The Real Deal

The other night I sat out in the way-back of my friend’s house and watched the night fall.

All At Once there were hundreds of fireflies, maybe thousands of them in the trees surging up from within the infant dark.

We couldn’t see the trees, only the inky black and their lights flashing rapidly, brilliantly, violently silver; a thousand cameras silently screaming “The Moment! The Moment!”

A command full of shattered urgency, glancing from every direction.

My friend and I sat silently,

disquieted 

drinking too-hoppy beers with the empty-dark house at our backs

The the lights winked in and out of existence like willothewisps, dilating and contracting our pupils so quickly that we could feel it

She said “I just remembered something about this”

and I waited as she tap-tap-swiped the screen on her phone, her head luminous and disembodied in the sudden brightness. “Yeah, these aren’t the real deal” she said shrugging “These are bugs that imitate the lights to lure fireflies and eat them”

We returned to the silent dark. The Moment flashed on, glittering and magical but it was sad and mortal now.

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