Swallowtail Ch. 01


"You can reach me here", she says. "Leave a message. No promises," she adds.

I look down. She has written a telephone number.

It's evidently okay to speak again. "The butterfly?" I ask. "What is it?"

"A swallowtail."

Then she's gone.

Back in the gallery, half of the patrons have left. I look for the woman whose husband is away but don't find her. I hope she has found someone to warm her bed.

I wave to the Rose of Sharon, who are talking to some banker type as I exit the building.

I feel the telephone number on my chest, as though I've been branded there somehow. I might call, just to see where we might go from here. Then again, I might not. I can't imagine anything that wouldn't be anticlimactic after this.


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