The Voice Issue 30: July/August 2017 - Page 26


Of course, over the years, she’d developed a favorite kind of butterfly. The monarch butterfly, the queen of butterflies, in her opinion. It was the best kind of butterfly there was. Bright, colorful, unique, it danced around in the clouds above her head, seeming to tease her with endless possibilities and questions. Her eyes were drawn toward it, and in the end, so was she. After seeing it she’d spent hours searching through magazines looking for the species name, and when she’d found it, her fascination only grew.

Monarch. The word just sounded good. Something about the rhythm of the syllables lent itself to being spoken. Olivia decided that she liked the sound of the word almost as much as she liked the butterfly that was named after it. Both seemed so odd, so colorful almost, if that was even possible for a word. They seemed to stand out against the mundane, something she desperately wanted to do.

Excited by the possibilities of this new word, she looked up a definition. A monarch as it turned out was a ruler of a certain area. It made sense to her then that the monarch butterfly, a butterfly she felt was the best species, was named so. It was the ruler of all butterflies. The best kind of butterfly.

This fascination with butterflies, especially monarch butterflies did seem to allow her to stand out against the mundane. Perhaps not in the way that most people would have preferred, but Olivia was fine with it. She was okay with being alone. If she was honest, she preferred it. Her own thoughts seemed to challenge her more than others would have, and even from a young age she had decided she was going to leave Fairview, Maine, someday.

She was going to be the fourth generation of monarchs, leaving the Maine coast for somewhere much more interesting, for somewhere much better. She was going to question things and get real, complex, fascinating answers. She was going to have real experiences, with real people, in real places, not this painted, white-fence town. She was going to really live. So why should she care what people here thought of her? Soon she would be leaving with the butterflies.

-Icarus Blackmore, Rutland, VT

Livia Ball, Essex Junction, VT