The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans. In the mountains. Ch. 3c

Ch.3c

Fuyuki’s presentiment proved to be right; Yoshiasu got a very important assignment on the capital city.  Accepting it  meant also that he had to leave Fuyuki behind all alone for six month. He suggested him to move to his sister during that half of a year; but Fuyuki wasn’t keen on it. He didn’t want to intrude in her life and he wasn’t a child to be pampered. Not anymore. He told Yoshiasu that he’d rather be back at Old John’s hogan.  The beauty of that place and the old man’s wise and comforting company was something that he needed.It was also à magical place to create art. So they’ve sent a message, asking the venerable man if he thought he could put up with Fuyuki while Yoshiasu is out of town. The answer was…yes.

When time came, Fuyuki accompanied his love to the airport; he stood there heartbroken until the plane took off ; then he returned home and packed up for his own trip. The next day, he stopped at the station, looking for Little John who was supposed to meet him. It was still early in the morning and the air was cold and refreshing. Fuyuki left his luggage on the ground and hopped atop of a beam and looked around.

The door of the post office across the road opened and Little John came out, followed by a pretty girl. She was talking excitedly to him and her big black eyes were sparkling like diamonds. She obviously liked him and enjoyed his company. Little John was basking in her radiant attention and his interest towards her was showing in the look of his eyes. The two of them looked wonderful and refreshing together.

Fuyuki smiled and decided to remain silent. He didn’t want to intrude. After a while, the young couple parted; she went back to the office and Little John looked casually around. He suddenly spotted Fuyuki watching him smiling and he turned red. He quickly crossed the road to meet his friend.

-Hi!-said Fuyuki chuckling at his friend’s embarrassment. I’ve told you I’ll be back sooner than expected.

They hugged and Little John took some of the luggage.

-It seems to me that you got yourself a beautiful girlfriend…said Fuyuki.

-Uhm…She’s not my girlfriend…We’re just childhood friends…-muttered Little John unconvincingly.

-She’s lovely anyway-concluded Fuyuki. And it looks that she has a real interest in you; she looked radiant while she was talking to you.

Little John mumbled something but he wasn’t keen to admit his own interest into that girl. Now that Fuyuki was here, his attention flipped entirely into his direction. They went to his house, packed the luggage on a mule and Little John took Fuyuki on his horse. For the young artist it was the first time to ride a horse, so he felt a little funny about it. Fortunately Little John was sitting at his back, holding him firmly with one hand around his waist, the other hand leading the horse on the way. Unable to keep his balance properly, Fuyuki leaned against his friend, the rebellious black strands tickling his face. As they were talking and laughing on their way, Little John wondered about how soothing Fuyuki’s voice was, how soft his laughter and that, oddly enough, his skin had a strange fragrance of…wild flowers. He shook off the thoughts; Fuyuki was his friend. Period.

They arrived safely to Old John; he was already waiting for them. He was pleased to see how well those two were getting together. But he warned them that he wasn’t going to pamper them; they would have to help him out with the hardship of work around the house. The boys laughed that off and they were more than pleased to help. Fuyuki planned to learn more about herbs and cures from Old John. He also wanted to exchange some knowledge with the locals about crafts and arts. On the other hand Little John promised to teach him to ride a horse so they could travel more around.

The riding lessons proved to be extremely funny. Fuyuki was the first to laugh with tears about his own clumsiness. From time to time Little John had to rescue him before getting more seriously hurt. They fell several times one atop the other, chuckling and panting, limbs tangled…Fuyuki’s amethyst eyes sparkled with fun as he was lying on back next to his younger friend. His pearly-white teeth shone as he smiled, his face lightly tanned by the summer sun. His hair has grown a little longer and was tied up in a small ponytail. Usually he was half naked just like his friend, the supple muscles moving with ease and grace under the smooth skin. The hard work and natural life made him stronger and more athletic.

Even his features got manlier, clearly cut and he built up a new confidence. Yet his mild and soft inner side was seeping through the outer walls of his person, trailing around him like an invisible halo.

It was this inner side magic that took Little John always by surprise; he wasn’t able to clearly capture the sense of this duality. He was also at loss with his own short moments of embarrassment when he found himself holding Fuyuki a little bit closer or a little bit longer than usually. Luckily the latter seemed oblivious to his friend’s awkward moments. It was a dangerous game because the more embarrassed he felt, the more he longed for another chance.

At the same time his other half of mind was set on Soraya, the girl at the station. Since that day when his eyes caught her image standing out from the amorphous crowd of uninteresting faces moving around him, Little John enjoyed her attention and her company. He diligently shared his personal time between his friend and his …girlfriend.

Old John watched him closely as the inner world of the young man was bursting out with new emotions and loads of excitement. He knew that there were many confusing feelings mingling in his heart. There were many wishes storming in and out and Little John was ready to try all of them uninhibitedly. He knew nothing about the risks involved and he was too cocky to think about precautions. Like a child, he wanted all the stars from the sky. The uncharted world of feelings was opening before Little John’s avidly curious eyes.

-Thread carefully!- warned him the old man. You might trample on somebody’s feelings!

The youth looked at him questioningly.

-Why do you say that?

-You are driven by many wishes; somebody might end up hurt, you included.

But just before Little John could say anything in his own defense, Fuyuki came out, ready to leave with him. They took the horses and left for a swim in a large lake known by Little John.

The large expanse of water shone under the sun like covered in shining gold leaves, the small ripples gently washing the sandy shore. Further there was another rippling expanse of high grass spotted with colorful flowers so they left the horses to graze at will.

