As I walked up the hill, the gum trees loomed tall and dark on the roadside, casting weird shadows in the light from the full moon. Suddenly something caught the corner of my eye and I swept my flashlight in wide arcs around me, wondering if the moonlight was playing tricks on me. It did that sometimes, made me imagine things that weren’t there.

Caught in the beam was a large, furry moth. As it flew closer to my face I swiped at it, feeling its soft body flutter against the palm of my hand. I stifled a scream. I should be used to them by now; I often saw them around the graveyard, moving clumsily through the air, and wondered if they bred in the gum trees. They were bigger than any moths I had ever seen, their wings dull shades of brown, with two iridescent blue circles, one on each wing. Sometimes I would find their dead bodies on the gravestones and I would sweep them up and deposit them in the cemetery bin, while saying a little prayer for the lives short-lived.

From Where the Moths Dance


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