The Moth Room
He follows her home from the ball, trailing in the pitch of her laughter; bright as glass, bleak as snow. She's taken off her shoes for dancing, runs barefoot through the ragged streets, giggles falling from her lips and glinting in her wake.
The warehouse she leads him to is shuttered into rooms, each with its own door to unlock. Hers is labelled The Moth Room, and when he asks why, she stands on tiptoe to reach a high shelf, draws down a narrow box. "They're in here," she breathes. "Unless these are the wasp carapaces I collect." She fires a glance at him, and he flinches as he spies the sting in her eyes. "No, I'm sure of it, this is the moths."
At her bidding, he peels off the lid, reveals layer upon layer of little furry stiffs — some brittle and brown as rolled-up autumn leaves, others banded with scarlet and gold.
"Where are their wings?" he gasps.
And laughing, she spins, showing off the rustle and flutter of her nip-waisted gown, all the layers ashimmer in the glow of the moon.
writes: "I'm a British fiction writer, poet and journalist. My fiction has been published by magazines and in anthologies, and has been performed on BBC radio, across the UK and in Hong Kong. I blog about the art, literature and theatre I love at SkyLightRain.com