Friday, July 19, 2013

Prompt: Chasing the Iris Morpho

Roger trailed behind Hannah, his enthusiasm for this venture waning with each passing hour. She doggedly swung her bushwacker a few paces ahead of him, and he let her move on as he stopped for a water break. Stabbing his blade into the rich leaf litter, he pulled out his bottle and drank half of it without pausing. As he dropped his gaze to the swaying pommel of his machete, he blinked in surprise.

The morpho had landed on his pommel. Wings spread in a wide circle, it swayed back and forth with the machete’s momentum. Roger reached out a hand and started to call Hannah’s attention. Faster than he could see, the morpho disappeared. He blinked again, then looked around. Surely he had somehow missed its launch into the air. It has to be over twelve inches across. It couldn’t have truly disappeared. He looked up to call Hannah anyway, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw the brilliant blue wings unfold like a circular fan until they spread atop the pommel of his machete again.

He had thought iris referred to their color. Now he saw it was the movement of the wings. They opened like a camera lens – the iris of an eye. But how had it disappeared before? He cautiously reached a finger toward it, and this time he barely caught the snap of the wings as they folded together into a nearly invisible line across the top of the pommel. Roger pulled back his hand and slowly knelt. When his eyes reached level with the pommel, he could see the faintest trace of the morpho’s thin line. How were they hiding? Roger stood, frowning. He couldn’t see it from above, and he couldn’t see it from the side. Where was the creature’s mass disappearing?

Roger looked up to see Hannah waving to him impatiently. He pointed to his machete and lowered his pack to the ground. He was afraid the morpho would fly away if he shouted aloud and generated heat waves. She better get a clue and walk back toward him. She had the camera gear in her pack.

Dogs in house
Time writing:
20 minutes
July word count:

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