The Moth’s Kiss- a short story

 

The Moth’s Kiss

 

You never noticed me. Your kind seldom do; I’m almost invisible, faded to a uniform shade of grey of soul and of face. But I noticed you, sitting there with a net book open, writing, in the corner of that café. Lost to the surrounding bustle, you looked completely absorbed in your task, a tiny frown of concentration making a line between your eyebrows. That’ll become permanent, you know, if you don’t get rid of that little habit.

I digress.

I don’t know why it was you and not someone else who caught my attention that day. There are plenty of beautiful people around, flitting like bright butterflies from stall to stall and in and out of the shops as though they were nectar-rich flowers. But you had no interest in that. Perhaps that was why I noticed you: your stillness amid the frantic consumer frenzy. It was like catching the fragrance of a real living rose in a concrete jungle.

So I watched. You let your coffee go cold while you typed, and then drank it in one draught and looked puzzled by the fact that it was cold. I liked that. You lost all sense of time and space while you were concentrating and for me, that’s immensely promising. You could say it’s essential for my needs.

After I decided that you were the one, it was easy to take a quick peep over your shoulder and read your email address. Other information was just as easy to steal. You are really quite naïve, you know. You should really remember to log out. It makes it too easy for someone like me to get in and read your emails. I guess you don’t think anyone would be interested and you’d be very wrong indeed; you don’t know the stir you cause among my kind. Be glad it’s me and not someone else.

The first night I watched you sleeping it felt like a huge step, a massive victory, but it paled and became commonplace. Night after night, watching and never being able to do more than that. I became almost bored. A slight movement and I became alert again, excited, and a tiny bit scared that I might be discovered. It’s silly as there’s no way you might guess. I said I’m pretty much invisible; I didn’t exaggerate. You sleep deeply and by the time you wake, I’m long gone and I leave no trace. At least, no trace you can find without very special training.

But the other night it was different. What happened that day? Rejection? Heart break? You didn’t mention it in any email; maybe it hurt too much whatever it was. You went to bed and tossed and turned for hours, and then when you finally fell asleep, you wept. I saw. Tears glistening in the finger of light that slips through where the curtains don’t meet, one after another, slipping silently out of tightly shut eyes. I heard you sob and it made me tense but you were crying in your sleep.

I read once about a moth that draws all its fluid and nutrient needs by stealing the tears of sleepers. I don’t know if this is a myth or a true creature but it appealed to me. Your tears were delicious; I could almost taste their salt. I wanted to lean over your sleeping face and slowly kiss them away and enjoy your pain.

But a web-cam has its limits and there’s no way I can touch you.

Yet.