Butterfly Breezes: Fantasy Flash Fiction by cam
“This is going to be an awesome bonfire party,” said Jen. She and her boyfriend, Michael, walked into the Butterfly Breezes supermarket beneath the multicolored wings that formed a giant arch over the entrance.
“No kidding,” said Michael. “Sippin’ whiskey from a bottle, not thinkin’ bout tomorrow.”
“Got your fake ID?” Jen grabbed two grocery baskets and handed one to Michael.
“I never leave home without it.
Michael and Jen had it made as teenage children of upper class, suburban parents. They had everything they needed, pretty much everything they wanted and were careful not to associate with anyone who didn't enjoy the same standard of living.
They set off down an aisle, cutting off a young mother with a toddler in tow. Jen looked back over her shoulder.
“Some people,” she said. “Losers.”
“I hope the rednecks don’t show up tonight,” said Michael, referring to teens from farms outside the city. “They smell like pig crap.”
“Watch out." Jen, swatted at the air around her face.
“What was that?”
"A butterfly, I think. It was huge." Jen ran ahead. "Come on. It flew around the end of this aisle."
"What's it doing in the store?"
"I have no idea. You can ask it if we find it." Jen led them around the end cap and up the toy aisle.
“There it is.” Jen pointed at the toys piled into bins. The butterfly was perched on a something flat, square and red. It raised and lowered its wings as if beckoning them. Michael and Jen darted forward.
“Where’d it go?” said Michael.
“It just disappeared.” Jen picked up the object it had landed on. “I had one of these when I was a kid. It’s an Etch-A-Sketch, and look what's written on it.” Jen handed Michael the pad, and he read aloud.
It’s time the two of you learned a lesson.
He flipped the toy over and shook it, then flipped it back. The words were gone, but only for a few seconds. The Etch-A-Sketch rewrote the first message and added another.
It's time the two of you learned a lesson.
School is now in session.
Michael dropped the pad, but just before it hit the floor, the butterfly flew out of the screen and shot down the aisle.
“Do you think this is a prank some of our friends are playing on us?” said Jen.
“I don’t see how anybody could come up with that butterfly. Let’s get out of here and go to another store.”
Two things occurred simultaneously. The entire store contorted as if it were the reflection in an enormous, twisted, carnival mirror. The accompanying odor was something neither Jen nor Michael had ever experienced, and it was overwhelming.
They doubled over, gasping for air and gagging on what they took in. When they recovered they were no longer in the supermarket. Instead of customers, produce and shelves of goods, they were surrounded by grunting, squealing pigs, rooting and wallowing in the mud.
“Hi there,” said a voice from behind them. Michael and Jen spun around to see a teenage boy climbing the fence.
“Who are you?” said Michael. The farm boy laughed.
“Looks like you got pig crap all over your nice shoes, city boy.”
“What’s going on? said Michael. “Why are we here?”
“I get to teach you a lesson,” said the farm boy.
“Who’s doing this,” said Jen.
Farm boy ignored the question, and the butterfly landed on his John Deere hat.
“You don’t like us, do you? We aren’t welcome to your party tonight because, according to you, we’re rednecks, and we walk around with pig crap on our shoes. Well, city boy, it’s time for you to join the farm club.”
The boy whooped, and the pigs ran circles around Michael and Jen. Two pigs hit them from behind, knocking them down into the mix of mud and manure.
“Have a nice day,” said farm boy. He walked away with the butterfly still perched on his hat.
The scene contorted. Jen and Michael were back in the supermarket.
“Let’s go,” said Michael. He grabbed Jen’s hand and headed for the exit.
"I can still smell the pig crap," said Jen.
Their escape was blocked by a crowd of shoppers with wide, unblinking eyes. They parted, allowing the woman with the child to shuffle forward while the butterfly flitted around her head.
“Some people, huh?” The young mother looked at Jen. “That’s what you called us. We’re just useless people that get in your way.”
“No,” said Jen. “I really don’ t think that.”
“Yes you do. My child and I are worthless as far as you are concerned. I used to be just like you.”
“What? You were like me?” Jen checked out the drab attire, the messy hair, the stained baby blanket, and smiled. "I'm pretty sure that's not true."
“Yes, I had nice clothes, a handsome boyfriend and an attitude that sucked. Don’t you recognize me, Jen? I was your sister’s best friend.”
“Sara? No, that’s impossible, you’re…."
“I’m what, Jen? A loser?” The butterfly landed on Sara’s shoulder. “I got pregnant, and everything changed. My parents, my friends, including you and your sister, turned their backs on me. Now I’m just some people. Are you pregnant, Jen?”
“No, of course not."
“Are you sure?” said Sara.
Jen’s hand went to her belly, and she screamed. The scene contorted again, and they were engulfed in smoke and heat.
It was dark outside. A bonfire roared behind them. Teenagers laughed and danced to loud music. A girl screamed.
“Oh my god, who are they? Go away, you’re filthy….and she’s pregnant.” It was a party just like the one Michael and Jen would be going to that night, except they didn't know any of these people.
“Stupid rednecks,” yelled a boy. “You’ve got pig crap all over you. Get lost.” A hot dog hit Michael in the face. Someone sprayed Jen with ketchup.
The fire and sky twisted, the butterfly rode the smoke aloft and the party crowd chanted, “Losers, Losers, Losers.”
In the supermarket, Michael held the Etch-A-Sketch. The butterfly landed on the red trim and words formed on the screen.