Butterflies

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Some people flit from one to another like butterflies.

Submitted: February 21, 2016

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Submitted: February 21, 2016

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BUTTERFLIES

 

The butterflies went from flower to flower in an uneven, but not in a straight, line. The sun reflected their bright colours and gave the garden another dimension. In and out of the flowers they flew, oblivious of the stares of the guests at the garden party. What caught everyone’s eyes were not the colours, but the movements of the fluttering wings. The other insects flying around that sunny afternoon were bees, that went for everything in a straight line. Between both the butterfly and the bee, they managed to cause a sensation wherever they were together. The butterflies were silent, whereas the bees made the buzzing noise, announcing their presence. The afternoon wore on, and as the sky began to darken and the shadows fell on the garden, and the guests went inside to get ready for the dinner that night, the insects began to fly home. There was no sense in them still flying around.

 

Veronica and her friends, Rosa and Crystal, were doing their best to make the most of the short summer. The garden that afternoon, with the butterflies and bees flying around in and out of the flowers, had made them very happy. They knew that the autumn winds and rains were not far off, and the insects would be gone.

 

That dinner was one of several the women made, to keep up with what was going on in their narrow little world of not working.  The week leading up to the dinner, the house had been spring-cleaned, and the lawn mowed down to a velvety surface. Veronica was pleased with the result. All the rose bushes were weighed down with full blown roses, and the other plants were also showing themselves off to their best. Veronica had an elderly man who went to her garden to help out with the long tedious work. Veronica knew she was in the presence of an expert where Jonathan was concerned. He had said to her that morning, “This year will be excellent for butterflies and bees. Just you wait and see.”

Veronica looked at him, and said, “How do you know?”

Jonathan said, “The summer is hot and without any sign of rain or storms in the air, and there’s no night-time chill. That will come later.”

Veronica stared at Jonathan, and said, “I hope you’re right. I’m having a dinner party on Saturday evening, and would like everything to be all right. And the butterflies flittering around would fit the picture nicely.”

“Don’t worry! The butterflies will guarantee that all your guests will have a good time,” Jonathan declared.

 

In the coming days, Veronica walked around the garden taking it all in, to make sure nothing was left unattended. She hoped the garden would be a talking point - with the butterflies featuring.

The garden party went off better than Veronica had hoped, and the guests had all enjoyed themselves, some more than others.

 

It was from her love of butterflies, that Veronica’s friend, Rosa, made jewellery in the shape of butterflies. Veronica forbade them from touching what to her were precious insects. Veronica wasn’t a young woman, but in full flush of middle age. Her once red hair was no longer natural, but owed its richness to her hairdresser. When she was young, Veronica had tried making her eyes up to resemble a butterfly. The result had been startling, to say nothing of the effect it had on anyone who met her in the street. When after some years she discovered that, less is more in the make up world, the only butterflies in her life, were the ones in her garden.

 

Rosa had her own business, and the logo was a butterfly resting on a flower in profile. It had taken Rosa some time to find out what she wanted to do with her life, after being left to fend for herself when she had no employment. Rosa felt that life treated women in the job sector very badly. One of her work mates, had said, “We’re like butterflies. While we are young and lovely, we have men and perspective bosses flocking around us, but as soon as the first flush of youth has gone, then like the butterflies, we die in their eyes, and they find other butterflies to go after.”

 

Rosa found that nobody was interested in employing what was considered an older woman. The other problem was, that she wouldn’t be earning anywhere near her previous salary. As her children were old enough to maintain themselves Rosa, felt no obligation to take them into account financially. The search for a new employment was a full time distraction in itself.

 

One evening, Rosa began looking in her computer for anything to take her mind off her boring situation. The local colleges had all kinds of courses available for all ages. Some of them lasted an academic year, and others for one or two years, and others for a term. One thing Rosa was not interested in - was food. She had done all the cooking when she was married for her husband and her children, so she opted for finding something out of the ordinary. Hidden away amongst all the more practical possibilities, was a course lasting for one year making jewellery. At the end of the course, the students would be awarded a certificate. Rosa took home all the information relevant to jewellery.

There were instruments to be bought in order to be able to cut stones, and also some classes would be about different kinds of cutting, and their history. Rosa was not quite sure whether she wanted to take on such a lot of work, but she signed on, and went to the first class.

 

The teacher was a woman, famous for her designs and tutorials on YouTube. The first thing that Rosa learned was, how to make a loop. This looked easier said than done, but she mastered it, and then went on to the stones, and how to put the colours together. None of the stones were real, for fear of damaging them with the awkwardness of unprofessional hands. Rosa saw that Crystal, the teacher, had short painted nails, and she copied her. It definitely made working the pieces easier than longer nails. As the course progressed, people left, perhaps because it wasn’t what they thought it would be, and others due to idleness. Rosa was worried, in case she would be the last to stay, and the class would be cancelled.

“You don’t have to worry, Rosa, the course won’t finish, even though there’s only one pupil in it,” Crystal told Rosa, when the latter had confided her fears to her.

Rosa worked, and had more of an incentive than ever, to get on with the course, and become a professional jewellery maker.

When the exam was near, Crystal asked Rosa what she might do with the title, and Rosa had answered, “I’m not saying till I’ve got the title in my hands.”