The youths quickly undressed and splashed into the water; it was crystal clear and pleasantly cooling. Since they were good swimmers they fully enjoyed the water. They raced; they fooled around and had fun.

Fuyuki was the first to come out from the water and lay down in the fragrant layer of grass. Little John came after a while and splashed cold water on his friend taking him by surprise. Fuyuki moved quickly and cut him off his legs. Little John fell backwards but fought back. It was the kind of wrestling widely enjoyed by youth, a kind of friendly teasing and showing off.

They fell back on the grass breathless. Little John watched Fuyuki from the corner of his eyes; his friend was slightly flushed but his eyes were sparkling. Sensing the gaze fixed upon him he turned his face towards Little John and watched him silently; the dark-brown eyes were returning the look intently. Little John swallowed hard and Fuyuki’s lavender eyes clouded. Then Little John quickly bent over him and kissed him until Fuyuki’s resistance broke and he gave in trembling.

Breathless, they parted flushed and confused. Little John gritted his teeth in frustration but turned when he heard Fuyuki’s first sobs. The young artist jumped to his feet and ran away until he fell over a mold of dirt and grass. He stood there, face buried in his arms, sobbing bitterly. Little John fled after him. He caught up with Fuyuki and sat next to him. He was taken aback by the intensity of his friend’s pain.

-I’m…I’m sorry-he finally said in a low voice. I never meant to hurt you. You are disturbingly beautiful and I am…I am confused.

Fuyuki sighed and turned to him.

-I know-he whispered. I am sorry; I am more disturbed than anybody else. I keep on hurting people without wanting it. It’s like a curse…

Little John shook his head.

-Don’t worry, I am not hurt. You are my friend and I won’t give up on that. I try hard to understand both you and myself. Forget this, please. I was…pretty stupid. Let’s go back to the river. We still have time to catch some fish for Old John.

He took Fuyuki by the hand and helped him up. They strolled back to their horses.

-You’re happy with Yoshiasu, aren’t you?-he asked casually.

-I love him and I miss him every day-came the honest answer.

-He’s a lucky guy- murmured Little John for himself.

They went back to the river and found a proper spot for a catch. Fuyuki watched admiringly as the athletic young man cornered the elusive fish and caught them one by one. He moved with the grace and the ease of a young god of Nature, skillfully and graceful. The whole scene was like a moment of Paradise captured in time. When they finally turned home they weren’t empty handed.

Old John sensed the subtle change in chemistry between the two youth but said nothing.

In the evening, as they lay down to sleep Fuyuki recalled the incident; he shivered and turned on his belly, head buried in his arms. He felt confused and scared; he was vulnerable; not having Yoshiasu beside him for such a long time left him slightly unbalanced. He liked and he cared about Little John; it was almost an instant bond but it brought up unexpected challenges. Little John himself was struggling with confusing emotions and Fuyuki was afraid that pushing him away would only deepen his obsession.

On the other hand he found disturbing that it wasn’t so hard for him to give in to his friend’s pressure. Fuyuki was torn apart and totally at loss. He sighed deeply and curled up in despair.

-You’re confused, aren’t you?-asked Old John in an attempt to help Fuyuki open up.

-You knew…

-I saw it coming the day the two of you met. You were the first person little John really noticed until then. Your charm was too obvious even for a careless, self-centered young guy like him. He fell back on the earth and hit the ground hard.

Fuyuki shook his head.

-I’m nothing but trouble…his voice was sad.

-Weren’t you to shake up him from that self-absorbed state, he wouldn’t have noticed that girl at the office. They are about to be engaged and she is a proper match for him.

-Then why is he doing this?!!!-burst Fuyuki out.

-You’re both driven to each other from inside. You for instance, you have built up a sense of loss because you miss your pair. You married your first love, isn’t it?

-Yes. All I knew before him was use and abuse…Now I found myself totally defenseless, taken away by unexpected, unknown emotions.

-The logic of the heart can be very tricky at times of vulnerability. A butterfly can easily burn his wings around those flames. But unlike Little John, you’re wiser and considerate. You are his best friend. Don’t get upset; I’m here for both of you. Get some sleep now, young butterfly. Good night.

-Good night-whispered Fuyuki. Thank you.

He closed his eyes and he felt relieved; he soon fell asleep.

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The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans. In the mountains. Ch 3b.

Ch.3b

Yoshiasu was regaining his strength with each passing day. Fuyuki was busy around him and around the house; he didn’t want to disturb Old John’s whole life. He was more than grateful for everything the old man has done.

One day, while he was down at the rivulet cleaning and washing some small fish, he saw somebody approaching Old John’s hogan. It was a tall, good looking young Native, riding a beautiful spotted horse. He stopped for a moment, watching Fuyuki with unhidden curiosity, somehow surprised to see a stranger in that place. He raised a hand in greeting and continued his way towards the hogan. Old John heard him coming and came out to greet him. The young man descended and saluted the elder in great respect.

-I didn’t know, Grandfather that you had guests. I wanted to ask you about two young men, tourists. Their friends were worried about them and called the station.

-You can tell them that they are well and that they will get in touch soon-said the old man.

The young man looked at him questioningly.

-Grandfather…who’s that girl down at the river?

The old man chuckled.

-That girl is…one of the two young men you were asking about. You can go and tell him about that phone call. Be polite Little John, don’t stare too much at him. His friend has been bitten by a venomous spider and he needed help to cure him. His name is Fuyuki Tanaka. Go now!

