Limenitis archippus. Nymphalis milberti. Danaus plexippus Phoebe had a hard time distinguishing all those different kinds of copper colored butterflies. They all looked similar, but not the same. Today’s encounters: twelve. The weak gust blew her golden hair into her face while she took out the greenest apple she has ever seen. Grandma’s apples are truly the best she thought while biting off a moderate sized piece and the juice dripping off her chin. She felt like a doll in the new pale yellow dress with white elements her aunt gave her for her 15th birthday last week. She got so many gifts. A new queen sized bed. A complete collection of romantic poems by John Gether and she already fell in love with one of them. Greyest rainbow colored fantasy was its name and it was about a boy whose life was miserable until one day he met a fairy while he was chopping wood in the forest. Said fairy promised to make him the happiest man in the world with the cost of a kiss and he agreed without hesitation. The feeling she gets when she only thinks about the poem is one of the most beautiful feelings she has ever had. After she finished eating the apple, she wrapped it in the paper in her braided basket, she shut the book she was writing in and put it away. She looked up to the sky and she saw the sun setting and decided that it’s time to go home. Mother surely waited for her.

While she was standing up and getting off the dirt from her dress, she saw a glare flying around like a ghost light some meters way from her. The bright blue color was lightening up the meadow and the flowers on it. The curiosity in her drove her to the point in which she came nearer to the source of light and after she made some steps towards that, she found out that it’s actually a butterfly which was emiting light. To be precise, it was definitely a Celestrina neglecta, also called summer azure butterfly – pale liliac-blue color, white colored undersite and a black pattern on its wings. Strange, those kinds of butterflies are not really common in this area. She was noting down everything about the majestic creature in her leather-covered book – appereance, time of encounter, behaviour. She didn’t even notice that the insect was flying away towards the forest. After she finished writing down the last word, she looked up and saw that it was disappearing in the woods. Decided to not letting go and finding out more about that rare species, her feet started running after it and she entered the woods for the first time. “The woods are dangerous, do not enter them” was what her mother always told her. “You won’t find your way out ever again” She remembered her voice really clearly and the way she said it. It was too late now. She smelled the green, the soil, the fresh new flowers. All those scent impressions swirled around her nose, making her knees weak. Was that the scent of freedom? Or was it only the woods luring her? Who knows, they might be the same thing. She was running faster and faster since the butterfly flew more eagerly than in the beginning. The fern, the moss, the roots, everything she has never seen pleased her eyes. The forest is not dangerous at all is what she thought. If anything, it’s the pinnacle of pristine nature like God created it. The sound of squirrels searching for nuts, the birds in their nests twittering, the cicadas chirping. Everything seemed so beautiful and calm – only the radiant butterfly was disturbing the perfection.

Over high roots and between tight trees, through hollow trunks – she was chasing the butterfly until she saw a radiant light, a thousand times stronger than what the butterfly did. Her eyes were captivated by that beauty and she walked closer and closer. The steps were heavy and she took every signal carefully. After she came nearer she saw that the strong light wasn’t actually a light, but thousands of butterflies sitting on.. on what? Her hand touched the wood beneath the butterflies and she expected them to fly away, but for some reason they calmly sat there and Phoebe felt the warming light around her fingers. Her hand slipped down on the wood, covered with moss in some places and suddenly she felt something cold – metal. Her grip became stronger and she grabbed what seemed to be a ring and pulled with all her force. The butterflies suddenly started to lift and flew away and she felt like she was in a storm of blue light, trapped in a column made out of sky. She stood there, her look up to the sky and the warmth surrounding her body, her golden hair flying around, reflecting the butterflies’ radiance. With a strong pull,she opened what seemed to be a circle-shaped door and she couldn’t believe her eyes when she looked what that door was hiding.

It was basically a new world – azure skies, pale pink meadows covered in flowers, bright green trees with blooming flowers, a crystal clear lake with an island in the middle, snow covered mountains. Without thinking she entered the door and the first feeling she had was like she was walking on a soft leave-covered soil, but after she looked beneath her, Phoebe noticed that she wasn’t walking on anything, but that she was walking in the air. It was like she was flying and walking at the same time and it was a wonderful experience. Her legs felt strong, the wind blowing in her face, her hands touching the fluffy clouds. She was walking. Everything seemed so perfect and the surroundings sent her the strongest impressions she has ever felt. The lovely smell of flowers, the clear air, the wet soil at the lake and she could smell all of those while being hundreds of meters above them. Phoebe continued her walk through the landscape and saw more beautiful things the nature can offer. Huge white birds cutting the clouds, fireflies landing on the flowers and bees collecting their nectar. While following the trail of stones, she arrived at the entrance of a cave where she saw three men filling a cart with mining equipment and she floated down to them. One of them looked similar to her father’s friend Clark, while she has never known the other one. The third man.. it can’t be. She couldn’t take her stare off him, she was stunned by all her feelings. “D-Dad.. is it you?” tears were rolling down her cheeks while she grabbed after his arm and faced him. She would never forget that smile he gave her, caressed her cheek and turned. Phoebe stood there stunned and suddenly she grabbed after his hand, but there was nothing to touch anymore. What was supposed to be her dad dissolved into thousand of summer azure butterflies and disappeared in the sky. Where did he go? Where did any of those persons go? What happened? Her knees got weak, her legs couldn’t hold her weight anymore and she slipped down on the ground and tears were bursting out of her.

 

She got woken up by reality as she heard a familiar voice calling her name. “Phoebe? Phoeeebe?” the high female voice was shouting. It was her sister’s voice. “I am here!” Phoebe said and smiled. The book was opened on the page with Greyest rainbow colored fantasy and a tear hit the yellowed paper. She pulled out an old folded paper out of the book and stared at it for a couple of seconds until she held it close to her heart. It was a picture of her dad in a newspaper article. “What are you doing out here? Mom’s nuts already. Dinner is ready. Don’t you see that it’s darkening? Geesh.” her sister squatted down to her and put her arms around her. She looked on the newspaper article one last time before she folded it and put it back in her book. Her sister pulled her up and put her on her back. “Geesh, you get heavier every time!” she said and chuckled as she started walking towards their house. “Mom made a meat ball soup, mmh! You can almost smell it from here!” Phoebe could never forget the caption of that article – “Three men died and girl lost her legs in mine accident.”

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