Chapter 1:

Tale One: Blind Butterfly


ME – Main Character, Detective.Bookmark here

CLAUDIA – Childhood Friend, Afflicted.Bookmark here

“Ghosts do not exist. They are but a product of the human imagination, as are all the other supposed paranormal entities.” Bookmark here

That is a statement proven true time and time again, and it has been globally accepted for centuries. However, there are still people who keep denying the undeniable.Bookmark here

Me?Bookmark here

I’m not one of them. You’ll find me dead in the ground before I admit to their existence. Actually, I have had so much experience with supernatural entities that I can say without the shadow of a doubt that they do not exist. All events related to the supernatural are, without exception, tricks our minds play on us, with the simplest possible explanations.Bookmark here

However.Bookmark here

Yes, even with that said.Bookmark here

As much as I loathe everything that can’t be explained with logic and hard facts, common sense is indeed the least common of senses. Or maybe it is my definition of “common sense” that is flawed, and that’s the reason it is so uncommon in my surroundings.Bookmark here

It’s almost been a year now since people have started coming to me with seemingly absurd, illogical “supernatural issues”, every one more stupid than the previous.Bookmark here

And, inevitably, solving these issues has granted me an undesired reputation as an “exorcist” of sorts.Bookmark here

An unpleasant thing to be known as, certainly. Especially for someone whose only desire is to finish his high school education and move on to pursue his life-long dream of being a movie director.Bookmark here

Regardless, this time I shall tell one of many tales featuring paranormal happenings, in the hope that they can at least be entertaining to whatever audience they find.Bookmark here

There’s no particular reason why I chose this story in particular, nor do I remember it especially vividly, save for the beginning and end of it.Bookmark here

It was 2:45 PM, school had just ended and I could not wait to get home and devote myself to my usual procrastination. Bookmark here

Just as I thought of playing videogames, watching TV or any mundane thing of the sort, I felt someone shouting at me from behind.Bookmark here

Or well, maybe they were calling out to someone else – I thought before that hope shattered the moment I realized who it was, and the fact that there was nobody else in that direction.Bookmark here

The closest thing I ever had to a female childhood friend was right there, running towards me with a worried expression on her face. Bookmark here

When she finally reached me and started recovering her breath, I was too dumbfounded to say or do anything. Actually I wouldn’t notice until later that I had stopped walking.Bookmark here

After all, she had spent months without ever talking to me in person.Bookmark here

And it had been my fault, exclusively mine, so mine that you’d wonder if anyone else was even involved – which they definitely were. But that’s a story for another day.Bookmark here

“Please, I need you to come with me”, she said.Bookmark here

“What is it?! What happened?!”Bookmark here

“No need to be so worried before I’ve even said anything. I just need your help is all.”Bookmark here

“… Okay, I’m sorry. What do you need?”Bookmark here

“You’re not going to like it… It’s another one of those. How did you use to call them… ‘Paranormal nonsense’ or something.”Bookmark here

“… You should know better than anyone, better than me even. Those don’t exist.”Bookmark here

I was ready to turn around and leave her there. I wanted nothing to do with any of that stuff if it wasn’t unavoidable.Bookmark here

“Please. I know they don’t exist, and that’s the reason I’m asking you. Please.”Bookmark here

…I wanted to refuse. But. She was trusting me, just like she had back then.Bookmark here

Maybe this time I would be able to not let her down.Bookmark here

I accepted, reluctantly.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Ten minutes later, I was entering her home – an average sized apartment in a five-story building.Bookmark here

“Excuse the intrusion…”Bookmark here

A middle-aged woman I knew well enough by now welcomed me. She was, of course, my friend’s mother. Her face was that of someone who had been crying recently, although her attitude didn’t show it in the slightest. Now I really wondered what the heck was happening to them.Bookmark here

“Welcome! It’s been a while since the last time you came.”Bookmark here

“Yes, I’ve been pretty busy… But today your daughter came looking for me needing help. Has something happened?”Bookmark here

“I’ll let Claudia explain. After all, I’m sure she’ll do better than I could.”Bookmark here

She left us all alone as she went to cook something.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

