S. J. Webb is a full-time web developer from a little village in Leicestershire, England. He very nearly forgot how
much he loved to write fiction, but fortunately it all came flooding back a few years ago, and he is now making a
serious attempt at it. In between writing short stories, he is also working on his first novel. He can be found
online at http://www.sjwebb.com
S. J. Webb
No More Butterflies
I struggled to control my breathing as I wandered back and forth along the platform. Three seconds in,
three seconds out. I shivered in the cold December wind. The sun glared off the windows of the train,
making a ringing noise in my head. I inhaled, slow and deep, diesel fumes clinging inside my nostrils and
spreading to the back of my mouth. The taste of it made me feel sick as I swallowed, sending a sample
of it down to my stomach. The butterflies were in there again. Little black-winged debutantes, putting on
their makeup and preparing for takeoff. I wrapped my arms across my waist. This wasn’t the time or the
place to be having a panic attack, but it never was.
Pull it together, Julia. Everything is going to be okay.
Yeah, right. Who was I kidding? Everything was not going to be okay. I knew it wasn’t. But dwelling on
the fact now wasn’t going to help. I tried to focus my mind on something else: the boy boasting to his
girlfriend about a fight he’d been involved in the previous night; the old couple sharing a thermos flask
as they laughed about a pigeon that kept coming up to them looking for food; the clacking of suitcases
being dragged down the steps to my left. A man hurried down them with his three sons, holding the
youngest of which in his arm. He made his way along the platform and stopped when he reached me, a
look of panic on his face.
“Excuse me, miss,” he said, out of breath and flustered. He spoke with a foreign accent. “Do you know
what time this is?”
I thought it was a strange thing to ask as there were clocks hanging all along the platform, but I was
glad to have the distraction. I looked at the nearest clock and read out the time. The little boy in the
man’s arms waved his coloring book at me as he shouted, “Cat! Cat!” There was a cat on the cover of
“Ah, sorry, miss,” said the man. “I meant the train. Do you know what time the train is? Is it still 9:58
“Oh, yes,” I replied. “It’s still the 9:58 train. It’s running late.”
He turned on the spot and dashed for the train without saying another word.
As he clambered onboard, the coloring book slipped out of the little boy’s hand and fell to the ground.
The man was too busy struggling with his suitcase to notice the boy’s desperate pleading. He began to
make his way along the carriage, leaving the book abandoned on the platform. I ran over to pick it up,
and was about to step onto the train after him, but the guard blew his whistle and the doors closed
before I had a chance.
The engine began to get louder as I stepped along the side of the train and peered through its dark
tinted windows. The boy was being carried along the aisle by his father. His eyes widened as he saw me
holding up his book, his muted mouth saying, “Cat! Cat!” But his dad remained focused on his other two
sons and continued to ignore him.
The train began to move, the engine note rising as it clunked along the rails away from me. Poor kid, I
thought, as I looked at the book in my hand. I sat down on the wall and started flicking through its
pages, my previously troubled mind now fully occupied with this juvenile work of art.
The boy’s choice of colors was a bit of an acid trip, but he’d made a pretty good job of staying inside the
lines. About halfway through the book, there was a dot-to-dot page where you had to connect the dots
in the right order to make up the picture. But there must have been some sort of printing error as the
numbers that should have been beside the dots were missing. The boy hadn’t let that stop him, though.
He’d made several attempts at it, erasing the lines when they didn’t seem to be in the right place and
drawing them out again. But he’d still surrendered to defeat in the end. Never mind, I thought. At least
he’d given it a go. I left the book on the wall and got up as my train approached the station.
After finding an aisle seat on a row to myself, I flipped down the little table on the back of the seat in
front then flipped it back up again, just because I could and to make it feel like the space was my own. I
leaned over to the heater beneath the window and rubbed my cold hands together. For a moment, I
considered moving to the window seat to get closer, but I didn’t want anyone to come and sit next to
Yeah, I know, I’m unsociable, but I always seem to lose the co-passenger lottery and end up sitting next
to some weirdo. Like the guy obsessed with shoe polish who wanted to rub his tissue on my boots, very
polite though he may have been. Or the woman who managed to spend the whole journey discussing
her shopping coupons — discussing them not with me, but with her actual coupons. “Now you’re a very
special coupon, aren’t you? You give me 10 percent off my bananas and double reward points. I’m going
to put you in my special place.” Thank God her special place was just a section in her purse.
