‘That really works?’ I asked pointing at the patterned umbrella.

‘It seems to draw them out.’

‘Besides from look nice, what do butterflies do anyway?’

‘They pollinate, they control other insect numbers, they indicate a healthy environment.’

A Red Admiral with it’s black and orange wings fluttered around us. The old lady swooshed her net after it, but the butterfly dodged her attempts.

‘Not worth chasing after,’ she shrugged, ‘quite common, not worth much.’

The collapse and extinction of butterfly species had been one of the first indicators that we had failed, that our time on this planet was coming to an end. Now most of the humans had left, the butterfly numbers were recovering.

The old eyes glinted in excitement. ‘Look there,’ she pointed. ‘A Palos Verdes Blue. One of the rarest in the world. It could be worth millions.’ She moved off in pursuit.

I made a note of the rare name. A nice detail to end my piece for the Aeolis Mons Gazette when I got back to the home planet.

Copyright Michelle De Angelis

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

N.B. Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp) is a geographical place name on Mars.

24 responses to “THE BUTTERFLY FARMER”

    • I started from the umbrella looking like a butterfly pattern, butterflies in the news in recent years has generally been about endangered species of them, due to changing climates, and I extended it from there. Although Mars is mentioned, I would say this is more about Earth, and where we are heading.


  1. I love the idea of a butterfly farm and it seems eerie that it would be a farm on Mars! It makes me nervous that the lady was trying to catch that rare beautiful butterfly because of it’s worth and everyone had to go to Mars because the butterflies on earth went extinct! Seems the same thing is going to happen on Mars! Great story, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great use of the prompt, you have set me off, on a rant. I leave my garden semi wild, use no chemicals yet I have seen few butterflies this year. It makes me sad that so few people understand and value nature and wild life. Went walking two days ago, mountain of litter from the local academy school child next to the river.. I do wonder what schools are teaching these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Completely agree Michael. Little things like that – littering in natural spots especially – surely we have all learned this isn’t acceptable by now. No excuse for it.


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