• Maddy Rain

The Killer Moth

He covered his face as he walked through the slums. Smoke assaulted his senses from every direction. Sleek black buildings stretched into the endless night like swords on a battlefield. People looked at him from every direction, some with eyes obscured by a visor and others still with far more eyes than he had. He’d heard it said that there was a woman who lived at the end of the Bix’l district who could cure any wound and heal any disease. The vendors heckled him as he walked past, a few buy-for-a-nights came it with curled fingers calling him, come hither and though he was tempted, he moved on. He was now firmly in the purple-light district where darkness seemed even darker and where all the neon signs that buzzed above him were all various shades of purple.

Between the tattoo shot and adult toy shop, there was a small antique house. Smooshed between two sleek metal buildings that stabbed into the night sky, the antique house was silent without any flashing signs. He knocked on the door first, but he could not hear the sound his fists made when they hit the wood frame. Afraid that the occupant would not be able to hear him over the din, he took the handle and, seeing that the door was unlocked, he opened it.

Once inside, the door shut behind him. It did not make a sound. A hush fell around him as all-encompassing as the noise had been outside the door. He tiptoed through the house, afraid to disrupt the spell of the silence. Not a peep came from anywhere in the house. Stalking silently, he found an empty room with a rocking chair in front of a green flame in the center of the room. The flame was encased by an invisi-field. The room was warmed and glowed with the faint light of the flame. He reached out to the fire, but he froze, his arm halfway extended, suddenly filled with an unshakable feeling that he was not alone. There was a shadow that was not being cast by the chair or any of the objects in the room. In one swift movement, he turned his whole body around to look upward to the corner of the room where a giant white moth-like woman sat perched in the very corner of the room. Its large compound eyes remained unblinking as its fuzzy antennae wiggled.

I’ve been expecting you, said a voice from within his head. He looked to the moth creature and saw that her antennae were now pointing at him. You have come to me, seeking healing. Many have come before you. Many have never left.

Some other force makes him look around the room and sees man-sized cocoons in the corner of the room and notices now the scent of decay. He gets the sensation that someone has removed blinders from him as if he could only see these things now.

I am not a cruel creature. Only a creature that needs to eat. But I am a fair creature – despite my hunger – and I will listen to you. If you can convince me you should live, then you shall, and I will heal you. But if I deem you unworthy…

So, he began to tell his story.

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