Butterfly Effect

butterfly-effectI can hear everything, but I see nothing. I want to move, but I can’t. I feel as though I am restrained and yet I don’t sense anything binding me. I turn my head left and right to ascertain my surroundings, but it is pointless. For a different reason than I think. My brain is instructing the muscles in my neck to exercise, to move such that my head will swivel. But, the message is never received. There is some gap in the communication between mind and body, and I don’t like it.

Footsteps, mumbling voices, and the distant sound of cars passing on a street. It’s as if my sense of hearing is working just fine, although slightly muddled, but my sight is failing me. I can sense my chest moving up and down, Slowly, but surely. It is some indication that I am, in fact, alive.

And even though I cannot see the world around me, a movie begins to play inside my head. It’s one of those times when you wish you could grab some paper and jot down what you are seeing and feeling. This would make an incredible story. Usually, I would just chalk it up to laziness. I’ll remember it later and write it down then. But, this time is different. I want to write down these thoughts, capture these images, desperately. But, I can’t. That gap in communication between brain and body is affecting the muscles in my arms, hands, and fingers just like it is affecting my head.

I begin to sense movement, as if I am somehow becoming a puppet in my own movie, my strings being tugged to play out my part. I begin to dance around the set, seemingly unrelated objects passing by me. It is all so surreal – a notebook, a paper airplane, an acoustic guitar – they must mean something, but what?

And then, I can feel the fluttering wings of a butterfly alight on my nose. My real nose, not my puppet nose. And light begins to filter back into my consciousness. What was once a dark room begins to become an expansive space filled with daylight.

The voices around me become more audible. A sense of clarity and understanding washes over me. “Are you okay sir? What is your name?” The first thing I see as the light returns is Joseph, at least that’s what his name tag states. The paramedics are stabilizing me, strapping me down to a board, deeming my body physically immobile.

The connection between my brain and body has begun to function once again. As I swivel my head to look left, I see the mangled twist of metal that used to be my car. And I finally realize, there is so much more to do. I look beyond the wreckage to catch a fleeting glimpse of what looks like a butterfly just beginning to disappear from view. And I whisper to it in the faintest voice possible, “Thank you.”

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13 thoughts on “Butterfly Effect

  1. Writing to Freedom August 26, 2015 / 9:51 am

    Wow Dave. The ending is wonderful, and filled my with tingles. Send that butterfly my way please. 🙂

    • davecenker August 26, 2015 / 9:59 am

      Thanks Brad, I think we all have resident butterflies in our lives. Sometimes, we just need to quiet the distractions around us to notice them 😉

      • Writing to Freedom August 26, 2015 / 10:34 am

        True Dave and thanks for being a butterfly for me. 🙂

  2. heraldmarty August 26, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Got the chicken skin thing again. While I’ve never been in that specific situation it reminded me a bit of when you’re beginning to come out of the effects of anesthesia after surgery. I’ve only experienced it once, but it was very much like you described above right down to a faint awareness of someone I assumed was a nurse softly talking to me. Another wonderful article Dave. 🙂

    • davecenker August 26, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you Marty. I certainly needed to use my imagination on this one being I have never experienced anything like this before 🙂 I had learned, while composing this little story, about the real “butterfly effect”, where small localized effects can have far-reaching impacts elsewhere. It was a fun little piece of flash fiction to write, and I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it 🙂

  3. Dalo 2013 August 26, 2015 / 3:41 pm

    Beautiful writing Dave, your words and story drawing me in to a conclusion that allows me to exhale. Well done.

    • davecenker August 27, 2015 / 8:28 am

      Thank you Randy, I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it – and were able to exhale 🙂 Thanks as always, for taking the time to read and comment. It is sincerely appreciated!

  4. Don August 26, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    Beautifully written Dave and expressed so well. Loved the ending.

    • davecenker August 27, 2015 / 8:33 am

      Thanks Don, there certainly was a foreboding tone throughout this short piece, but I had to complete my character’s thoughts with something positive. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and comment!

  5. Melissa Anders August 29, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    A moving piece Dave…I like how it had a dark tone that was veiled in the beauty of the butterfly. A wonderful contrast. Well done!

    • davecenker August 30, 2015 / 11:40 am

      Thank you Melissa, I appreciate you stopping by to read and provide your thoughts. I have noticed how some of my writing has taken a darker turn lately. It is revealing to see how the books you are presently reading seep into that which you are writing.

      Thanks again, and best wishes for an inspired day!

  6. MJ September 19, 2015 / 10:43 am

    Chills!!!!! Awesome Dave, I was there, I felt it! Congratulations on all the writing you are doing, you truly have a gift and I hope you keep going!

    • davecenker September 20, 2015 / 9:29 am

      Thanks MJ, the feeling is mutual. I always enjoy reading your evocative words. It help me to fulfill the second part of my mantra, to be inspired 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a great weekend!

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