Flash Fiction

Imago Ed
I sink lower in my seat. Dana tuts as she turns, smug. She’s always so smug.

“Relax, Luna,” she condescends. “The imago’s part of life. Why’re you acting like such a hatchling about this?”

Easy for her to say. She’s already shed four times. It’s whispered she’ll chrysalis any day now. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for skin shed number one. My body looks like a dandelion stem every time I check the mirror—green, smooth, flat. What I wouldn’t give for one fat roll, just one to make the boys oscitate. Dana has a lot; maybe she’d share.

My dread drifts up into the miasma of nervous titters filling the room. Dana says, “I don’t know why everyone’s acting weird. I can’t wait for the video. I mean,” she slurps the lacuna of her milkweed stem, “I’m so close myself, but I’ve never actually seen the metamorphosis. You know?”

Teacher gives her lecture. Imago is a natural and beautiful part of a caterpillar’s life. The changes in our body are not shameful. Blah.

She starts the video. The monarch emerges from the cocoon, rumpled, sticky.


In beautiful synchronicity, Dana hits the floor in a dead faint.

It’s a good day.

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