THE BLACK BUTTERFLY
The deafening sound of its madly fluttering wings drowned all rational thought as it settled on him and began to feed. It sucked at his frustration and irritation, gobbled annoyance and disgust, and gorged itself on the pain of patience stretched to the limit. Lapping nourishment from his soul, the creature’s strength grew and compelled his frenzy.
The actor’s plea changed abruptly to a rasping cough as Vince Fulmin’s wrist tightened against his Adam’s apple. Held from behind, he dared not struggle. Vince’s other hand pressed the point of a foot-long chef’s knife against the actor’s ribs, and a quick lunge would penetrate deeply. The director and production crew stood frozen at the back wall of the sound stage where Vince had ordered them, using the little man’s life as leverage.
“Shut the fuck up! I been listenin’ to your bullshit too fuckin’ long! I’ve had it! Had it!” Vince screamed. “Ya been yappin’ at me in that moronic voice, and telling me the same old shit for years. I just can’t take it anymore, P. D.!”
Vince was shaking and sweat poured from him, the temperature on the set rising steadily from the floodlights as well as the oven being used in the kitchen shot.
As hot as it was, the crew was cold. Chilled to the bone with incredulous shock and fear, they stared at Vince in wide-eyed terror. They could see their coworker — their friend — gone over the edge, but couldn’t see what he saw, or what had descended into his life.
For months it had plagued him. A black butterfly would swoop down and somehow meld with his soul. There, fed by a thousand petty irritations, it would grow. As its size increased, so would Vince’s outrage at annoying intrusions into his consciousness — and so would the drive to eradicate these intrusions.
“Wha...what do you want?” P. D. gasped. “Vince, name it. We’ll work it out, just please ease up —”
“Shut up!” Vince hissed through clenched teeth. “You ain’t got a motherfuckin’ thing I want. I just want you out of my life. I don’t want to see you. Don’t you get it, P. D.? I don’t want you to be anymore!”
“Vince, take off for a while. Take a long vacation. We can shoot this one without you. It’s okay. Really!”
“Oh man! You really don’t get it, do you, you fat little freak,” he shrieked, hysterically. “It’s not just here. I turn on TV and there you are. Radio! Same thing! I don’t have to look at your pasty face, but I still get your squeaky little voice and nauseating giggle. It used to be cute, but it’s gone way beyond cute. Makes me wanna puke!”
“Please, Vince, don’t hurt me,” the pathetic little man sobbed. “Oh, God, please let me go.What have I done? Tell me. I just tried to do my job!”
Vince tightened his hold on P. D.’s throat and screeched maniacally, “That’s right, beg for your life you little white freak. Suffer! Feel what I feel! You did this to me — you did this to yourself! Goddamn you! You’ve gotta pay for this! You’re gonna burn in hell. You’re gonna burn,” he bellowed, arching back and lifting P. D. off the floor, his legs kicking and twitching.
Vince sucked air in great heaves, his heart pounding. Now fed by raw rage, the winged creature surged with power. It fluttered desperate urgings to Vince. Its anomalistic nature demanded destruction of the spiritual chaffings upon which it fed.
Vince shuddered with an orgasmic adrenaline rush and plunged the huge weapon deep into the body of his vexatious hostage, then slammed the razor-sharp knife forward, cleaving the man’s doughy belly. He dragged the dangling halves across the room, and using his free hand, opened the door to the oven. He stuffed him inside and before slamming the door, prodded the mess with his index finger.
“Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven, does it, Doughboy?”