I much preferred to listen in on people’s conversations from a safe distance. As the station began to
move past outside the window, the usual chatter started up among the passengers — people moaning
about the train being late, moaning about politics, moaning about the weather — but then someone said
my magic words.
A little girl’s voice somewhere behind me had started by saying, “Is that lady pregnant, Mommy?”
“Yes, that’s right,” the (fortunately) pregnant (fortunately not just fat) woman had replied. “I’m having a
“Oh, isn’t that nice,” the little girl’s mother had said. “When is he due?”
“Only two months away now.”
Two months. I imagined myself having a similar conversation. The little girl starts off, “Is that lady dying,
“Yes, that’s right,” I reply. “I’m having a death.”
“Oh, isn’t that nice,” says Mommy. “When is it due?”
“Only two months away now.”
“You must be getting excited.”
“Oh yes, very.”
I smiled to myself wryly as I smoothed my hand across my waist, imagining the tumor growing inside me
was a baby. It wasn’t kicking yet.
The ticket inspector came and went and I sat, staring through the window for a while, the carriage
swaying from side to side as it corrected itself on the rails. I thought about all the times I’d played at
being a mommy as a little girl. Pushing my little plastic babies around in their miniature pram. Getting told
off by my mom for using real food for their tea parties. Using the same tone of voice to tell my brother
off for pretending to breastfeed them even though he’s a boy. What was it all for? What was the point
of any of it?
Yeah, I know, I was only looking at the negative side. My family and friends would tell me how much
happiness I’d given them over the years, and how those memories will still last after I’m gone. Yeah,
okay, that was something. But I would have to be a pretty selfless person for that to be enough. And I
wasn’t sure I was that person.
A subtle ringing roused me from my thoughts. An older guy on the opposite side of the aisle, a few
seats ahead of me, took his phone out of his jacket pocket and answered it. “Yes, what is it?” He
clenched his free hand around the end of the armrest as he listened. “No, I’m still on the train.” He
started to claw his fingernails through the fabric. “Please just leave it to me, sir. I do know what I’m
doing.” He was wearing a smart gray suit and had short silver hair. “I realize that,” he continued, “but
this really isn’t necessary.” He paused while the person on the other end of the line spoke, before sighing
in resignation. “Fine . . . Of course . . . I’ll do it right away . . . Very well, Sir.”
Shaking his head, he took the phone away from his ear and turned to look behind him. I pretended to
rummage around inside my bag for something and hoped that he hadn’t seen me watching. When it felt
safe to look again, he was leaning his elbow on the armrest, holding his phone up to the side and looking
at a picture of someone on the screen. I focused my eyes on the girl in the picture: long brown hair tied
back and parted at one side, a couple of strands hanging down in front to hide slightly chubby cheeks,
dark gray top shaped like a W at the base of the neck — it was a picture of me.
The butterflies in my stomach launched to the dance floor and began to strut their stuff. But as the train
shook the man’s hand, I realized from the way the picture moved that he was actually pointing it at
someone else across the aisle ahead of him. I breathed out in relief. Of course it wasn’t a picture of me.
Why would it be?
I leaned out to see who the camera was pointed at. There was a girl, who did look a lot like me, sitting
another row ahead of the man and facing back toward us. I got up and moved over to the seat on the
opposite side of the aisle to get a better look. She was deep in concentration, writing something down
on a notepad; very quick with her pen, not stopping for an instant. She had a similar hairstyle to me,
same color hair, just maybe slightly lighter and not as many split ends. Same shape face, same color
eyes; the exact same top that I was wearing, just maybe slightly fuller in the chest department. Or
maybe that was just the lighting. Either way, I thought, she’s basically just a prettier version of me. But
there was also something a bit ruthless-looking about her. The way she pursed her lips as she scribbled
with her pen. I wouldn’t have wanted to come up against her in an argument.
I wondered why the guy was taking her picture. He looked more like a pervert than a modeling agency
scout. I thought about whether I should go and tell her, idly flipping down the table on the back of the
seat in front. But something fell out from behind it and dropped to the floor between my feet. It was
another coloring book, the same as the one the boy had dropped at the station.
