Butterflies Are Not Free

Chapter Twenty-Seven

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Two official women were locking up. Luckily, or unfortunately according to perspective, one of the lockers was the director.

Imperious Sheila drew on her every reserve of intensity, pleading, and entitlement to explain her father, this particular child’s grandfather, had been a survivor, a former docent: a benefactor with a butterfly to prove it. The others shuffled uncomfortably, glared menacingly, or cultivated innocent oblivion.

They were admitted. In Gretchen’s memory, the soft grey labyrinths inside would always be hard and soot black.

Stanley, on his first visit, found himself choking before initiatory photographs of children frozen.


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Two official women were locking up. Luckily, or unfortunately according to perspective, one of the lockers was the director.

Imperious Sheila drew on her every reserve of intensity, pleading, and entitlement to explain her father, this particular child’s grandfather, had been a survivor, a former docent: a benefactor with a butterfly to prove it. The others shuffled uncomfortably, glared menacingly, or cultivated innocent oblivion.

They were admitted. In Gretchen’s memory, the soft grey labyrinths inside would always be hard and soot black.

Stanley, on his first visit, found himself choking before initiatory photographs of children frozen.