Puzzled, Little John descended the light slope and found himself face to face with the stranger. He has just finished washing the fish and was returning with a bowl and a knife in his hands. He walked lightly, graciously like a cat; he was about Little John’s height and he was slender, with long limbs. He had soft, light skin and rebellious black hair cut short above his neck. But most remarkable was his face: delicate and beautiful, with amazing lavender-blue eyes, just like two gems. He had a friendly, pleasant smile and soft voice.

-Mr. Tanaka…started Little John.

-Fuyuki, please. It seems to me we’re almost the same age and besides, I’m not much of a “Mr.”

He held out his hand to Little John. The two of them shook hands, watching each other with undisclosed interest. Little John was handsome and he was well aware of this; he was slightly cocky but this time the other young man’s charm proved to be disarming. Fuyuki took an instant like on the tall, dark and handsome guy. He looked like a beloved and favored child of Nature.

-Are you a relative of our venerable host?-he asked.

-You could say that. I’m Little John. I came to tell you that we had a phone call at the station; your friends from the city were worried about you.

-Thank you! We were incredibly lucky that Mr. Whitefeather found us! I was totally at loss when my companion fainted because of the poisoning. I’m forever in debt for saving us-he added with sincere passion in his voice.

Little John’s dark-brown eyes rounded up a little at this sudden burst of emotion but he could understand that for a city guy to find himself lost in the wilderness, along with an injured companion could be a traumatic experience. So he smiled and soon they were back at the hogan.

Yoshiasu was already outside, chopping some woods for a fire. Little John watched him closely and he had to admit that the guy was good looking and strong despite his recent illness. Yoshiasu was slightly taller than both of them and he was the elder of the group of youth. He was athletic with a strong bone structure and an open, direct manner. They shook hands. Fuyuki’s face lit up as he saw his companion and Yoshiasu smiled back at him reassuringly. The short but intimate communication didn’t escape the young Native’s sharp eyes; he was surprised by the sudden flow of emotion between the two young men. To his surprise, he felt a little bit…envious.

As the youngest of them, he was full of pride and completely oblivious to love and commitment. He was still in that state of happiness and lightheadedness of the young men of his age. He probably needed another 2 or 3 years of maturing.

Fuyuki helped Old John with the cooking while Little John helped Yoshiasu with the woods. Finally, they ate together and the talking went on easily. During the following days, Little John came regularly to visit them. The three young men bonded easily; to Old John, it became clear that Fuyuki’s mild personality eased the communication and that somehow, he was a point of common interest for both of the other two men. There was some kind of discreet magic radiating around him, catching the bystanders.

As Yoshiasu got back his strength, he and Fuyuki were ready to go back to their cabin and from there to the city. They thanked Old John for his help and hospitality and promised to keep in touch. Yoshiasu asked Little John if he could come with them to their cabin; he wanted to send some items to Old John. Little John came with a horse and this way their luggage was carried back much easily.

The young man soon discovered that parting with his newly acquired friends won’t be so easy; there were so many things to talk about… Fuyuki promised him to talk as much as possible. They packed up the things for Old John and the rest of the stuff in the car. They locked the cabin and shook hands with Little John. Fuyuki’s heart sank a bit watching the regrets clouding Little John’s handsome face.

-Something tells me that we’ll be back sooner than expected-he said softly.

A short flicker crossed the deep-brown eyes as they looked intently in those lavender-blue. Fuyuki’s cheeks turned pink under the gaze; he smiled and got into the car. Little John watched as they went away, wondering why was  Fuyuki’s slightly embarrassed smile standing so vividly in his memory…

To eat or what to eat, that is the question…

Leafing through my collection of articles about Nature, I’ve stumbled upon one concerning the way plants communicate between each-other. If there is a part of the living world underrated and overlooked, then the Vegetal kingdom surely is. That we share no great interest, respect and consideration towards it comes probably from our closer connection to our next to kin, the animals.

    There is a trendy and heated debate nowadays between meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans. I’ve read over the years a lot of mind-blowing stupidities used as arguments and I have witnessed mindless rage and hatred, lack of understanding, of mutual respect in the clashes over this topic: what should we eat?

“ I will not put dead animals in my mouth!” -shouted some people. Really? I hope you are not putting living ones either; I don’t find that a better option. So, if you don’t want to get animals killed in order to feed yourself, then the only feasible solution (for now) is to eat plants,fruits, vegetables.

  Well, my dear fellow human, plants are living organisms too. When you cut them down, they die. They might not bleed with shocking red blood, but they die. We don’t even know how it feels for them to die. They might not scream, they might not run away (they can’t), you might not witness the light going out in their moist eyes…but they die anyway. Silently. Or perhaps not. We don’t know yet. And when you eat plants, vegetables, fruits picked, plucked, cut off from their stems/branches, you eat dead organisms. They die and start decomposing the moment they’ve lost contact with their feeding roots. So if you don’t want dead animals in your mouth, you can have dead plants instead.

“ But plants are not our next to kin!” -you would argue. Seriously? As far as science is concerned, living organism split in two evolutionary directions, plants and animals at one point in time; but till then, life came a long way as one.

   We came to learn about the intricacy of plants life in recent years and from what I’ve read till now, it’s no less intriguing, amazing, awesome than animal life. I’m certain that we’re in for big surprises in this area of scientific research. So what can we do now? Should we give up on eating animals and plants too? That would be an utterly stupid decision.

   We, as humans, we belong to the Animal kingdom and we are, by our nature, meat and vegetable eaters. Just like most of other animals, we feed on other living organisms in order to live, grow, thrive, survive. We cannot change that, not for now and not without radically changing, or even giving up on what we are. So maybe we should accept ourselves and re-learn how to respect all that keeps us alive, animals and plants. In the best manner of our evolving humanity, we should humble before their unwilling sacrifice and try at least to make it less brutal.

