David Cleden’s story “In the Beating of a Wing” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 17 May 2019.
I work from home a lot and one day I looked up from my computer to see a pretty little moth on the outside of the window. I watched it for a while, assuming it would soon fly away, but it didn’t. It walked across the glass to the corner of the window nearest my desk and stayed there for half an hour or more. What fascinated me was the way its wings kept beating the whole time. It wasn’t caught in a web and stayed in contact with the glass the whole time, so as far as I could see there was no reason for its wings to keep beating. The longer I watched, the more I felt as if the moth knew I was there and was trying to communicate with me, fluttering its tiny wings in ever-changing rhythms.
It seemed an idea too good to pass up, and I started scribbling story notes right away. Before I could finish, the moth must have decided its work was done, the message sent, and it fluttered off. But we had shared our special moment, and that was enough.
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