A rainbow of flying emotions

Submitted for Contest #41 in response to: Write about an animal who changes a person's life (for better or worse).... view prompt


HELLO there.  I am Anna Darcisa.   I am 16 years old living in Sedgefield , Western cape. I love lily flowers and warm hugs andmy grandmother is my favourite person. My mother is a little jealous of me and my grandmother relationship, but I know it’s just because she misses her grandmother. I like warm sunny days and long runs to the park.

It was a usual Sunday morning, Mom was making my favourite: pancakes with nutella, but somehow the day wasn’t as inviting as yesterday. Today was the day of my grandmother’s funeral and all I could think about was how she hated pancakes and chocolates. My grandmother thought it was the worst thing anyone could have invented.  

My grandmother was an odd person she was not the normal grandmother you would expect.  She liked bright colours and the smell of flowers in the morning. That is why she lived in a small house with a big garden. She was so full of energy. Each morning she ran 5 km and then she would still have the energy to tell me about the rules of getting a man to notice you. I loved her vibe and her aura and now she is gone…

Set in thought of my grandmother my mother called me:

“Elizabeth, breakfast is on the table. You must eat something. How are you feeling today my dear? Did you sleep okay?”

I could hear the hesitation and urge in my mother’s voice although she tried to look neutral I could see. I could see the hurt of losing one’s mother.  Although she and her mother didn’t get along I knew she loved her mother a lot and really felt the pain from deep within.  

“Mom, I don’t feel like eating today.”

“But Elizabe..”

Before my mother could finish I ran out the door. How could life be so cruel? How could life take away my grandmother who was not sick? I hate life. I hate it. I just do.

I ran all the way to my grandmother’s old house. It was a bright pink house with a little purple door on the right that led to the garden which held the most beautiful flowers everyone has ever seen. There were always bees buzzing and birds chirping but today it was quite.

 I went and sat on the bench my grandmother used to sit on when she peeled potatoes for dinner. She was an strange person, but yet I loved her.

 I looked up at the sky and today the normal sunny sky looked pale and hurt.  The clouds were pregnant and the sun weren’t present.

As I was sitting there I felt as though she was watching me, as if she was waiting for me to ask “ grandmother how do you get a guy to notice you?” , but I couldn’t ask.  Not anymore, because she was not there.  As though something sensed my sorrow a butterfly flew right up on my hand and sat there.

The animal was so peculiar. It had broken and worn antennas but yet the colours of these animal wings were so bright and it looked so full of life that it somehow reminded me of my grandmother.  I thought maybe this was my grandmother reincarnated through this butterfly. I looked at it and smiled.  I must be losing my mind and I started crying. The butterfly was like my grandmother so full of life. The butterfly flew away.

“Yes leave me alone leave me alone all on my own like everybody else.”

I screamed.

I hated the butterfly for leaving me alone like my grandmother did.

I cried a pool of tears that day and at grandmother’s funeral I cried some more, but that night the butterfly somehow prevented me from crying myself to sleep as its beautiful colours were in my mind.  I slept like a log that night and it felt strange as though I was doing my grandmother injustice for not being up all night long.

I awoke from someone crying and I walked up to my mother’s room and saw her crying. I was feeling so helpless I ran to her and hugged her.

“Mom we are going to be okay, we will get through this.  Are you going to run with me this morning?

My mom just knots her head and curled into the blankets again.

I ran downstairs made my mom some coffee and left over pancakes with nutella took it to her and kissed her on her forehead.  I then changed into my workout clothes and left.

That day I ran 5 km just like grandmother always did and as I sat on the bench at the park,  our normal resting stop,  the same peculiar butterfly appeared. The same bright colours , the same broken antennas. How was this even possible?

“Yes what do you want? Are you here to tell me I’m not fit enough?”

The butterfly only sat on my hand and flew away when I was finished talking, as though the butterfly was listening to me.

This happened each and every day on my morning exercise routine. I started to think the butterfly was mocking me.  It became a constant reminder of how I too felt peculiar in this world.  In a way it felt as if my grandmother was still with me and gently guiding me.  Mother would only say it is your grandmother sending her angels down to watch over you and smile.

The butterfly would each day fly with me from the park all the way to grandmother’s house and then disappear. I felt it odd for the butterfly to appear and then suddenly just vanish.