Maybe we should remember the way people like the First Nation used to honor the animals they hunted, honored the plants they grew  or gathered from Nature.

  Maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll become so changed that we could take the necessary energy to live  the way plants do, using minerals and sunlight. But then, that human being will be an entirely different creature, hardly resembling to the top animal we are now. That’s a long,  a very long perspective.

   What should we do now? Eat your meal ( whatever it is), be thankful for it and shut up! Use your energies for things worth fighting for, use your energies to build bridges with your fellow humans and together, let’s make this planet a home for all. Humans,animals and plants, all together.

The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans.Chapter 3. In the mountains (3a)

Ch.3a

Yoshiasu and Fuyuki had long before decided to spend their summer vacation in the mountains. They rented a car and a cabin in a very remote place, close to the one of the Native counties. The place was wild and almost untouched, so they’ve  found great joy in discovering  brand new spots of unharmed beauty.  The first days in the mountains went on eventless: it was just them and Mother Nature in all her splendour. Although after 3 or 4 days they’ve lost communication with the outer world due to a huge solar flare, they were not concerned. They had enough provisions and they knew that communications would be fixed sooner or later.

 But problems strike when they are least expected; at first,the trip started well and the weather was fine. They ventured far enough but there were no reasons to worry; not until Yoshiasu slipped on some rotten leaves and lost balance. Instinctively he grabbed a branch but he also closed hand over something/ somebody unhappy about that. The tiny creature bit the hand that came upon it and ran away as the man gave a cry and released the branch. The small red bite mark was sore. In less than an hour the pain grew more intense and the hand became red and swollen.

Suddenly Yoshiasu felt sick and was sweating profusely. Before they could realize what was really happening, Yoshiasu lost consciousness, leaving Fuyuki scared to death and desperate. They were in the middle of the wilderness and Yoshiasu looked badly. Fuyuki calmed down and tried to take some measures. He laid down Yoshiasu on a higher ground; he put his coat over him and the rucksack under his neck. He garroted the swollen hand to stop the poison to diffuse in the bloodstream. He made a mental notice of the place and descended to the nearby rivulet to look for some plants.

He was so absorbed in his search that he didn’t notice the old man that was approaching him. He only became aware of his presence when he heard him call out:

-Are you looking for something? Can I help you?

Fuyuki looked up and stared slightly confused into the wrinkled and suntanned face from which two piercing black eyes were fixing him. On the other hand, the old man himself looked surprised at the flushed young face with wide, worried eyes.

-Could you help me?! My friend was bit by something and now he’s lost consciousness…Please!

-Was it a snake?-asked the old man.

-No! Rather like a small spider but it fled before we could see it. Help me, please! I’m afraid that I might lose him…

They both hurried to the place where Yoshiasu was lying. His condition was the same. The old man studied the hand and the bite mark and mumbled something. He then made a quick decision; he took Fuyuki and they fetched some materials for a stretcher, tied Yoshiasu on the improvised transport facility and they proceeded downhill.

Old John Whitefeather was very old indeed and during summer he lived here alone in his hogan. He had a few sheep and some horses but his main activity was that of medicine-man. From spring till late autumn he was collecting herbs and fruits for various healing potions and ointments. That da,y he was out collecting some plants when he spotted the franticaly searching young fellow. Since tourists were scarce on this area, an instinct of a lifetime told him that this particular person was in trouble.

The spider bite wasn’t lethal but it was nasty; it was both painful and persistent and it looked like this young man was overreacting to some of the poison components. Old John offered to help and thus he learned that the two young men were a couple and that they were in vacation. Old John was surprised to see the amount of strength that fragile looking young man could put up to help his companion.

While preparing an ointment and some herbal tea, he took a closer look on Fuyuki. Almost everything about this young man was deceiving: he was an almost feminine beauty, with very unusual lavender-blue eyes; he was slender and well built but looked fragile and vulnerable. He was soft spoken but he wasn’t tiring or complaining about anything. He had no eyes but for his suffering companion but he had a sharp attention to everything Old John was saying. So despite the first impression that he was made of glass and that he might shatter  any moment, he proved to be calm and resilient and deeply dedicated.

Old John cleaned the bite mark, put an ointment and  he bandaged the swollen hand, showing Fuyuki how to do it. It was Fuyuki’s task to change the bandages until the hand would return to its normal aspect. While Fuyuki guarded Yoshiasu, wiping the sweat from his face, Old John made a strong tea from a concoction of herbs and roots and let it cool. The dark-brown liquid was having a strong smell and an even stronger taste; but for Yoshiasu it was the only hope to overcome the poisoning.

Every fifteen minutes Fuyuki forced down his throat 2-3 spoonful of the tea. This went on and on, day and night until the redness subsided on Yoshiasu’s hand and he’s got back from the unconsciousness. The first thing he saw, opening hazed eyes on the world after days of struggle, was the thinned face of Fuyuki and his worried eyes.

-What happened?-he whispered. His throat was sore and dry and his head was still heavy.

-You’ve been bitten by a nasty little thing when you fell on the slope. Luckily this gentleman found us and cured you, getting you back from the shadows-said Fuyuki, his voice trembling from the sudden emotion.

Yoshiasu slowly turned his head towards the other shape; the old, sun beaten face of a venerable Native man, with intelligent, intent black eyes was looking benevolently down on him.

-Welcome back among the living, young man-he said in a deep, throaty voice. You’re back on track; in less than a week you’ll be as  good as new.

-Thank you, sir…whispered Yoshiasu. I never thought that something  so small like that could knock me out.

