Author's Note: Due to someone's comment in a review, I'll make this clear for anyone reading this: "The girl" is at least 18 and "David" is no older than twenty. That is all. There is no pedophilia going on here.

Butterfly

The girl in the cream-colored dress laughed joyously as she skipped and danced along the forest trail. Presently, she decided that going off the beaten path would be fun, and with no thought to her safety, stepped off into uncharted wilderness. The sun shone brightly, golden shafts of light filtering down through the trees as she continued onward, oblivious to the fact that she was being watched.

Not too far off, hiding in the undergrowth, was a man with eyes like blue-green seawater. He watched the girl intently, a smile playing at his lips as he listened to her sing a wordless song. As he watched, he removed a top hat from his head. Sitting upon the ribbon of the hat was a purple butterfly. To most, this little oddity looked like nothing more than a broach, hardly worth a second glance. But as the man looked down at the thing, the butterfly's wings flapped once, twice. It was alive.

The man smiled down at his winged friend, and stuck out a finger for the creature to alight upon. With tiny legs, the butterfly crawled up on the man's finger, and then moved into his open palms, allowing itself to be cupped in his hands.

The man leaned down and gently whispered a few words, and then, with deliberate slowness, he held out his hands in the direction of the girl, leaned down, and blew gently upon the butterfly.

With a flap of its amethyst wings, it took to the sky, floating along on a breeze, light as a feather. It was determined to, slowly but surely, catch the attention of the girl in the cream-colored dress.

And now, we return to the girl, who remained blissfully unaware of her admirer in the bushes. She continued her singing and dancing, twirling in the shafts of sunlight, as if she were on a stage beneath a spotlight. She leaned her head back, eyes closed, and finished her song on a sweet, clear note, arms out wide in front of her, performing for an invisible audience.

As her eyes opened, she caught a glimpse of something purple flitting across her vision, before it landed gently in her hair. With a soft gasp, and a surprised smile, she lifted a hand up, palm out, to her head, and felt the creature tickle her hand with its legs as it crawled on top of it. Lowering her hand as quickly as she could without disturbing its delicate passenger, she gave a cry of delight when she saw who the creature was, for she knew what the coming of the butterfly meant.

Immediately, her mind was elsewhere, back to the days of her childhood. She thought of a boy with soft brown hair and kind eyes – eyes like the sea on a sunny day – and of the amethyst butterfly he had caught one summer day in this very forest. The butterfly, being a somewhat magical creature, had decided that she rather enjoyed this boy, and had sat quite contentedly upon his head for years, until the boy had grown into a man, and gotten a top hat. She had then sat quite contentedly upon the hat.

The girl in the cream-colored dress had not seen her very best friend in years and years. He had gone away after becoming a man, promising to return to her one day, and that day had finally come. Quickly, she spun in a circle, calling out, "David? Where are you?"

David, the boy from her childhood who was now a man, stood with a smile and pushed his way through the bushes toward her, clapping his hands. "I must say, my dear!" he began, "Your performance was excellent! Never have I seen such dancing, or heard such beautiful singing."

The girl spun again, and saw in front of her a man in a top hat, who had, under one arm, a cane of silver, whose top was shaped like a raven's head. "David!" she cried, running to him.

The butterfly flitted up out of her hand and flew in soft, gentle circles above the heads of the two friends, watching them.

The two of them embraced, David letting out a laugh of sheer joy at the sight of his childhood friend. "You have not changed at all, Darling," he said to her. "You are just as spry and beautiful as ever." He stroked her cheek with the back of his hand softly.

The girl found herself lost in the sea that was his eyes, and suddenly realized something that made tears slip down her face.

David's eyes clouded over in concern. "What is it?"

She smiled and shook her head, laughing a little. "I just realized… I love you."

With a surprised smile, his eyes softened. "Do you now, Darling? That's wonderful."

The girl pouted a little.

With a laugh, he asked, "What now?"

"You didn't say you loved me too…"

He laughed again, throwing his head back. "Silly girl," he said. And then he leaned down, and kissed her gently. As he pulled away, his eyes crinkled at the shock on her face. He said, "Did that fix it, then, Darling?"

Slowly, she brought her fingers up to her lips. She stared up at him as he continued his soft smile, and then she laughed a little, and said, "Yes. Yes, that fixed everything."

David took her by the hand, and they began to walk away, deeper into the forest. In a moment or two, a purple butterfly came and landed upon his top hat.