A Butterly Flapping Its Wings

A Butterly Flapping Its Wings

A Story by Treo LeGigeo

It is said that sometimes one single thing, one tiny single unimportant thing, could kill thousands with a disaster on the other side of the world...


The letter was clutched in strong fingers which, had they belonged to a lesser man, might have been trembling.

Application successful.

It wasn't happiness or elation that he felt. There was a vindication that scratched on the edges of his thoughts, but the only thing really resonating in his mind was, 'what now?' It was the first time in a long while since he had heard anything beside the scornful echoes of his father's words.

It was a dream.

Almost a decade had passed since they'd been said. He'd shyly expressed his fondness for art as a schoolboy, and his father had promptly crushed his meek hopes with an iron tongue. "Fool," he had said. "Dreamer, head in the clouds." He'd laughed then, coarse and cruel. "You'd never make it." And the next semester his star-gazer of a son had been enrolled into technical school.

It started with death.

Standing cold and numb as his father was buried, it was his mother that convinced him to apply that first time with her soft words of encouragement and warm embraces to heal a broken will. So he'd sent in to the art school of his young aspirations, and he'd received his reply.

"Unfit for painting," they said. "Not artist material."


It was when he stood once again with the mourning bells in his ears that those words came back. Mama's eulogy was read, his life faded away, and he was left just another penniless orphan in the world. Alone, nobody, just a stupid little kid.


He managed as well as he could, smearing canvases with whatever he scrapped together and flogging them for as much people would cough up. He couldn't hate the crippling rent notices when they were posted, such harmless scraps of paper with the landlord's latest ultimatum. But he could hate himself.

Head in the clouds.

The words clawed through his brain, tearing at his every thought. The second application was shoved in a mailbox like a live grenade; he'd show himself, he'd show them how wrong they were.

You'd never make it.

The assessment period crawled past, day after day, and he sat and thought. He thought about the look on papa's face, the look on everyone's face. But even as waited for his answer he was already thinking of greater things. He would do more than they ever imagined, he would change the world.

Application successful.

"Passion," they said this time. "Spirit, soul. You have it."

He'd won, and all he felt was numb.

Application successful.

He thought again, then, about the father who didn't see him for who he was, about proving to everyone what he could be. He could achieve the dreams of the whole planet, he could slaughter his way to the top and wield power like a brush dipped in kerosene. But there were other thoughts too--memories, of his mother telling him to follow his heart, of his own imaginings of himself. Not a leader, not a fighter, just a creator. An artist.

There were two roads before him, and it was almost audible in the silent apartment as one crumbled to dust.

It was a dream.

He put the letter down with a smile, and turned to his canvas.

31 Years Later--September 1, 1939

Thick oak doors banged open as the President of Germany stepped through into his newly-built office. The opening of the new parliamentary building was a symbol of change and achievement for the government, which had been struggling its slow way upward since coming into power after the Great War. Wandering eyes drifted over the light cream walls, taking in the spacious room before falling onto the painting that hung over the mahogany desk. He stopped dead in his tracks with a jolt.

It is said that sometimes one single thing, one tiny single unimportant thing...

The image was abstract, distorted, a winged creature in flight with a daintiness in its features yet a darkness that lingered beneath. There was something in those bold brush strokes, something intangible and not quite there, accompanied by the icy shiver of barely-lost potential. But as soon as the feeling came it was gone, leaving only the rich-coloured room and the echoes of the hopes and promises that built it.

...could kill thousands with a disaster on the other side of the world...

"That painting there," he asked his aide, "who is the artist?"

"Oh, a graduate of the  Academy of Fine Arts Vienna," the aide replied. "I believe his name is Adolf Hitler."

...or not.

"He's good with a brush," the president said simply, striding to his seat, ready to lead his country on its path to greatness.

And it ended with life.

© 2013 Treo LeGigeo

Author's Note

Treo LeGigeo
Adolf Hitler applied twice at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, actually rejected both times. September 1, 1939 was the day World War II officially started.

This was written for an English class for a "journey" topic. Bit of an experimental style. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

My Review

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Suspense, imagery, emotion, and a great twist at the end. I have often heard of people hypothesising about Hitler's artistic ambitions and First World War service, but never has anyone done it so eloquently.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Wow...just wow. The ending was phenomenal.

Posted 9 Years Ago

This is the kind of story I absolutely love; it tells a gripping tale with excellent writing. I do my best to try to find constructive criticism whenever I read a story, but honestly, I became so enveloped that I simply found myself reading for enjoyment. There truly are not many errors in here (any grammatical I failed to notice), this is a superbly crafted, poignant story with an excellent twist. I've heard how Adolf Hitler was rejected from Vienna dozens of times, but you created a character that was unexpected and blossomed at the perfect moment. I am especially fond of the excerpt at the end in the future, that was the real kicker for me. Great work, please keep writing.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Forgot to rate oops

Posted 10 Years Ago

Very cool story. Innovative.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Very interesting story - thought provoking. I just saw the movie " Remember Me" and was touched by the emotion in it. This story feels feels like that - like its full of life and weight but also very fleeting and changeable. I loved it.

Posted 10 Years Ago

interesting, now this me thinking here it's that type of bullying through life that creates that kind of person when their older. Telling them their not good enough or amount to something much more downgrading them like that bus driver did to a first grader I believe throwing him off her bus to no where. Anyways well done, you truly are a wonderful story teller taking the information you learned and made it into your own style. Bravo as you led us through the life to the shocking ending of who lived it. Excellente cant wait to read more your stories.

Posted 10 Years Ago

I loved this and I was glad you placed first! It was so original and stood out from everyone else! The title was kind of long, but you expected it to be all sweet and when I read Adoilf Hitler I thought 'this is going in the good pile!' It's so realistic that once you can realise your dreams you sit back and start to think everything over. I found this to be wonderful and won't regret my high rating!

Posted 10 Years Ago

So I was reading and was like "This is good, I quite like this. I like the unique structure." It is very elegant and well written, you got my vote for that. And then I kept reading and got to the part where they tell the president who the artist is and my mind went "Holy oh my god this story is about Hitler. I have always been so fascinated with his sad life before the Holocaust, and I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING." This story is the very description of a perfect twist ending, and for that you no-doubt-in-my-mind got my vote :D

Posted 10 Years Ago

They say it was his father being murdered in front of him is what threw the switch.

Good write... you got my vote

Posted 10 Years Ago

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20 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on April 22, 2012
Last Updated on April 3, 2013


Treo LeGigeo
Treo LeGigeo

Sydney, NSW, Australia

I'm from Australia, so some people may find that I spell things differently. I love writing and have had a couple of publications of short stories and novellas under a pseudonym. I started .. more..


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