“I’ve no doubts you’ll do well in the exam,” Crystal told her.

At that time, only three of them were left in the class, and all of them were keen to get the title and go out into the big wide world, and show anyone who was keen on jewellery, what they were capable of making.

Rosa and her two companions, of course, passed the exam. It was both written and practical. Rosa had made a butterfly out of small transparent stones, with a yellow gilt clasp.

Crystal went up to tell the trio they had got the title, and asked them if they would like to show their creations in a department store, where she was showing some of her own stuff. They all went for it, and let Crystal have their exam pieces. Every day, Crystal’s designs were on show and she managed to sell quite a few pieces.

 

One day a lady stopped and asked Crystal, “That butterfly isn’t yours, is it?

“No, it isn’t. It’s been made by one of my pupils from last winter, “Crystal said.

“Yes, of course. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. Has the maker a telephone number or an email address?”

Crystal said, “Yes, I’ll give it to you. Here it is.”

The woman went off, without even giving the rest of what was on show a perfunctory glance.

 

Crystal rang Rosa, to tell her she might be receiving a message or a call from a possible customer. Rosa was pleased to think that someone liked her work, well enough to want to get in touch with her.

 

The woman in question was a window dresser, and wanted Rosa to make a selection of shiny butterflies to dress a window in an exclusive dress store. It wasn’t quite what Rosa had in mind when she had decided to study jewellery making, but a job is a job - and it pays.

The woman was called Diamond because she wore so many of them. Rosa was bemused when she met Diamond for the first time. The lady in question, was standing staring out of the large living-room, when Rosa was announced by the secretary. Diamond turned round slowly, as if she had no intention of greeting Rosa. Diamond had silver-white hair, which owed some of its shimmer to unnatural means. The rest of her was glittery, with diamonds on her arms, fingers, ears, and round her neck. Rosa said nothing, waiting for the older woman to speak and show her hand.

“Please, sit down, Rosa. I’m a window dresser, and always on the lookout for new ideas and designs. I like the butterfly you made for the final exam. It isn’t good enough to sell, but the idea and the colours are what I’d like, to carry out an idea I have for the autumn windows. If I give you the details of the clothes that will be shown, and colours, do you think you could make some butterflies?”

“Yes, but butterflies are more for summer, aren’t they?” Rosa declared.

“The accuracy of the seasons in the fashion world, doesn’t always go hand in hand - so don’t worry. Well, what do you think? Can you do it, or not?” Diamond said, staring Rosa straight in the eye.

Rosa agreed with Diamond’s idea, but wondered at the same time, what the future held for her working with the unusual woman.

 

Rosa began making butterflies of glass in different colours and sizes. Diamond then incorporated them in her window designs. There was snow on the pavements, but Diamond’s windows were still showing butterflies. If there were any adverse comments, they were never mentioned to Rosa. In her eyes, Diamond was nothing short of a genius with her designs, and how she never let anything, or anyone, get her down.

 

After her first Christmas with the window designs, Rosa felt she was getting to know all sides of the fashion business. The Christmas windows with Father Christmas and butterflies, went down a treat, with many commenting, they were highly original.

 

Christmas came and went, and the sales were on. Diamond’s place was taken by a man who wasn’t so keen on butterflies. “What’s happened to Diamond?” Rosa asked the man

“She died over the holiday, and here I am. She was only kept on because she had been working in the company for a very long time, and they felt sorry for her.”

Rosa wanted to jump up and get out and as far away from the interloper as possible. But, common sense won the day, and she stayed till it suited her to leave.

 

In her spare time, Rosa made more butterflies to sell privately. There were white ones for brides to wear, and coloured ones for the bridesmaids. She also created a range for elderly men to wear as tie pins. The babies got: pink ones for girls and blue ones for boys. Rosa made glass butterflies for hanging on walls. While she was busy creating and making butterflies, both at work and at home, she was building herself a nest egg.

 

It was when the nest egg was big enough to live on, Rosa handed in her notice at the store, and left to set up her own shop. As with everything in any profession or business, getting anything off the ground is slow, and many who had good ideas but lacked the tenacity, got depressed at the slowness of it all, and gave up. Rosa didn’t give up, but she felt like stretching her wings and trying something new inside the creative world.

 

Now and again Rosa visited Veronica. She enjoyed the garden for its peace and tranquillity. When she returned home after being with Veronica, Rosa had a surge of creativity.

 

Veronica died suddenly, without any warning. No one had ever given a thought, to the fact Veronica might not be as well as she looked. The mourners, including Rosa, crunched their way over the gravel path, to where Veronica’s coffin was about to be lowered into the ground.

A butterfly flew over and around the coffin, just before it disappeared into its final resting place. Those present then knew, that Veronica’s soul had gone.

 

Six months later the headstone was placed over Veronica’s grave. Rosa and a few others were present. The headstone was placed in position, and on it was carved a butterfly. Somehow it gave movement to the solid block of stone.

 

 

 Rosa went home to her workroom, and began working on sets of matching jewellery.

 

One day a butterfly was hovering over a plant in a flower pot.

 

It was Rosa’s way of saying - farewell.


© Copyright 2019 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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