The White Moth, Part I

The moth fluttered and flapped its white, powdered wings with the severity of a wounded man.  Jackson could never comprehend why after so many years of evolution, if man could stand up erect—well, if he wanted to that is—that a moth, a simple creature of God, could not yet learn the difference between a light-bulb or a window from that of the true outdoors.
He had been watching the moth partaking in his death dance for about an hour, not having anything better to do at home.  Television was obtuse, books were monotonous and the profound humidity of his family’s country hometown was so choking that Jackson had the air conditioner up to “artic-tundra” in an attempt to bequest upon him some form of release.  It took all of Jackson’s energy to stay awake, but one of his pups, Ophelia had already lost that battle.
“That’s it,” Jackson blurted out as he got up, rather clumsily, from his prostrate position on the couch. He had grown rather tired of the moth.
He knew that eventually he’d get up and carry out this mission.  It was just a matter of time—promptness was not a virtue.  He clomped over the hardwood floors, making them creak and moan, as well as causing shelves to shudder, making his way to the kitchen-table lamp.  Slowly and with precision he raised his hands around the lamp, keeping a distance just far enough from the moth so as not to scare it off.  Jackson could feel the heat of the four minor light bulbs—individually they weren’t very hot, but thrown together they could create enough heat to burn yourself.  Then, with a snap of his hands, Jackson quickly clamped his cupped palms around the mislaid creature.
The diminutive white creature beat its wings harder against Jackson’s “trap,” not realizing that this comparative giant was trying to help it.

“Thank God.  You’ve been annoying me forever.”  Then, dimwittedly, Jackson moved in a way that landed the back of his right hand directly against two light bulbs.
“Ow damn it!”  He screamed, stomping his foot, causing the glasses concealed in the cabinets to shudder and shake together, sounding a song of high-pitched tones.  As rapidly as it arose, his brief outburst disappeared, and he made his way over to the sliding doors opposite the kitchen table.  Lithely, Jackson slipped through the door to the back porch and threw the moth up into the air, unable to see its line of flight, but sure that it had gotten as far away from him as possible.

The night was black as pitch. The brightest light came from the stars—Jackson detested it.  The one thing he loathed most was having to come out here, leaving his own haven in the city to visit his parents—he had had an adequate amount of corn fields, cows, and mosquitoes by the time he had moved out five years ago.  Just as he was making his way back inside, Jackson heard a dog barking madly—he had forgotten about his other dog.

“Hamlet!”  Jackson yelled out, waiting for the dog to make his wild appearance with a flourish befitting a Great Dane, leaping up the porch and nearly knocking down Jackson in the process.
Instead, the barking persisted for a few more moments, and then silence fell across the Lakeland again.
“Hamlet!”  Jackson yelled out again, this time getting irritated, cursing himself for getting a puppy.  He had no choice but to go off and find the dog.  His father would have told him to let the damn thing come home on its own, but Jackson was just like an overprotective father is to his daughter on prom night.
As he stepped of the back porch and into the verdant grass, a spray of water flew up and around his calves, water from the earlier rain.  He walked along the side of the house, passing by the small garden that he had started when he was 17, and his grandmother promptly took over when she got sick.  His mother couldn’t let go of it once she had died.  The floodlight on the garage snapped on, filling the driveway to his right with white, blinding light and revealing his old, dilapidated blue Jeep.  Then, without any warning whatsoever, the light snapped off, leaving Jackson in the dark once again, when Hamlet started barking again.

“Ugh, damn this stupid dog.  Hamlet!” He yelled out in one last attempt to get the dog to appear.  Then, out of nowhere, a large thunderbolt struck somewhere far off in the distance, when Hamlet charged Jackson, knocking him to the ground, his head landing on the end of the driveway, the rest of him on the lawn.
With a loud crack and a thud, Jackson’s vision went red and his head throbbed in inexorable pain. His clothing quickly became soaked through and through with rain-water from the lawn.  Hamlet whined and barked at Jackson, trying to wake him up. Finally when he started to moan with pain, Hamlet started to lick his face and slowly Jackson was welcomed back into the real world.

“Damn it, my head, you stupid dog.”

Hamlet started to bark again, and Jackson winced at the loud noise as it echoed throughout his head.  Before Jackson could gather himself Hamlet, started to wander towards the back of the yard and the woods that bordered the house.  Lightning kept striking around him, warning of a storm about to be released upon their small village.
“Hamlet, get back here!”  Jackson struggled to his feet and tried to catch up to the resistant canine.  From inside the house he could hear Ophelia start barking out of the living room window.  Finally, Jackson grabbed a hold of Hamlet’s collar and pulled with enough force to cause the dog to begin to growl, but Hamlet quickly quieted himself.  Jackson struggled to get the dog back to the house, but he kept barking towards the woods and whimpering.


1 Comment

  1. Hmmmmmm…me thinks this is a scary one!

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