-I’ve told you: it was small but nasty and it had no sense of humor-said Fuyuki with a playful smile. You have to rest and eat to get back your strength. Luckily you don’t have to eat my cooking; Mr. Whitefeather is cooking delicious meals. All I do is watch and learn; maybe there’s some hope for me in the cooking area…he chuckled.

Old John watched from the corner of his eyes their conversation. It became obvious for him that they were sharing a special relationship; there was a communication beyond words in every gesture and in the lights flickering in their eyes. No matter how unusual it looked to him, love was clearly and visibly connecting the two young men. Old John made a mental note and left them to enjoy each other’s company.

The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens,love and humans. The Stalker (2e)

Ch.2e

-I still can’t clearly remember all that happened but I can put two and two together: the way I feel, the gift, the photo and the note…I’ve had enough of this!!!

Fuyuki’s face contorted in pain; Yoshiasu slowly calmed him down. His mind was searching for a solution; he made a long distance call…home. He called detective Harrows and they agreed to talk more on the computer.

-How’s Fuyuki now?- asked the detective.

-Upset and disturbed- came the answer.

-Can I talk to him?

-I think so. Fuyuki, detective Harrows wants to talk to you…Yoshiasu turned to his companion.

The young man sat in front of the computer and greeted the detective. He looked tired and subdued.

-Good evening, Fuyuki. I’m sorry that we speak only on such occasions.

Fuyuki’s face lit up a little; he sighed but the corners of his mouth curved up a little.

-I’ve listened to the recount made by Yoshiasu; I must tell you that this might be harder to prove than your previous one. This guy ( if he’s  the one I suspect  to be) is difficult to catch. He’s not a bragging fool. Do you understand me?

Fuyuki nodded.

-I’ll talk to one of my good friends from there; he’s a retired policeman but he likes to keep his mind working. I’ll let you know; until then, be strong, my young friend.

Fuyuki smiled briefly.

-Thank you, detective. Sorry for being such a nuisance-he said softly.

Fuyuki left Yoshiasu to end the call while he went to the kitchen to fix something to eat for both of them. He’s got so caught in that he realized only later that Yoshiasu was standing in the kitchen door, watching him with an amused but loving smile on his face. Fuyuki reddened.

-I sincerely hope this will be edible- he said. Anyway, there’s nothing else in the fridge, but we still can order Chinese food if you want…

-I’m willing to try your cooking-chuckled Yoshiasu.

Fuyuki smiled; they both set the table. Fuyuki leaned against his companion.

-I feel safe when you’re around-he sighed. I’m sorry; I’m quite a handful….

Yoshiasu kissed him.

-You’re my most precious one. We’ll work this out together; just keep it in mind that I love you.

The next day Yoshiasu called the gallery and excused Fuyuki for at least two or three days. He knew his love was not ready to face that place so soon; they’ve been through this before. Healing required time. Detective Harrow’s friend visited them; he was a kind gentleman and promised to look into this delicate matter.

During this time things were on the move in the outside world to. The man woke up next day with mixed feelings; something was bothering him from inside but he wasn’t ready to admit the feeling. He sent the gift to Fuyuki in an attempt to muffle the regret that was building up inside him; he wanted to prove himself that he didn’t care and that the young man was only a whim for him.

  Yet the same day, he drove his car to the gallery, waiting for hours in the hope to catch a glimpse of the young artist; but he didn’t show up. Nor was he coming the next two days. He wasn’t leaving the house either; the handsome Japanese was at home but his fragile companion was nowhere to be seen.

The man became restless; there was a sense of emptiness and loss building up inside of him, despite his best efforts to ignore it. He drove home and the next day, the five artists received a generous offer of scholarship for each of them. Fuyuki turned down the offer but he was happy for his friends. In less than an hour after that, he received a call from the Foundation for abused Children; they’ve received a very generous funding from an anonymous donor,  a donation made in Fuyuki’s name. Fuyuki smiled; the pain caused by what happened to him was slowly diminishing. The works of art sold well at the exhibition, thanks to all those people they’ve met at the club. The money helped the four young artists to fulfill their dreams and opened new opportunities for each of them. Fuyuki knew well who was behind this sudden success but he wasn’t upset. He sensed that something has changed inside that man; he wanted to redeem himself. Fuyuki didn’t hate him; he was simply unable to hate. He could be hurt, deeply pained, even crushed by the inflicted pain; but he was oblivious to hatred.

That night, watching him laid down like a torn butterfly, still beautiful in his sufferance, the man discovered for the first time his own feelings. He faced regrets, remorse and above all, he realized that in fact, for the first time in his life he fell in love. He’s had a lust for that perfect body but he right now, he was in love with that gentle, fragile, generous soul that gave the magic of that beauty. He knew that there was no chance for them to meet again; he didn’t want to torment Fuyuki.

One of Fuyuki’s works was put on sale at a charity and the man put up the highest bid ever. It was a painting depicting that elusive “Lost Butterfly” that symbolizes  both hope and the inner world of that beautiful artist. The day after the successful auction, Fuyuki showed up at the exhibition hall. He looked slightly changed; he looked a bit matured and his beauty deepened. He has lost some of his innocent touch, but he has gained a certain serenity that just added to his magic. As he stepped out of the car, he turned towards the black car parked on the other side of the street. The man was outside, looking at him. Fuyuki faced him for a moment, then slowly turned and disappeared inside the building.

The man stepped into his car. The painting was packed up and placed beside him on the rear seat. The car slowly departed. The man was never seen in public again. The rumour was that he was ill; but only a very close few knew that he had an unrequited love. From his “high castle”, he kept an eye on Fuyuki but he never approached him anymore. He was happy just to watch from a safe distance the dance of that butterfly in the light.

