It started with butterflies. Wings splayed and restrained. Proboscis coiled, but dormant. The softness, hardness, softness as the pins popped the abdomen, the innards, the felt. The crisp crack of Styrofoam. The tints of them, powdered on his every finger, cleansed with warm water and Ivory soap. “Good boy,” Dad would whisper, prodding, prodding under his nails until everything washed away.

[This flash fiction piece appears in our Winter 2014 issue.]