I was baby-sitting my little sister that afternoon and we decided to go to Discovery World. She loved the giant piano but got pretty bored with everything else so we paid to visit the Butterfly room. There was no one inside. My sister ran off to gawk at the glass boxes containing caterpillars and chrysalis while I wandered over the bridge and looked at the turtles in the pond. It was muggy and the sound of falling water and scratchy leaves filled my ears so that I couldn’t hear a thing.
I was beginning to feel so relaxed when through the noise I heard a shout. Whipping round I saw my sister standing stiff as a tree, arms out, balancing several butterflies, a few on her head. I laughed and she smiled. “I’ve never seen so many on one person before!”
They were lovely, blue and red wings, beating gently up and down.
I walked over to her and tried to edge my hand under one of the bugs, but quickly jumped back when I felt a sharp stab on my finger.
“I think...did it just bite me?”
My sister moved forward to check the mark on my hand but when she did she screamed. Even though it was happening right in front of me I couldn’t really understand what was going on. The pretty bugs began to crawl so quickly over her skin, up her arms. Some seemed to be grating their legs and mouths against her, drawing blood immediately, while others made straight for her head, hastily digging into her ears, scarping at her mouth, trying to get in, while she just screamed and danced about. I tried to bat them away but more flew in from the wet plants around us and soon my sister was covered head to foot in butterflies, writhing on the floor, blood pooling around her body.
I dragged her to the waterfall and while the water shooed most of them away, a few kept gnawing at her. She was still, covered in pink and red bites like pin pricks, her face twitched because some of the bugs remained inside it. I stood beneath the wall of water peering out, shaking. It was loud, but I swore I could hear the heavy beating of wings.