-Amazing-said one of the creatures of light. I never thought the Child would have such a powerful influence on people.

-He’s not very happy about it. We have to watch him carefully; he might end up in trouble again…-said the other one.

-Luckily, his companion guides him well…

-Yes, but accidents might occur…-said the second creature, concern echoing in his voice. We cannot afford to lose him…

-Don’t get annoyed…I promise I’ll be careful about him. He’s our Child anyway.

The Lost Butterfly- a story of aliens, love and humans. The Stalker (2d)

Ch.2d

The man excused himself from the owner of the gallery and left hurriedly. He already had a plan and he needed every minute to work it out to the last detail. He called for his car and left the premises.

The young artist went to the bathroom and washed his face with cold water. He stared for a moment in the mirror at his own reflection; he felt lost and lonely. His loving companion was far away and he didn’t want to disturb him. So he took a deep breath and returned to the exhibition; there were still two hours left until closing and he was needed there.

At half past eight, the owner and his five young stars were waiting outside to be collected. Moments later, the huge black limousine stopped in front of the building and the man invited them inside. He took them to a very pleasant but highly expensive club; the music was good and the drinks were exquisite. Many well-known personalities were sitting at the tables and all of them seemed to look up to the man. He introduced them his new young protégés; he made a mental note at each turning head, after they made acquaintance to the Butterfly Artist. Though he acted more restrained than usual and more serious than his actual self, his beauty remained untouched. The aura of gentle magic that surrounded him left a strong impression upon everybody. His friends playfully teased him but he shook his head and dismissed all the talks about that topic.

The young man knew he was trapped and his mind was feverishly working to find a way out of the current situation. He complied with his friends’ request, he took the girls and danced with them but he stick to his non-alcoholic juice, saying that he had a mild headache. Food was served but he took only a bit; he wasn’t in a mood to eat. He couldn’t avoid having a glass of champagne offered by their host; the man wanted to toast for their artistic development. After this, it was out of question to drive home in their cars. The man offered to drive each of them home and they were thrilled by his generosity. Only the Butterfly artist remained gloomy; he desperately needed to go home by himself but he didn’t want to seem rude or to spoil his friends’ pleasure. It was well past midnight when he decided to call a cab and go home; a strange dizziness took over him and he couldn’t take it anymore. The girls were worried and his friends decided to end the party and leave. The man called the limo, embarked them all and ordered the driver to take them home. They stopped at the young Butterfly’s home and left him safe and sound in front of his house. They wave him goodbye and left. The young man leaned against the wall for a moment; the world was spinning and then everything went black.

Before he even touched the ground a dark silhouette stepped out from the shadow and stopped his fall. A car silently stopped and the dark man placed the young inside, on the rear seat. He then stepped at the front seat and they left in a hurry. The man took his prize in his arms, buried his face into the rebellious black hair and inhaled deeply. The fresh fragrance invaded his senses and he swallowed hard, hit by the sudden burst of desire. The inconspicuous white powder mixed into the glass of champagne has rendered the young man helpless; he was immersed in a deep sleep. He was totally unaware of the car’s destination.

As they reached the house, the man took the sleeping young artist man and carried him up in the bedroom. He laid him on the bed and carefully undressed him. He stared in amazement at the naked youth; he was the embodiment of perfection. In his sleep, he looked like the living image of Endymion, the beautiful young man loved by the Goddess of the Moon, Selene. He covered him with a light sheet and made himself comfortable.

The man poured a drink and sat on the bed. He watched the peaceful expression of that lovely face, the light shade of pink in the cheeks, the slightly parted, delicate lips and the pearly-white row of teeth, the long eyelashes underlining those mesmerizing eyes, the silky black strands falling over the clear forehead, the soft glow of the smooth skin…He touched him and felt the warmth of the young body. The Butterfly Artist looked like a living statue. The man realized how much he needed him to be awake. It was that passionate, vulnerable personality that gave that perfect body the touch of magic that surrounded it. The man took out a syringe from a small box and injected some antidote in the youth left upper arm; he then stood there, waiting for a reaction.

In about ten minutes the youth stirred. The man bent over him and kissed the soft neck right under the earlobe. Brusquely, the young man woke up and tried to push him away but the man gripped his wrists and pushed him on his back, holding him tightly. The victim moaned and his eyes filled with despair.

-I knew- he said and his voice cracked. Let me go…please- he whispered. Don’t hurt me…

-Don’t fight and I won’t hurt you-said the man calmly. The game is on me now. As you have said, the more you resist me, the more I want you.

The young man turned his head away. He shuddered under the stranger’s touch; all the bad memories locked up in the depth of his conscience were now pushing to break the locks. He stiffened as he felt the man moving relentlessly.

-Don’t…please-he pleaded though he knew it was hopeless.

-I can’t stop it-said the man rolling on top of him. Such beauty and perfection as yours should never walk on Earth among such sinful creatures like me. You are so unreachable and desirable that we can’t stop to try to tear you down. This is a curse both for you and us. I can’t stop; I have to have it my way.

As he moved forward, the young man cried out in pain and anguish. His cries broke down to sobs until all ended. He laid there on the bed, eyes closed and eyelashes heavy with tears, and for the first time, the man saw the broken butterfly. He suddenly realized that he has just broken something precious, something unique and irreplaceable. Luckily, the young man  has fallen into a deep sleep from physical and emotional exhaustion. The man gently dressed him up and called for his car. He took the youth home, undressed him and tucked him into his bed. He ordered the driver to bring the young man’s car in the parking lot. He took a final look on that hauntingly beautiful face, then left the apartment and locked the door behind him. Game over.