I picked it up and turned through the pages. Whoever had colored this one in had done it all with a black
biro and wasn’t even remotely close to staying inside the lines. Clearly this was the work of a very special
kind of child. But when I got to the dot-to-dot page, despite it having the same printing error as the
other kid’s book, this one had managed to complete it, apparently in a single attempt. The same black
biro that had wrought havoc on the previous pages had made neat, straight lines on this one, forming
the same picture of the cat that was on the front cover. He must have figured it out.
The next station was announced and the girl started rearranging the items in her bag. My eye was drawn
to the bag as it had a cat motif like the picture on the book. I leaned out to see what the man was doing.
He just seemed to be sitting there, tapping his hand on the side of the armrest. He didn’t look like he
was going anywhere. The station signs went past the window as the train slowed down, and the girl
made her way toward the doors.
As the train came to a halt, the doors opened and she strode past me outside the window. The guy got
up to leave the train now as well. I moved to the window seat and leaned forward to watch as he
marched down the platform behind her.
As other passengers began to board the train, a woman stopped by the seat where the girl had been
sitting and leaned over to pick something up. She said someone had left their phone behind.
“I know who that was!” I said, jumping up into the aisle. “I’ll take it to her.” I grabbed the phone out of
the startled woman’s hand and ran off the train before I’d even had a chance to consider what I was
I looked along the platform, holding my hair to stop the wind from blowing it in my eyes. The guy
continued to follow the girl as she went down the steps toward the exit. But was he really following her?
And what did it really have to do with me if he was? I considered giving the phone to a member of staff.
Someone in a railway uniform came walking nearby and I was about to hand it to him, when an electronic
meow cut through the noise of the platform, completely grabbing hold of my attention. A little girl in a
pushchair was being rolled past me as she played with a fluffy toy cat. She leaned out to the side and
looked back at me, her shiny blonde hair curling out from beneath a woolen gray hat. As her gaze met
my eyes, she cocked her head and winked at me.
The guard blew his whistle and the train doors shut. The man and the girl had both gone out of sight. I
bit my lip and narrowed my eyes as the kid in the pushchair continued to wave her cat at me. Sod it, I
thought, I need to know what the hell is going on here. I clasped my bag to my side and ran toward the
steps as the train rolled away from the platform.
I caught sight of the man again as I left the station entrance. He opened up a navy blue umbrella as he
made his way toward a footbridge. The girl had just reached the top of the steps, the sky above her
turning dark and gray. A drop of rain splashed in my eye as I followed them up the steps and onto the
narrow bridge. The man kept several meters behind the girl and I tried to stay the same distance behind
him. For a few moments, we were the only three on the bridge, evenly spaced apart and insulated from
the noise of the cars beneath us, our footsteps echoing under the roof. If he turned around now there
was nowhere for me to hide.
One by one, we descended the steps at the other end of the bridge and headed into the busy high
street below. It wasn’t a town I was familiar with. We walked past a busker who was playing a guitar and
singing something festive. Above our heads, Christmas decorations tried in vain to cheer up the gloomy
As the three of us snaked through the crowds, I found myself getting closer to them. The man was
slowing down as the girl went into a shop. He stopped outside the entrance and looked in through the
clear glass shop front. I continued behind him, taking a quick glance over my shoulder as I passed. I was
sure he was following her now. I went into the shop through the second entrance and hoped he hadn’t
The place was fairly large; selling newspapers, magazines, stationary and the like. A large area around
the tills was dedicated to Christmas-related things. The girl had gone down the aisle on the opposite side
of the shop as the man stood motionless, staring at her from beneath his umbrella.
Okay, this is my chance, I thought. If I can get close enough to talk to her without him seeing me, I can
give her back her phone and tell her about the creepy stalker guy.
I made my way along the aisle on my side of the shop, weaving through the customers who were
browsing the Christmas cards, and crossed over to the centre aisle, out of sight of the man outside. I
stepped into the gap before the final aisle and peered around the corner, being careful not to lean my
head out where he could see me. The girl stood a little farther along from me, looking at something she
had picked up off the shelves.
I tried to figure out what I should say to her as I fiddled with her phone in my hand. I thought it would
be less weird if I told her I’d seen her drop the phone in the shop. But then how would I tell her about
the guy who’d been following her? I suddenly felt like I was the one acting strangely.
I gasped as the phone vibrated in my hand. I checked to see if the girl had heard me, but she stepped
along the aisle, continuing to browse the shelves.
The screen on the phone said: “Office calling . . .” I took a step back, so that the girl wouldn’t see me if
she turned, and was surprised to realize that my thumb had pressed the answer button. A tinny “hello?”
emitted from the speaker and I hesitantly raised it to my ear.
