The Butterfly

Trigger Warning: Some of this content could be disturbing to people who have experienced issues with self-harm and/ or suicide.

A dark grey mass swirled in the sky above me as I sat, crouched like a baby, in the wet alleyway. I slid my hand into my coat pocket, curling my fingers around the cold blade, thinly slicing my fingers as I withdrew the weapon. I held it in my palm, observing the contours of its hungry teeth, which dripped red spittle from my torn skin.

The sky rumbled intimidatingly as a flurry of water droplets began to fall down upon me. Within moments I felt like a wet dog. My attention was again turned to my knife as my mind despairing fought against the urge of self-mutilation. Somewhere in the distance or close by, a viola, muffled by the rain, played a melodramatic tragic melody. The wind carried the sound to my forlorn ears. The tune sang the story of a butterfly, with a broken wing, struggling though the storm. I wondered if a creature so broken still had a purpose. I felt like the butterfly.


I riffled through my bag and pulled out an antique flask of whisky. I cringed as the liquid burned the back of my throat, shivering as it trickled through me. A crack of lightning flickered across the sky, distracting me from the alcohol and reminding me of the knife; of my plans.

My hands shook as I took up the knife and gripped it tightly. I let the knife hover over my pale wrist before passing it over its slate. The first was too light: enough to draw a line on my skin from the pressure but not enough to pierce my damned wrist. The second time, I dug the point inwards as I traced the line. It stung, yet still did not draw blood. I was afraid. What was I doing? This was insane. Yet, I had no time for fear. I was angry. My wrist was my enemy. This was the same skin that had failed me again and again. It deserved to be punished and the pain demanded to be felt. The knife was hungry. It had tasted the blood of my fingers and now it craved more. I let out a staggered breath and-

I tried again.

Was there such a concept as ‘too far’ when too far was sought for?

Crimson tears pooled around the cut. They ran down my arm, dripping like a tap. The cut burned. I gasped. Then, it went numb. My eyes began to droop as if I were tired and the entire world began to blur. The feeling was violently blissful.

I slumped against the wall, uncomfortably crashing into my discarded flask. What was left of the alcohol leak onto the dank, cobbled street. A butterfly fluttered down and began to bathe in the liquid. Its’ deep red paint contrasted against the dreary street. And, it’s wing, broken. That was the last thing I saw as my soul faded, fluttering off into the storm.

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