Gift-Fic: Origins
Flaming Trails

Well, here goes – again.

Victor could feel his stomach twisting up in knots as he prepared to greet his newest creation. Or, rather, the sixth try at his newest creation. He’d been experimenting for a couple of months now, trying to find the right combinations of genetic and chemical alterations that would provide him with a riding butterfly. The first two attempts had died outright. The third hadn’t been able to support its larger body – it had starved to death by the end of the first day, despite his repeated attempts to bring it nourishment. The fourth had ended up malformed and in pain – Victor had been forced to mercy kill it. And the fifth – well, the alterations had worked, but it had immediately tried to escape and had torn itself to pieces trying to fly through a tree. Each time, Victor had quietly buried the body and taken some time to mourn before consulting his notes and trying again.

Now his sixth butterfly lay in front of him, waiting to be uncovered. Would this be the one that worked? Would he be able to stand it if it wasn’t? Only one way to find out, he told himself, and lifted the sheet.

The body seemed to be in good condition – the wings the same size on each side, the body, legs, and head properly formed. Victor, very cautiously, laid a hand on its head between its feelers. There was warmth there – it was clearly alive. “H-hello?”

The head turned to regard him, light glinting off the compound eyes. Victor held his breath.

Then, suddenly, the proboscis was running all over his face. Victor blinked for a moment, then realized it was trying to lick him. He laughed as the butterfly continued to lavish affection on him, its wings fluttering with happiness. “Hi,” he whispered, feeling a weight drop off his shoulders. “Welcome to the world, Ferdinand.”

The End