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Creative Writing

Short story: The moth

The story of a moth and staying up too late to hit it.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/sethi1rhea/" target="_self">Rhea Sethi</a>

Rhea Sethi

June 5, 2022
“Is that the best you can do?” It’s taunting her, she knows as she stares into its fathomless obsidian eyes. Even at her lowest, it will not leave her alone. It needs no words to convey its disgust at how far she has fallen. It may have once respected her, but that time is long gone. She screams, desperately making an attempt to do something — anything — to rise once again, to recover from her fall. But it is futile. There is no recovery from this. Hope ebbs away from her and — 

“Hey!” A voice interrupts her monologue, and she shudders at the thought of anyone seeing her like this. She is a shell of her former glory, a mere pebble awash in the tide of —

“Just what exactly do you think you’re doing? Get off the floor. Now.” The exasperated voice of her best friend once again cuts into her thoughts and she blinks, suddenly all too aware of her surroundings. He shoots her a glare and points at the clock. “It’s three in the morning.” 

She pushes herself off the floor and stands, registering the bruise forming on her right knee but keeping her eye on her target, undeterred. “It’s evil, I swear. I can feel it taunting me, and it won’t even let me eat my cereal in peace! I don’t know what to do in the face of such–” 

“It’s a moth,” he deadpans, shooting her a glare, and she’s suddenly all too aware of the ruckus she caused trying to shoo the moth outside. 

He readjusts the glasses slipping down the bridge of his nose and winces at the intensity of the light in the center of the kitchen around which the moth is flitting, entranced. He turns the light off, opens the door, and they both watch in silence as the moth immediately flits outside. “Seriously?”

She refuses to feel embarrassed. “In my defense, I’m only functioning at half my normal mental capacity at the moment .” She pours him a bowl and they sit on the table, forgoing chairs, savoring the taste of cereal in the dead of the night. 

“Okay, but the next time you decide to chase a moth in order to be able to finish your cereal at 3 a.m. try NOT to do it when we both have an internship in 8 hours.” 

“You say that like there’s gonna be a next time.”

“Is there?” 

“… Probably.”  

“That’s what I thought.” He smiles fondly at his best friend attacking her cereal as he eats his with a little more dignity.

“Don’t act all high and mighty, buddy. I still remember the spider incident.”

“That was one time!”

“The couch still has the burn marks to prove it~”

“One. Time.”

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