Iron Butterfly, flash fiction by Verity Mason at
Eldar Nazarov

Iron Butterfly

Iron Butterfly

written by: Verity Mason


The natives are restless tonight, and that’s the way Luscious Lola likes it.

Amidst the musky odour of sweat and oil lamps, the signature burnt rubber of the Gitane fogs the atmosphere. Without a sound, Lola assumes her position. As men, young and old, crowd to watch, raucous cheering and applause reverberate around the dance hall.

Night after night, when Lola’s nimble, polished toes touch the stage, there’s a hushed lull of anticipation. Adulation triggers her craving for attention; a rush of electricity jump starts her soul.

The delerium of the audience ignites in Lola the flame to satiate her thirst for thrills. Spotlights blaze, nearly blinding. As the white light falls on her honeyed skin, it’s as though a thousand volts tap into her spine. The hollow rumble of the drums begins-the spark for her tinder. Lola is a fireball. Her followers stomp the boards for more of the fire they know will course through her veins as the she devil takes possession.

Her purple petticoats could have been fashioned for royalty, with shimmering folds of silk that bounce and cascade, accentuating every move she makes. They wrap themselves around her hourglass figure like a chrysalis, encasing her velvet amethyst bodice. Raven curls adorned with silver sequined butterflies fly as Lola dominates the floor, spinning just out of reach. The louder the drums beat, the wider her intoxicating smile grows.

Breathless, Lola spots her companion for the dark hours. She steals a smile in his direction. Attraction pounds in a fraction of a moment, hearts race as their gazes connect; a silent affirmation passes between them. With hunger in the stranger’s dark eyes, he feasts on every inch of her curves.

The butterfly lives briefly.

Lola is smart enough to know her time will come. Deep down, inside, is a morbid fear of ageing. Her desire to be on stage, forever in the arms of adoring men, snatched away.

One night, Lola knows she will remove her make-up and there it will be. The Dance of Death. The steps are slow but easy to learn. The limp, the stumble, the fall. Her raven hair turned grey, the wrinkles and folds of her skin so pronounced it’s hard to tell what she must have looked like as a young woman.

Her glamour fading. Lola will have the chance to say goodbye her way before slipping away unnoticed and forgotten.

Every fiber of her being craves the madness of man’s desire, and when she doesn’t get it, Lola may walk the path she tortures herself with, a mercy killing.

Who wouldn’t want that?

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