“Caroline?” it said. A man’s voice.
“Hi,” I answered.
“Erm . . .” Now what do I say? “It’s Julia. I —”
“Oh, she left her phone behind. I’m just trying to find her.”
“I can’t believe this! Where is she? Where are you?”
“I think she must be around here somewhere,” I said, peering back around the corner. The girl, who I
now knew to be Caroline, continued to saunter down the aisle away from me. I didn’t think she could
hear me. I wondered why the man was so frantic. “Is everything okay?”
“Hold on a moment,” he said, and the line went quiet.
My eyes focused for the first time on the shelving display I was standing beside. It was absolutely
overflowing with cats. Big fluffy toy cats, cat t-shirts, cat calendars, pens with cats on the top, cat mugs,
cat lunch boxes. Okay, I thought, seriously now, what is it with all the cats? The little boy with the cat
coloring book, the same cat coloring book again on the train, the cat on the side of the girl’s bag, the
little girl with the meowing toy cat in the pushchair and now this. What was going on? Trust me to get
the dot-to-dot picture with all the numbers missing.
“Are you still there?” The guy was back on the phone.
“Yes, I’m still here,” I said, still frowning at the feline display before me. “What’s going on?”
“Listen to me,” he said. “I don’t know who you are, but you’ve got to find Caroline and get her to call me
I checked around the corner again, but Caroline was no longer there. I went to the other side, but she
wasn’t there either.
“Hello?” said the voice on the phone. “Are you still there?”
“Yes, I’m still here,” I replied, walking along the aisle toward the back of the shop as I tried to relocate
her. “Why do you need to find her? What’s going on?”
“She may be in some danger. Please, just try to find her and get her to call me back.”
I had checked every aisle now. She must have left the shop.
“Have you got that?”
“Okay, got it,” I said. “I’ll get her to call you back.” I hung up the phone and dashed back out of the
Looking up and down the street, I couldn’t see Caroline or the man with the umbrella. They’d both just
vanished. My eyes began to water from being out in the cold again. A few more spots of rain now blotted
across the pavement, but the guitar continued to play. I stepped out into the centre of the street and
scanned through the crowds as they bustled and bumped around me. Many more umbrellas now moved
from shop to shop, but none of them matched the one I was looking for.
My eyes locked onto a sign that stuck out above a shop in the distance. It was in the shape of a cat’s
head. Okay, I thought, that must be it. All of this is weirder than hell, but she must have gone there.
The sign stood out like a beacon. As I hurried toward the shop, I caught sight of the navy blue dome
twisting outside the shop opposite. The man was watching from across the street.
This really is it, I thought. I have to make my move now. I slowed down as I neared the shop’s entrance
and, as the man glanced away, I barged past a shopper and ran through the doorway.
The shop was a small, brightly-lit fashion boutique. I ducked behind a shelving display, which stood to
one side filled with handbags, and nearly ran into a girl who was trying one out in a mirror. Despite my
apology, she scowled at me as she put the bag back on the shelf and tottered off across the shiny
wooden floor. There were only two or three other people in the shop. Caroline stood directly ahead with
her back to me, looking at the coats that were hung up on the rear wall.
I watched as she lifted an elegant black duffel coat off the rack and turned it around, assessing the fabric
with her fingers. She held out one of its sleeves and shifted her weight to the other hip, her head tilting
to one side in contemplation. I unconsciously did the same, beginning to feel like her shadow.
She let the sleeve drop and went into the changing rooms at the back. I decided to go for it. The man
outside didn’t know who I was, and this was probably my only chance to talk to her without him seeing.
As long as I acted casually, he wouldn’t pay any attention to me. I held my breath as I went around the
table, picked up a random top from the racks and continued through to the changing rooms.
Inside, the clink of a coat hanger came from behind the only gray curtain that was drawn. I weighed the
phone in my hand as I stepped closer, wetting my lips with my tongue and considering what to say.
Before I’d decided, I was already pulling back the edge of the curtain and peering through at Caroline’s
reflection in the mirror. She froze. She’d seen me instantly.
“What the . . . ?” She turned around to face me and grabbed her handbag off the floor.
“It’s okay,” I said. “I just want to talk to you.” I stepped inside and pulled the curtain closed behind me.
