Write a story that includes: a gravestone, a first kiss, and a butterfly collection…
*Bare in mind these pieces are unedited and not drafted*
I remember Mr Costello with his worn leather case and his smudged spectacles that clung to the end of his nose. He was always on the nine o’clock bus with the rickety suspension, his suitcase propped gently on his lap and unusual glass jars belted to his waist. Whenever the bus would hit a particularly uneven part in the road he would clutch the suitcase close to his chest with such concern; it was increasingly hard not to wonder what the weathered old thing contained.
My curiosities gnawed into my everyday life and soon I was imaging all sorts of absurd things; what if Mr Costello was an international spy, and what lived inside that case was top secret and for his eyes only? It would explain why he was so protective of it, but somehow his receding hairline and wrinkle riddled eyes didn’t convince me.
I took it upon myself to sit next to him, or rather my intrigue did. I was nervous and my words were almost inaudible, “What’s in the case?” His hands gestured into a wonderful fluttering motion, with fingers curling in unison to create a soaring-type motion.
“Feathers?” I questioned with a hint of disappointment. He didn’t speak, just flicked the brassy latch with his thumb and carefully opened the case. Several butterflies with great crisp wings dominated my interest; they were pinned neatly to a wooden plaque showing off magnificent iridescent tones of purple and gold. He chuckled with delight and I could see the pride in his eyes. He pointed at a label which lacked a glorious butterfly and a frown teased at his beaming smile, ‘Monarch’ was jotted below. My favourite one I believed was called a ‘Morpho butterfly’, his hand writing wasn’t very clear and I was unsure if he could talk so I’m going off the scribbled label. It displayed dazzling azure wings which were larger than the others and yet it remained the most delicate of the collection. It still modestly inhabits the left side of my dressing table as a parting gift from Mr C himself.
I visited his gravestone yesterday. The last of the late blooming caterpillars were glistening as they fidgeted over his eroding name, their tiny torsos writhing in the sun. A petite butterfly with simple auburn wings kissed his gravestone before the rest, I’m almost too sluggish with my jar but I manage to capture him. With his case completed, I can almost hear Mr C chuckling.