Early one morning I heard mother talking on the phone and crying. I thought it strange for her to cry now off all times since everything was going partially good. There were no funerals to attend to anymore. No heartbreak worsens than losing grandmother. Or so I thought.

A few minutes later when I did my normal workout routine without mother this time,   I saw mom giving grandmothers house keys to an old lady.  My heart sank.  Just as my heart sank the butterfly appeared again and flew in circles all around me flapping me with its wings. Trying to let my attention drift to it presence. I ran to mother and shouted:

“No mom, no don’t do this.”

Mom only took me and held me in her arms and as I shifter in her arms and started to calm down I started to understand that it is not just me that’s hurting. My mom is hurting  too and that it is hard for her as well.

As Mother held me a little while longer the butterfly flew and sat on the old lady’s hand. I gasped

“Did you know the butterfly resembles peace, harmony and joy, it is said to help those left behind.”

My mother and I started crying some more.

As the old lady left with the promise of coming back for the keys in the morning my mother and I decided to spend the night in grandmother’s house and remember her by playing a game of ludo and looking through her old photo albums.


We came upon a photo of mother playing with a butterfly the same age as I was now. Mother was wearing a purple dress with big white spots on it.  Attached to the photo was a letter from grandmother.

To my beautiful daughter

I loved you from the first day I met you. I knew we never seen eye to eye before because we are so similar but you are my hearts greatest treasure. You have made me so proud over the years raising a child all on your own and still having time for your old mother. I love you. This is a photo to show you that nature truly becomes you, you are special. I love you. This butterfly will one day look after you and your child when I am no longer there.


Ps: Stay fit and exercise I love you both.

Mother started crying. I Ran to the bathroom and grabbed some toilet paper.

Upon returning my mother had a book in her hand the front cover of the book were worn and on the front cover stood the words diary.

I quickly ran to the kitchen made me and Mom some sandwiches and returned.  Upon returning mother was smiling brighter than I have ever seen her smile before.

“Come dear sit down I want to tell you a story of your grandmother.”

I sat down and started chewing my sandwich.

“Your grandmother was always odd. She used to wear bright yellow dresses to school and look for the fairies under the mushrooms. She weren’t very smart at school and she did not have many friends, but that was okay for her because she felt safe among the flowers in the garden. One tragic day your grandmother worn a bright orange dress to school with bright pink shoes and the children teased her and spat at her.  They called her all kinds of ugly names and she started crying.  When she went home she heard her grandmother had died.  She was so angry, mad and mostly sad that she decided to run away from home.  So she packed her bags and ran. Her parents were so scared something would happen to her so they prayed to God to please keep her safe. Your grandmother ran and ran and ran and when she was a few kilometres into the forest a butterfly appeared.  It flew right passed her.  It reminded her of her grandmother so she decided to try and outrun it for her grandmother wasn’t there anymore. She ran as fast as she could past the trees and the cows and then suddenly the butterfly stop and flew straight down. She was so scared something had happened to the butterfly that she stopped in her haste and looked where the butterfly had gone, but when she looked she saw the butterfly saved her from falling off a cliff.  She was so stunned.  Then the butterfly flew up and sat upon her head. That moment she knew that butterflies will always protect her family in times of pain.”

I looked up.

“Mom I …”

“I know about the butterfly that’s been following you my angel.”

My mother cried

“I love you my pet, I also had a butterfly as a friend. Your grandmother also wrote you a letter.”

My mother handed the letter to me.

Dear Anna

I trust you find this letter a warm welcome. You will read this letter when the time is right.

Let nature becomes you like your mother always had and let the butterfly guide you and keep you safe. I will always be here.


Your Granny .

That night mother and I cuddled up together and slept with love and peace in our hearts for grandmother was looking out for us.

The next morning when the old lady came for the keys to the house, we weren’t sad, but totally at peace. The old lady just smiled and said:

“I trust it was a good night and that you both slept okay.”

Mother and I just nodded and as we handed over the keys to grandmother’s old house a swarm of butterflies flew over us.  I knew this was how it was meant to be.

                                                                            The end.

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Evelyn Cloonan
19:50 May 18, 2020

WOW!!!! This story gave me chills, it was so good! Keep writing and stay safe!


Anja Z
19:54 May 18, 2020

Thank you this is the first time I tried to write something for reedsy . Thank you so much. xx


Evelyn Cloonan
19:59 May 18, 2020

First time really?! It was really good!!!!!!


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