London, United Kingdoms
“He’s ready for you, Mr. McCarthy,” The secretary said, and her words drew my eyes upwards, away from the pamphlet in my hands. I peered over my reading classes at her, before a small smile tugged at my formerly deadpan lips.
“Thank you,” I responded, a small tip of my head as I pushed myself to my feet, carefully closing the small paper booklet and setting it back on the end table where I had found it.
With lanky strides, I followed after the blonde girl, who looked… rather proper. Of course, it was to be expected, due to her… particular source of employment. As we walk, I carefully took off my reading glasses, before sliding them into my satchel.
The woman led me to a set of dark wooden doors, the entryway to a study. She pushed open the door, and then stepped to the side, allowing me to enter. I thanked her quietly once more, before shifting into the room. She gently pulled the door closed behind me, and I couldn’t help but feel as though it was a seal on my fate.
Not like I was doing anything ominous, but you get the point.
“Ah, you must be William,” He had a voice that was less distinct that I thought it would be. He sounded so… normal, and I suppose that was no detriment. Before me… floated a butterfly, many times larger than he should have been.
Slightly larger than my head, was a brilliantly blue monarch butterfly, fitted with a perfectly sized top hat and monocle. On his butterfly head was… well, two large eyes instead of the small beady ones most butterflies have, and instead of the proboscis… well, he had a face, complete with a mustache.
I had seen images of him, absolutely, but if you take into account the fact that most people have come in contact with only the small butterflies that are capable of resting on your finger, flitting from flower to flower…
Well, a butterfly fully capable of human speech, mannerisms, complete with human features… It was a bit overwhelming.
“And you must be Bartholomew the Monarch Butterfly,” I responded, a few moments late.
“Oh, don’t be like that! If you would be so kind, Bartholomew will do quite nicely.” That was a… mildly surprising reaction, but I could work with it. “I do apologize for making you wait, William, I presume it wasn’t too boring?”
“Not at all,” I said, shaking my head slightly as if to dismiss any worries he had. On the other hand, Bartholomew didn’t exactly seem like the type to be offended by such a simple thing as someone being bored in his waiting room.
The butterfly must have realized my tension, as he shook his head. “This simply will not do. You needn’t be so stressed – why don’t you take a seat?” Oh, right, that was something one was expected to do, wasn’t it? I moved almost carefully from the door, sitting down in one of the large patterned chairs, relaxing back into the comfortable cushion. Bartholomew flitted over to the chair across from me and settled in himself.
He didn’t exactly land, per se, he just floated there, only gently flapping his large wings – almost like a bird – to hover just above the chair. I almost laughed at the peculiarity of it but found that would in no way be the best course of action.
All the while, Bartholomew was continuing – “The kettle’s on, it will only be just a smidgen until it’s ready – I hope you won’t be adverse to just a little bit of tea?”
At this, I actually did laugh – barely a chuckle, but it still counted. Bartholomew seemed to find that pleasing in some way, as an honest smile pulled at his lips. “Tea will do nicely, thank you.” I said, knowing full well that with some hot liquid perhaps I would be a little less stressed.
Honestly, it felt like I was making first contact with an alien race, as not many people truly got to meet Bartholomew in person, let alone go on some huge journey with the butterfly.
Yet for some reason I had been the one chosen for this operation. Why me, I wasn’t entirely sure. Perhaps I would never be told.
End of Chapter 1 Part 1 …stay tuned for Chapter 1 Part 2
Author- Stephany S.