As I turned back, she pulled her keys out of her bag and held up the sharp end of one, defensively. Oh
great, I thought. Now she thinks I’m trying to rob her. I held up my hands to calm her. “No, it’s okay. I
found your phone.”
I held it out to her. She frowned and tilted her head to the side before taking it from my hand. I watched
as she pressed a few buttons, reassuring herself that it actually was her phone. She was wearing the
coat that she had picked up in the shop. It suited her perfectly. Images flashed through my mind of her
living out a full, long life, looking gorgeous and fashionable throughout. I wondered what clothes they
would dress me in for my funeral.
“Where did you find it?” she asked.
“Well . . . ” I thought again about telling her that she’d dropped it in the shop, but I decided it was best
to stick to the truth. “To be honest, it was back on the train.” She glanced to the side and I could tell
she was processing how long ago that was. “But, Caroline, listen.” Her eyes flicked back to mine.
“How do you know my name?”
“Someone called you. I answered the phone — but listen,” I said. “Back on the train, this weird guy was
taking a picture of you.”
“What guy?” She started to look at me suspiciously again.
“I don’t know who he was, but he’s been following you. Ever since you got off the train, he’s been
following you. He’s outside the shop right now.”
She narrowed her eyes at me. “What is this?” she said. “Some kind of a scam?”
She had every right to think that. I must have seemed dodgy as hell to her. I was struggling to know
what to say to convince her. “No, listen,” I said. “A guy from your office rang. He said you were in
danger. He wanted me to find you and get you to call him back.”
She looked down at the phone. She still held the key clenched in her other hand.
“Please, just call him back,” I said. “I’m sure he can tell you what’s going on.”
She breathed out through her nose and pouted her lips. “My office called this phone?”
“And it was the last number to call?”
“Yes. No one else called.”
She pressed a couple of the phone’s buttons and I realized that she must have been checking the call
“Okay,” she said, “I’m calling them back.”
She lifted the handset to her ear and scrutinized the expression on my face as she waited for someone
to answer. The barely audible sound of an automated message emanated from the speaker.
“All the lines are busy,” she said, hanging up the phone. “Look, I’m not sure whether I believe you or
not. I’m sure you can understand this is a bit of a strange situation.”
“I know . . . ”
“If you genuinely have just found my phone, and you are telling me the truth, then I’m very grateful that
you’ve found me and brought it back to me.” I felt relieved that she seemed to be taking control of
“Just keep trying to call your office,” I said.
“Okay, I will,” she replied. “But I think it’s probably best that you leave now.” She lowered her keys
slightly. “Again, I don’t mean to offend you. But it is just a little . . . weird.” She offered me a smile, and I
returned it and nodded.
“Yeah, I know. It’s okay.”
I left, thinking I had done everything that I could and that she would now call her office and everything
would get sorted out. But as I was about to return to the shop, I remembered the guy still standing
outside with his umbrella. I still didn’t know who he was or what was really going on. I didn’t think I could
just go back to the station and forget about it all.
I decided to hide in one of the other changing rooms until Caroline came out, and then continue to follow
her. I quietly drew the curtain behind me and turned to look at myself in the mirror. Seeing my familiar
face staring back at me, I suddenly became aware of everything that I had just done: following some
weird stalker guy around; getting involved in some potentially dangerous situation that I still didn’t really
understand. I braced myself for another panic attack, but it didn’t come. I slid my hand across my waist
and patted it as my mouth threatened a smile. No more butterflies, I thought. Those foxy little black-
winged ladies were gone.
After hearing Caroline leave, I watched from the changing rooms as she went over to the till. The girl who
was serving her said she might want to wear the coat out, as it was now raining heavily outside. I
couldn’t see the man from where I stood. I wondered whether he might have gone. Everything was
starting to seem more normal again.
Caroline wore the coat as she went to the front of the shop and raised the hood before going out into
the rain. I followed after her, but stopped in the shelter of the shop’s entrance, reluctant to leave in such
a downpour. The guy still stood outside the shop across from me, holding his umbrella with one hand
and talking on his phone with the other. He didn’t seem to have noticed Caroline leaving. Maybe he
hadn’t recognized her in that coat. He looked up at me.
I pretended I was just someone waiting for the rain to stop. I am just someone waiting for the rain to
stop, I thought, as I looked up at the dismal sky. But when I looked back down, his gaze hadn’t shifted.
