The Moths

The Moths

The Hell Hole | Issue 4

One day the moths became people. Sheds and undergrowth and houses were suddenly jammed with limbs and heads and bodies. Cocoons popped, disgorging viscous fluid filled with half formed ears and teeth. Dusty corpses filled the windowsills, blocking out the light like mummified curtains. Many splotched the pavement as they fell from their resting places on high walls. But, for the most part, they stood still in shock, naked and pale. Papery skin quivered with largeness and finger bones flicked and scuttled with biological complexity.

Some did not recover and just stood there, sucking in breath after breath. When dehydration hit, death kindly stretched their unfamiliar mouths into unfamiliar smiles.

Most did recover and began to chitter and flit, flinging their bodies in rambling spirals, getting annoyingly in the way. They hurled themselves at light sources, breaking windows late at night to huddle beside bedside lamps. They chewed large holes in fabrics and carpet, cornering people in the street and eating their clothes. The females desperately tried to lay eggs, as replacement rolling their excrement into balls and hiding them in effective gestation zones, like trees or compost or cupboards.

We were repulsed. They had our hands but not our movements, our mouths but not our language, our faces but not our expressions. 

Some countries killed them, some harvested their organs, some put them to work. Silk products became rare commodities. Some bats starved to death.

This article first appeared in Issue 4, 2017.
Posted 2:55pm Sunday 19th March 2017 by Charlie O’Mannin.