Monday, November 12, 2018

Little Moth by Sarah Vestal


Little Moth

She found a bench in a sunny stretch of the park where children herded about in play. He followed listlessly behind, his eyes trained on the phone in his hand.
   
“Here, moth,” she said patting the bench seat.
   
The sunlight warmed her face pleasantly. She basked in the heat, stretching, and studied the park again. Her eyes hunting. His back slouched, his hand mindlessly fiddling with the phone. When her stomach rumbled, she pulled out the grease stained paper sack that held her lunch.
   
The pink meat of her sandwich had almost slipped from its place. She delicately dissected the sandwich, ensuring she didn’t lose the meat in the process, and righted the ingredients. The moist cheese stuck to her fingers and butter coated her palms. She extracted a napkin and scrubbed her hands.
   
“Have you heard from Sylvia?”
   
“Yes, in the summer,” he said not looking up from his phone.
   
“Her little girl was the sweetest.” Inspecting him, she wiped the side of his face then continued, “She left her last week and I took care of her.”
   
“Uh,” he said.
   
She wrapped her dripping sandwich and fit her mouth around a massive bite.
   
With her mouth full she continued, “We watched some loud and bright show while the oven preheated. And then,” she wiped her mouth after another bite, and pointing to a pair of boys doing jumping jacks, she said, “we did those. They’re great to get the blood pumping and the muscles working.”
   
The man didn’t reply as he dragged a thumb across his phone.
   
“Yeah, she was sweet,” she said.
   
“Yes, in the summer,” he said again. His voice monotone.
   
She groaned around a bite of meat and bread.
   
“You’re a terrible conversationalist.” Glancing at him, she groaned again and used greasy napkins to wipe away the blood that trickled down from the incision at his temple. She grabbed his chin and he did not resist as she turned his face. She inspected the other incision which looked clean. She was grateful that his hat covered most of her handiwork. Releasing him, he looked back down at the bright, colorful screen.
   
“Is your flame burning bright enough, little moth?”
   
Around this point they were all the same. A warm body to keep her company. The screen of the disconnected phone provided enough of a distraction.
   
She ran her tongue along the sweet meat of the sandwich, the juices ran down her chin.
   
“Uh,” the man sounded.
   
“Quite true,” she said drying her face with the bloody napkin.
   
So focused was she on the sandwich that she didn’t see the soccer ball careening towards them until it was too late. The ball solidly smacked the side of the man’s face. He blinked furiously a moment, until she righted his askew phone.
   
“Oh, dear,” she said.

Fishing the ball from beneath the bench, she did the best she could with the balled-up, greasy napkin to get the blood off.
   
“Hey, lady, can I get my ball back?”
   
She turned to find a plump boy staring up at her. “Aren’t you sweet?” She held out the ball. “Come here, little moth.”

-End-

Bio Sarah Vestal is a speculative fiction writer from the endless pine woods of Arkansas. Her writing is earmarked by the unease and peculiarity of the south. If you’d like to read more of her work or if you’d just like to give your eyes a break, then you can find her blog and podcast Twinbrain where she and her BFF discuss Stephen King, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and all things pop culture at: http://www.enterthetwinbrain.com/

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