Contributor: Kathryn Broussard

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Her house looked like a butterfly.
That was all she could think as she stood in front of the only home she had ever known. Bright, unnaturally blue flames licked the clouds scudding through the night sky overhead. They blackened the stone, burnt the wood paneling, singed the moon. The air was filled with an acrid scent that reminded her faintly of sour milk and campfires. And there was that other scent, that metallic scent which brought to mind visions of dark alleys and shadows, claws and red eyes. The smell of blood.
Normally one would not notice the faint tinge, what with the roaring flames and the campfire smell. But she knew the scent well. It had haunted her life since she was a toddler. It made her stomach churn and her knees tremble. It was a bad smell. It was the smell of despair.
Sparks flew into the sky as a burning wall fell with a giant roar into the glowing wreckage at the center of the fire. She grasped the hem of her shirt as she watched her life burn. Where was the blood? There were no bodies. There was no death, except for the great burning butterfly before her. Her eyes flitted across the dark grass. Nothing. Was she hurt? She couldn't tell. The sight before her and the smells bombarding her nose were combining to form a swirling black pit in her mind, spinning around and around and releasing nothing that passed by. So there was no pain, no emotion, no thought. Just the butterfly, and the blood.

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Kathryn is a college-bound high school senior living in Texas. In her spare time she enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on, and when she runs out of things to read she turns to caring for her small community of hermit crabs.
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