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The moth's end
Short story

By Majid
October 22, 2001
The Iranian

The day lingered on like the breath of death hanging over the graveyard. It was as if the ulcer of time had exploded and had briefly crippled its own invincible advance.

Her eyes were fastened on the door and would not relinquish their hold to any disturbance. She sat like a doomed empress at her throne waiting for her conqueror to storm into her world. The nervous twitch in her eyes the trembling of her hands betrayed the mummified look that had possessed her being.

The acidic memory of the night past had burned a hole in her consciousness. The void in her heart had widened by her own accentuated condemnation of what had taken shape. She instinctively knew the wage of surrendering to her temptations would be but a distraught state with which she would become infinitely intimate.

But in the heat of the night words had been spared the burden of life; no promises were made, not even one glance was exploited; and no acceptance of ceremony took place.

There were broken pieces of this riddle scattered all over her apartment. Her inner norm had been disturbed, displaced by unknown by unsanctioned. The solemn sanctuary of her life was exposed by the thunderous radiance of a passionate stranger whose footsteps she longed to hear.

The quiet of her imposing solitude was to be breached by the cries of a moth's wings. Its music brought an offering of reality before the foreground of her thoughts. She followed the doomed and brief affair of the moth with the naked ceiling lamp until it fell madly before her feet. It flapped its bruised wings incessantly; it longed to caresses the light but the shadow of death weighted heavily on its back. The blood of her patience ran out. She crushed the moth under her feet and then put out the ceiling lamp. Only then, the silence about her became wholesome anew.

Finally the night had lazily approached harboring the tale of the moth's end within its stale breath.

She had moved to her dressing room where she had begun to transform herself into an object of an uncompromising allure. Before the glare of a mirror her fantasy began to solidify. Soon the metamorphosis of her entire being was completed.

Suddenly a solitary knock at the door animated her into existence; but she was not yet accustomed to her new form; she could not move. A second knock followed. With great difficulty she managed to reach the door but dared not open it. It was the third and that last insistent and reassuring knock that gave her the will to unlock the door. The door opened slowly and melancholically screeched with a rustic voice. All that remained of the fleeing shadow was a white sealed envelope. She hardly managed to pick it up. It weighted heavily in her tiny new hand. She tried with difficulty to open it but she could not manage. She let go of the envelope allowing it to slide among the debris of the sensual rampage from the night before.

With difficulty she switched on the ceiling lamp. A crazed look of pleasure mixed with a tormented smile braced her face. She stretched out her new-formed wings and flapped them incessantly and begun her drunken dance; circling like a whirling dervish underneath the ceiling light.

But in the heat of the night words had been spared the burden of life; no promises were made, not even one glance was exploited; and no acceptance of ceremony took place.

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