The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans (1j)

Chapter 1j.

Under the loving care of Janice and Yoshiasu, Fuyuki recovered much easily. Though he was still scarred physically and emotionally, he kept on focusing on the love he finally got. For the first time in his life, there was somebody in this world for whom he, Fuyuki was the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON and that somebody was Yoshiasu. During the whole ordeal he’d been put through again, Fuyuki  had closed his eyes and mind and he held on his love. Now Janice, with her kindness and love brought back the happy memories of the short childhood and helped Fuyuki bond after twenty years with his lost relatives. Janice was at peace with herself; she’s finally got back her baby-brother and justice has been done. Even Paul and Michael softened after à while and the family  reunited. As Fuyuki was getting better in hospital, new concerns aroused in Yoshiasu’s mind; he decided to ask him about before taking any action.

-Fuyuki, are you ready to come home? I mean, how you feel about coming back to the same place…you know…I can arrange so that we move to another location…

The young man stretched and looked at him, head slightly tilted.

-You’re wonderful but that’s the place where I had spent the happiest days of my life. I won’t run and let the past ruin what I cherish most.

Yoshiasu relaxed.

-I bet you miss my cooking-he said with a grin.

They both laughed. Two days later they left the hospital; Fuyuki put up a brave face and shook away any concern. But Yoshiasu wasn’t easily fooled; he could sense the tension building up inside his love the moment they closed the door. After unpacking, Yoshiasu turned to the kitchen to fix something to eat and left Fuyuki to adjust. The young artist  sat on the bed  looking around, while scraps of memory flashed through his mind. Half an hour later Yoshiasu found him sitting on the same spot, gazing into nothingness.

-You don’t have to pretend you’re OK when obviously you’re not-he said in a calm voice. We are together in this. The first night after you’ve disappeared, I had a panic attack. I even moved on your side of the bed and slept there until you were found…

Fuyuki shuddered, then he looked up and smiled to Yoshiasu:

-I’m so lucky to have you. I’ll be fine, I know; it’s just that I need some time to get over so many things…Now-he said, taking a deep breath- may I help you with the cooking?

-Sure-said Yoshiasu. It’s almost done. Let’s eat; I’m starving.

Later that day, Angela and George called and then came to visit. They were relieved to see Fuyuki back on track and Yoshiasu happy again. They looked great to; Angela was expecting her first child and the couple was filled with the excitement. They left for home late in the evening, after chatting happily all together. Yoshiasu took a shower and sat on top of the bed reading something, waiting for Fuyuki.

He became suddenly aware of the muffled sounds coming from the shower. He knocked at the door and called:

-Fuyuki!…Fuyuki, are you OK?

As the noises became more intense, he decided to take action. He dropped his bathrobe and entered the shower. Fuyuki was crouching on the floor, crying bitterly. Yoshiasu picked him up and cupped his face with both hands trying to understand what was torturing him. Fuyuki averted his gaze, hands gripping on Yoshiasu’s hands.

-I…I missed you so much but…I…I feel tainted and I…can’t…I’m so sorry…that I couldn’t-the rest of the words ended in sobs.

The understanding sank on Yoshiasu; Fuyuki was blaming himself for the ordeal he had been through, for not being able to fight back and he felt like he had betrayed the love the two of them was sharing. Yoshisu sighed; there were still so many wounds to heal and  so many loose ends to tie up until the fragile equilibrium of Fuyuki would mend. But Yoshiasu was more determined than ever to love and protect him and help him to heal. So he held Fuyuki close and let the shower wash them both.

-You can cry out everything now-he whispered in Fuyuki’s ear. This water will wash away all the misery. You are the purest human being I’ve ever seen and I won’t give up on you.

He held Fuyuki until the younger man cried out all the bitterness and hurt piled up inside. He moved his hand down his back and under his touch Fuyuki’s body felt more fragile as he’d lost some weight during captivity. Yoshiasu stopped the water and handed a towel to Fuyuki; they walked together to the bedroom and Fuyuki folded in his arms.

-Have you seen Father?- he asked in a small voice.

-Yes. He is a bully and a madman. I’m glad he’s locked up. You don’t need to worry about him.

Fuyuki shifted a little.

-I was so afraid that you might not want me anymore-his voice trailed.

Yoshiasu turned Fuyuki towards him and kissed him gently. As his lover moved closer, he slowly undressed him and kissed him again deeply. Fuyuki moaned and melted in his arms. Driven by the emotional turmoil, they made love like never before reaching unexpected peaks. They finally relaxed, panting from exhaustion and  they fell asleep holding each other closely.

But before their life could get back to normal, they had to pass another major challenge: the trial of Jack Roger. As police and prosecutors finished their work, the trial was due to begin. The trial caught up a big interest; not only that it was a shocking case but it involved one of the young emerging artists of the country.

Though he could’ve avoided it because of his emotional scars, Fuyuki bravely decided to attend the trial. Yoshiasu was deeply concerned about how he would cope with it, but he had to admit that Fuyuki needed to face his fears in order to get over them and to start a new life. Yet, Yoshiasu dreaded the first encounter with Jack Roger, whom he had not seen since the day Fuyuki was found. Tens of curious eyes turned to them when Roger was brought in. He had a confident smirk all over his face; when he spotted Fuyuki, he launched towards him with a sneer:

-You little bastard! Wait until I get my hands on you!

The guards held him back and Fuyuki’s eyes clouded with pain. He faced him and asked in a restraint voice:

-Why? Why do you hate me?

