Short Stories


The moths came when you left. (Flash Fiction)

The moths came when you left.

They flutter over furniture and between clothes like half-forgotten touch. They startle from behind the pillow when I move, and cover the doorknob as though not willing to let me go. As though you were not willing to let me go.

Or maybe too willing, and could never forget the last-time feel of my bedroom knob on your palm.

The moths don’t leave and don’t reproduce, but they also don’t die. They go gray, fading in color along with your memories (or are they mine?), some of them nearly white with details lost and bad times forgiven.

If I open the door, I think they will fly away. If I open the door, I think my memories will fly away, too.

Is life truly better with you gone? I can no longer tell.

The moths nibble my clothes the way you nibbled my ego, eroding clean lines and erasing straight seams until all is worn and frayed and dull. And I, uninteresting, fade like moth-wings and memories on the bed that once was ours.

Someday, you’ll come back to find me. When you do, my memories will swarm you, nibble your clothes and skin and hair, and fill their fluttering wings with the blush of recollection and warmth from your blood.

Don’t worry. It won’t hurt. It never hurts to fade.

Just ask the moths.

By Ruthanne Reid

Ruthanne Reid is one of those pesky fanfiction authors who made good, and thus eschews most labels. Except for being a Generation X-er (or maybe Xennial, according to some guy’s webpage), a musician who loves music but also carries a ton of baggage about it, a self-taught graphic artist who designs her own covers, a spoonie who wrestles Fibromyalgia not unlike yon Hercules and the Nemean lion, a Christian who hesitates to use the word because too many of them are crazy but Jesus is pretty great, a rabid shipper who’s too smart to lay out precisely which ships because of the wars, and an avid reader when she isn’t busy caretaking for some pretty ill folks.

You know. Unlabelable.

Currently a resident of Long Island City and a loving mommy to one current cat and numerous future ones, Ruthanne is happily married to a fellow geek who loves good stories and great games as much as she does. Between the two of them, they own a lot of things that need to be plugged in.

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