I scanned along the street to find Caroline disappearing down an alleyway. The guy hadn’t seen her at all.
He maintained his grim stare at me as he slowly returned his phone to his jacket pocket. The same
phone I had seen my own face on earlier — or at least thought I had. The man was making the same
mistake as me. He thought I was her.
My heart thudded in my chest like someone was inside it, kicking me out into the rain. I stumbled into a
sprint and dashed through the crowds, heading for the alleyway where Caroline had gone. Rain drenched
through my hair, streamed down my face and soaked through my clothes, but I didn’t care. I just
wanted to catch up to her.
The rain stopped suddenly as I skidded to a halt at the end of the alleyway, though it still lashed the
pavement behind me. At the other end of the path, two bright yellow eyes stared at me expectantly. The
black cat they belonged to sat on top of a stack of wooden boxes, its slender tail twisting playfully at its
side. It turned to the left, where an adjacent passage continued behind the shops. I realized that it must
have been looking at where Caroline had gone.
I saw her as I reached the corner, her light brown hair now free from her hood as she continued to walk
away from me. A footstep splashed behind me and I turned to see the man emerging from the rain. He
took down his umbrella and reached inside his jacket. Little black wings began to flutter inside my
stomach. Caroline neared another turn in the alley. All the weight had gone from my body. I couldn’t
catch my breath. The man’s hand came out of his jacket holding a gun. My eyes couldn’t focus on
anything else. He calmly continued toward me, as the cat jumped down from its box and began to rub
around my legs, pinning me in place. All the dots were joining together, the final picture flashing before
my eyes: stunning technicolour image of Julia Jones, with only two months left to live, taking a bullet in
the head to save another girl’s life.
Fight or flight. The black-winged bitches threw down their swords and strapped on their jetpacks.
“No! Wait! Stop!” I shouted, holding my hand up in front of me, and with the other hand, pointing down
the path toward Caroline. “She’s down there! I’m not Caroline!”
Caroline turned around. The man stopped inches away from me, holding the gun down at his side as he
frowned. He looked across at Caroline; then back at me, and then back at her. Caroline’s eyes widened in
shock. I shouted at her to run.
The man shoved me back, sending me crashing into the stack of boxes, and ran after her as she
disappeared around the next corner. He slid to a stop at the turn and raised his gun, aiming down the
path toward her. He fired two silenced shots and then lowered his arms, his target now apparently down
on the ground.
Fighting for every breath, I pulled myself back to my feet as he turned and aimed his gun toward me.
Before he could fire, I leapt out of his line of sight and ran back to the rainy street. I kept on running and
didn’t stop until I saw the fluorescent yellow jacket of a police officer.
Somehow, through my gasping breaths, I managed to tell him what had happened. He told me to calm
down, he called for armed support and I led him back to the alleyway.
He told me to stay behind him as he crept along the path, around the first corner, the boxes scattered
across the ground, then on to the second corner.
The man was nowhere to be seen, but there was Caroline’s body, slumped in the middle of the alleyway,
wrapped in her beautiful new coat. The cat rubbed its head along her side, its yellow eyes now dark and
somber. It stopped when it saw me and hissed. I collapsed, exhausted and distraught. Jet fuel depleted,
the little black butterflies came crashing down to earth and scurried back to their cave, full of shame.
In the weeks that followed, I learned that Caroline had been at the start of a promising career in
journalism. With her latest story, she’d clearly been onto something big, or the people that she’d been
investigating wouldn’t have wanted her dead. Well, whoever those people were, they’d got their wish.
And I’d helped them.
My health has since taken a turn for the worse and the hospital is my new permanent home. My last
place of residence before whatever comes next. In the gaps between sleeping and tripping out on the
magical cocktails of drugs they’ve been giving me, I’ve been trying to get this story down on paper.
Despite the last dying flutters of black wings deep inside, urging me to paint things in a better light, I’ve
tried to remain honest and write things as they really happened.
I feel like I’m under constant observation, and not just by the doctors. Maybe it’s just the drugs, but I’m
sure the cats keep visiting me in my dreams. My hope has been that writing this down would help me to
figure out how to make sense of it all. Well, my story is just about over; I don’t have much time left and
I’m still struggling to join all the dots. But there is one thing I’m more certain of now. I’m pretty sure
that the cats and the butterflies are not on the same side. Sooner or later, those black-winged witches
will be gone for good. And then, I guess, it’s just me and the kitty cats.