This painful question made the headlines of every journal. It was the question that troubled every decent person: why would anybody turn into such a monster? The first session of the trial presented the case as the police  had unraveled piece by piece, then the pile of evidence was brought to the Court’s attention.

 Listening to Janice’s testimony (while her father growled “Stupid bitch…just like your mother…”) proved to be the hardest of all. The long buried memories of the horrors endured by a small child shocked the audience. At that moment Fuyuki got sick and while Yoshiasu was helping him out, he fainted. Yoshiasu picked him up and left the Courtroom hurriedly; he took him out to a bench and laid him down, massaging his temples and his hands until Fuyuki got back to his senses. He then called a cab and took him home. Reliving that particular moment was like opening a dam. All the memories locked up inside came back accurately. The process was painful but unstoppable. Each and every night of the trial Fuyuki cried himself into sleep, held tightly in Yoshiasu’s arms. But with family and friends around him, he got over the pain step by step.

The evaluation made by the police psychiatrist gave sense to the image of Jack Roger. Jack Roger was an animal of prey. He watched the little boy growing up and noticed its unusual beauty. He soon realized that this child could become a good source of income and that he was totally defenseless. With a weak and frightened aunt as a surrogate mother, the little boy had no chance against Jack Roger’s will. What the perpetrator never suspected, was that the night of horror had a witness: the ten years old Janice. That night she took a narrow escape and remained unharmed, only to carry this traumatic memory till the final confrontation. Jack Roger took pride in his business so he kept detailed records /even videotapes. For years he trained and used the child as a prostitute; when he got into trouble, he simply sold him but kept his track just in case.        

    When Fuyuki ended up badly beaten and dumped, Roger thought that the young man died, so he was thrilled to see his photo later in a nationwide newspaper. Just like the spider, he carefully cornered his victim and took him away when he finished his  underground bunker. Fuyuki’s cell was connected to the house and as soon as the he regained consciousness, Jack Roger was back in business. He put Fuyuki on the market the first day they got home and never left a day out. In a short time, his bank account was growing steadily so he couldn’t be more pleased.

  Based on the huge amount of evidence, “Father” was quickly sentenced to life in prison. But the eternal bully  took hard the end of his reigning over Fuyuki, so after two months in prison, he’s  got an extensive stroke and died in the prison hospital. The story of the Monster and The Lost Butterfly came to an end. After 20 years Fuyuki was free at last.

Another year ended and the oncoming one was holding the promises of a new beginning. Yoshiasu and Fuyuki spent the Christmas with Janice and her family; on the second day, Peter and Michael joined them with their wives. Fuyuki’s beauty and kindness charmed everybody, especially Janice’s six year old twins, Robert and Molly. They also took a like on Yoshiasu and they were happy to find two young adults who never got tired of them and never complained about them being nagging and noisy.

  The New Year brought another happy event: Angela gave birth to her first child, a little boy named Thomas.

-I feel a little bit lost with so many men around-smiled Angela counting her well-wishing party. The three of you were already a handful; now Thomas is joining the gang…I have to put up some strength to face you all!

-I wouldn’t be concerned-said Fuyuki. You’ve already rendered us speechless with such a beautiful baby!

-Sweet Fuyuki! You’re as charming as ever-laughed Angela, glancing lovingly at the sleeping baby.

The warmth of love encompassed them all, leaving the shadows of the past locked up in the passing year.

Wishing to give a boost to their life together, Yoshiasu secretly booked two tickets for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan. When time came, he took Fuyuki by the hand and it was only in the airport that the young artist learned about their destination. He was deeply touched and amazed. The festival was a dream come true. It was a particularly mild, warm spring so when they arrived, every tree was in full blossom.

 The sight was simply magic. Every breeze carried on its warm wings endless flurries of white and pink petals. Yoshiasu and Fuyuki traveled from one place to another, from orchard to orchard, filling up with endless beauty. Finally, they stopped in an old orchard of a remote location. They asked for permission to visit and as they were granted, Yoshiasu took Fuyuki by the hand and walked down the narrow pathways that lead through the fresh light-green grass, under the heavily blooming branches. Yoshiasu spotted from the distance a large old cherry tree and took the amazed Fuyuki there. He let the young artist enjoy the enveloping shower of soft petals. Fuyuki’s amethyst eyes gleamed like gems in the mist of golden light pouring from above. He leaned against the tree, watching with withheld breath the magic of Nature. He turned to Yoshiasu with a look of rapture all over his face.

Yoshiasu approached and cupped his face with both hands,  looked deeply into the shimmering   violet-blue pools and asked in a slightly trembling voice:

-Fuyuki, would you marry me?

Fuyuki’s eyes widened in surprise, he blushed but whispered:

-Yes. I will…

Yoshiasu bent over him and kissed him until they ran out of breath. They married  two weeks later in Canada. Fuyuki took Yoshiasu’s family name, Tanaka. Yoshiasu took a new job that enabled him to travel a lot along with Fuyuki, who was now a successful artist with exhibitions all over the world. They were both young and on the height of their creative powers. Life was beautiful.

~~~~~

-Oh! -exclaimed one of the creatures of light. I never thought such things can happen! We almost lost our Child to that madman. I feel so….uneasy about our choice.

-You’re right-mumbled the other one. We’ve learned so much about these creatures since we are here and yet, after this episode, I feel like we really know nothing. Maybe we should retrieve the Child from the planet.

-No, no, not now! Not yet. He seems to be happy with his companion and perhaps the two of them might join us later, don’t you think?

-Agree!-said the taller creature. But we’ll keep a close eye on them from now on.