Being so close to the end of this project, I’m negotiating a misplaced sense of grief. I looked at my production calendar and seeing that this is the third to last story in this collection, I recognize I should feel some sort of relief that it’s almost over… but I don’t.
Oddly enough, I’m wondering how I can fit another couple of short stories into my production schedule this year. Yes, I know I said I hated it, and that this project was a silly idea, and it was supposed to make me better at short formats but I don’t really see the progression, and I know I told you that if I concocted “any other stupid, impulsive ideas for any other projects that were not directly novel-related you should slap me.” (If you’re at DragonCon this weekend in Atlanta, you’ll have that opportunity too. Slap away because I’ll be there and hanging out on the YA, horror, and writers’ tracks. I’ve been informed that there is a bar somewhere in one of the hotels where the writers hang out. I endeavour to find it and imbibe many beverages while trying to explain “what the story is about.” Remind me to memorize my synopsis before I board the plane. I’m sure I’ll start ad-libbing around drink number three, but we’re creative folk and I feel that, like Hemingway, you ought to worry about editing when you’re sober anyway.)
So I signed up for Jolene Haley’s Haunted Hotel Showcase, which means you’ll get some extra of the old dark stuff out of me in October. 😉
In the meantime, this is the ninth addition to the collection, and it’s one of my favourites. Nine’s my lucky number, apparently. I use and abuse it in a lot of my fiction out of sheer impulse, and after a while I start noticing the pattern: How many characters have I killed to grow the protagonist into something better? Nine! How many black cats crossed the street? Nine! How many days does it take to raise the dead? Nine!!!
You should also know that one of my deepest fears is of flying insects. We’ve talked about my problem with butterflies before, but moths are the Big Deal. They make my skin crawl. Can’t handle them. I can’t handle them like some people can’t handle spiders or snakes (I’m cool with both spiders and snakes, incidentally.)
Writing a story about a lepidopterist was pure hell.
Short Fictions & Curiosities: Mothkeeper
I began the Short Fictions & Curiosities experiment partially for the love of the fantastic, and partially because I wanted to take mini-vacations from the novel I’ve been toiling over for the last year. I look at Short Fictions & Curiosities as a collection of oddities that didn’t quite want to fit anywhere else: misfit creatures that occasionally poked their heads out of the murky places where I’d hidden them.
As bizarre as they were, I still wanted to give them a home. And here we are.
About Short Fictions & Curiosities
Short Fictions & Curiosities are monthly offerings: a sample of short stories, wonders, terrors, and experiments in speculative fiction: small slivers of dark fiction and horror from the vault for your enjoyment. They are free to read, with the hopes that you’ll share with others on the social media platform of your choosing. Each story has been penned and designed by Kira Butler. They are formatted for ePub, Mobi, and PDF, and it’s at your discretion how you’d like to receive them.
You can read the initial announcement about the series here.
About the story:
When he’d reached his eighty-ninth year and his bones had begun to feel the wear of time, Gerald found himself drawn to the same preoccupations that had kept his mind engaged as a boy. He’d trapped, collected, and mounted the first fifty-nine species in his collection under the tutelage of his grandfather: They were not the best specimens, but he kept them displayed because they signified a lifelong love that not even his wife, Marjorie, could rival in their fifty-six years of marriage. Gerald was a lepidopterist, and his collecting continued even his mind began to deteriorate. When Gerald began hearing voices, the doctor gave him a prescription. When Gerald wrote the name “Susan” accidentally on one of his taxonomy cards, he scratched it out. When Gerald lay dying, he wondered to himself what it all meant — until, unshackled from his earthly trappings, Gerald finally understood…
About Kira Butler:
Kira Butler is a speculative fiction writer and creative professional from Montreal. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, is a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association, and a member of the Quebec Writers Federation. She has been writing fiction for over ten years, having produced over twenty short stories, and three novels. She haunts KiraButler.com, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.