Goats and butterflies

Goats and butterflies

A Story by Stan Lee

short story



“Goats and butterflies,” Laura scribbled on her pad. The gallery was empty. As she stepped back to get a better view, the wooden floorboards creaked tiredly. The picture on the wall in front of her wasn’t really goats or butterflies. The picture wasn’t really any one thing but somehow Laura wanted to describe it and write something about it. It was hard. Something about the picture defied explanation or description. How does one describe something that looks almost realistic but at the same time so very alien? It made Laura feel angry, scared and puzzled all at the same time, not least of all because she had chosen that image as the subject of her final high school art project.

Somewhere the central heating hummed heavily though it was barely working, and the cold was beginning to whisper down Laura’s neck. She shivered and looked around the gallery. She was still alone. Laura whipped out her phone and took a quick snap. She’d figure the picture out later.

Rubbing her forehead, she finally turned away and headed for the door. There was music on the air. Laura supposed someone was listening to the radio in a different part of the building. The music was soft and lilting, sounding somewhat like a pan-flute. The tune seemed familiar, but Laura couldn’t quite make it out. It almost sounded like, she thought… “goats and butterflies”.

© 2019 Stan Lee

Author's Note

Stan Lee
Can anyone help me out with the punctuation? Would be much appreciated. :)

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Hi lee, nice writing. Good work.

Posted 1 Year Ago

i read this very metaphorically. the gallery is symbolic of all of life's moments. and the moment the narrator, laura, is at is a weird one. the picture she is looking at is representative of a moment of her life, which is particularly "realistic" "alien" and "defied explanation." how beautiful is that? I praise god for such moments of weirdness. but she choose this moment! And angry, scared, and puzzled. how beautiful to imagine this girl. Then the central heating and the cold are symbolic of the mood the narrator typically feels, and the change is abrupt and uncomfortable, and she feels alone. "She'd figure the picture out later" means that she'll remember the moment and then think about what she's going through. Then she turned for a door, meaning that she entered a new place, a new feeling, one with new music, familiar music, but strangely the music of goats and butterflies. exquisitely beautiful.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Stan Lee

4 Years Ago

MondaineGarcon, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your interpretation has made my writing seem a .. read more
One thing I love about your writing is that it always makes one feel something - even if we aren't sure what that something is! This story is simple, yet there's something artistic and haunting about it. It very much seems to be trying to answer the same question Laura is - how do you describe something that isn't any one thing?

Answering the author's note, I think your punctuation is okay. For the last quote, you could put quotes around *It almost sounded like*, and then move the period at the end inside the quotes, ["It almost sounded like . . ." she thought, "goats and butterflies"] but otherwise, nothing is wrong, only subjective. One suggestion: you could italicize the things you put in quotes instead of putting them in quotes, as no one is actually verbally speaking. It would be just a stylistic change, not a necessary one.

Loved it, as always.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Stan Lee

4 Years Ago

Hi Clifford, Thanks for your review. It's nice to hear from you. The image that I used as a prompt w.. read more

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3 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on April 30, 2019
Last Updated on April 30, 2019


Stan Lee
Stan Lee

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