Yes, this was the idea they had of her and so; like the others being sent back to hell, she had to die.
In the butterfly room time was frozen and space was tight. Flaming crosses filled their eyes. Ashes and fumes rose as she scraped wings into the walls of her body…
imagining the flower on which she would land.
(life for her is my memory. she has no name)