A very short story about childhood, temptation, and the power of curiosity.
Disobedience; a Short Story
Billy ran through the bright meadow to the edge of the dark wood, chasing a butterfly with wings so yellow the sun seemed a pale shadow overhead. The creature would flit from flower to flower and slowly wave its gossamer wings as if to wait for the little boy to touch it. Every time Billy would reach a chubby hand out and barely stretch a fingertip to a velvety wing, the butterfly would rise gracefully and float to another flower, ever closer to the dark wood. When the bright creature finally slipped into the darkness of that wood, Billy stood poised at the edge. He knew it was forbidden for him to go in there. The dark wood was not for little boys, they said. There were things, in there, they said. It was dangerous, they said.
As he stood there, the wind whispered in his ear. It was the only sound, except for his own breath, that he could hear. He could smell the dank earth, and something else. Something he could not identify. Something dark and spicy that zinged with suppressed energy. He strained his eyes to see into the dark, but even the trees were unrecognizable. The darkness was so complete that it sat like a blanket of ink covering that piece of earth.
But there! Just there! The butterfly surprised him with its sudden bright appearance. It waited, its wings illuminated as if from within, only a few paces into the wood. The shining beacon flapped its wings joyfully as if to encourage the toddling boy to follow. Oh, to follow that lovely creature! To see things that only the yellow light of a butterfly's wing can show you! The dark wood was not for little boys, they said. There were things, in there, they said. It was dangerous, they said. He knew the rules by heart. He acknowledged his disobedience even as he stepped from the light into the dark and followed the luminescent butterfly deeper into the dark wood. He never looked back.