The coffee cup floated out of the open microwave door, across the small kitchen, and rested soundlessly upon the redwood table. With one hand Cameron flipped the page in the magazine he thumbed through, and with the other he lifted the rewarmed coffee to his lips, took a sip, and then sat it back on the table. A slight snarl arched his upper lip. Too bitter, one would suppose. Another flip of the page was accompanied by the cup being replaced on his lips. A more slight snarl followed.
Skeptical Inquirer, the magazine occupying Cameron’s attention, could no longer hold it. He placed the coffee on the table, with his hands of course, and grabbed a cigarette. Two steps had him on the back patio, and a flick of the wrist brought the lighter to his open palm.
The resident hummingbird came swooping down, reverberating wings left him hovering just inches from Cameron’s wide eyes and sealed lips, inches away from the swirling stream of smoke pulsing from the tip of his Camel Crush Menthol, the green pack. A swoop to the left and a swish to the right, a quick inspection of the faux flower feeder hanging from the banister and off the little flittering bird went. And up came the cigarette to the now parsed, recently moistened lips.
Dragonflies skated on the sun. Purple ones today. Cameron couldn’t decide if the gold sheen was because of the yellow sunlight, or if iridescence really worked like that. The gossamer wings had to have been silky, nothing else gave such a shimmer. The darting trail left behind the dragonfly marked where it had made its kills, fed its serpentine body, and spotted its next gnat for consumption.
Cameron caught the streamlined bug. No net needed, instead he sealed it in a sphere of soundless force. The bug circled within the foot of space he had allotted it, dragonflies didn’t tend to fly in smooth rounded lines, and this proved no different, it zig-zagged and bumped into the invisible walls confining it – Cameron felt each of the bumps and every brush along the mental construct he had had formed, more so than the air that the cup of coffee displaced as he had moved it through the air, and even more than the idle beating of the hummingbird’s wings. After a few moments Cameron willed the sphere closer to his face, and with it the purple dragonfly enamoring him. It had felt out its confines now and could now dip and dive without running into the sphere of kinetic energy encircling it. The delicate winged creature held Cameron’s attention, the skeptics would have to hold while he spied the beauty.
“I could’ve crushed you, darlin,” punctuated by a smile. He held his hands as if cupping a ball in front of him. It was how he held the bubble-gum dispenser fish tank he had once upon a time, with the gold fish won at the fair and the tiny, little frog he bought from the Walmart – a little terrarium. “Glad I didn’t try to catch you like that coffee cup.” After another couple of moments, the space opened, the dragonfly skated away, and Cameron was left with the sun beaming down.
“Ooh, a butterfly.”
He bound down the staircase, not quite spiraling but a sharp, angular descent. The pale, white fluttery wings always in his periphery even when not in his sight, even with his back turned and his eyes wide shut. His foot landed on the last step and pushed off launching, not far, into the air towards the butterfly. The pretty lady flew. With his own flutter, of a finger, he nudged the flitting thing down the tree it searched for sap along. She landed on the trunk, pulsing her thin wings slowly.
Left without knowing what to do, Cameron stopped. Feet planted and neck tilted Cameron stopped and stared, just for a few moments. The fun with butterflies was chasing them, otherwise the feel of watching them became more cathartic, for Cameron at least. The paled thing wasn’t merely white, like his eyes earlier betrayed him into thinking, but a tinge of yellow rested upon her wing’s fringes.
“Purple, black, yellow. In the order.” Cameron grinned, toothy and gummy, and found his favorite butterfly. “Wonder what you’re called flutterbaby.”