by Kristina England

Jackie could feel the butterfly in her chest.

The doctor promised it wouldn’t hurt and he was right. The insect made a vibration on her breastbone, ticklish and light. She pressed her hand against her skin. The day-flying creature’s fluttering had replaced the motion of her heart after so many people — mother, husband, friends — poked and prodded that blood-pumping muscle to a stop.

She felt the space filling in with the thrash of wings. She gasped as her body seemed to morph, take shape, and mimic the feeling of flight.

But the doctor forgot to tell her that the imitation of a heart can never fill you.

It just leaves you waiting for the wings to spread out, for life to move on.

Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her writing is published or forthcoming in Gargoyle, One Forty Fiction, Postcard Shorts, and other journals. For more on her writing, visit http://kristinaengland.blogspot.com.