She wasn’t doing us as big a favor as she thought.Bookmark here

Regardless.Bookmark here

I asked Claudia to explain.Bookmark here

I just wanted to finish quickly, honestly.Bookmark here

“Starting a few days ago, a few items with no apparent commonalities have been disappearing in the house. They just vanish out of nowhere. My two little brothers, my parents and me have all been affected by this.”Bookmark here

“Are the items of any particular importance or value?”Bookmark here

“They are all things we would never want to lose, though their exact nature and monetary value isn’t consistent at all. They just seem picked at random.”Bookmark here

“And you are sure this isn’t just bad luck, or you people not searching properly.”Bookmark here

“I am.”Bookmark here

… I’ll trust her, I decided.Bookmark here

I began my investigation. Bookmark here

I got Claudia to make me a list of all the missing objects with a brief description for each.Bookmark here

And I started looking for cl- oops.Bookmark here

I should probably say hello to everyone while I do that, I reminded myself.Bookmark here

Since I apparently had to examine every room for missing objects save for the bathrooms, I would inevitably come across the rest of the family in the process.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

The investigation proceeded smoothly.Bookmark here

One by one, I went checking the spots where the objects should have been placed.Bookmark here

And as Claudia had told me, they had no relation between them whatsoever, or at least none that I could discern with the information I had.Bookmark here

The list included books, videogames, pictures, toys, tableware, and some more than I feel no need to mention.Bookmark here

What stood out to me, rather than the objects, their locations, or their apparent lack of connection, was the mood of the different members of the family when I went to meet them.Bookmark here

Claudia’s father, not unlike his wife, showed signs of having cried not long ago – although these signs were much less noticeable in him than they were on Claudia’s mother. He wasn’t in a very bad mood, however, as he insisted on chatting with me for a while, as well as giving me something to eat – since it seemed I wouldn’t be getting home in time for lunch. Which I had already, preemptively, informed my parents about with a text message.Bookmark here

The kind man appeared to find our idle talk relieving, but after that was over, he kept on with the work he was apparently doing.Bookmark here

Claudia’s two little brothers, who were so similar to one another that I could not help but wonder how many times I had confused them before, were the most upbeat out of all of them. According to Claudia, this had all started not even a week before, so they either didn’t pay any mind to the disappeared objects after the first few days, or they hadn’t noticed yet.Bookmark here

Overall, it felt nice to meet all these people after so long.Bookmark here

It was also a strangely nostalgic experience, the way Claudia’s family welcomed me as if I was an old friend of theirs. They all gave me the same treatment save for one exception – Claudia’s grandmother, who I hadn’t known was living with them.Bookmark here

“She’s my grandma. She has been feeling very tired recently, so she’s asleep right now. Please don’t bother her unless absolutely necessary.”Bookmark here

Claudia commented that as we walked by her bedroom’s door.Bookmark here

“I understand.” Bookmark here

And so the most I got to see of the grandmother was the small peek I got into her bedroom through the half-open door.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Other than saying hi to my old friend’s family, which felt refreshing after so long, there wasn’t much else to distract me from my main task.Bookmark here

After a little over twenty minutes, I had finished examining every single place where objects had gone missing. My objective being to go back home as soon as possible, I didn’t wait around to tell Claudia that I was finished; rather, I was almost running when I went looking for her.Bookmark here

“My investigation has concluded. I’ve looked everywhere I needed to, and seen everything I had to.”Bookmark here

I told her, to which she reacted with a surprised expression, probably shocked that it had taken so little time. It was true that my usual investigations tended to took longer.Bookmark here

“So? Did you reach a conclusion? What is happening to us?”Bookmark here

She seemed too overexcited for her own good, though I don’t blame her. I actually found it a relief. So I didn’t beat around the bush.Bookmark here

“I have got my conclusion, and I will tell you right now.”Bookmark here

Her eyes glowed in expectation.Bookmark here

“Every object you’ve lost… is exactly where they were before. They haven’t moved an inch.”Bookmark here

And just as quickly, her face turned into one of sheer disbelief. I couldn’t help but feel somewhat sad for her, although I tried to hide it.Bookmark here

She, and all her family, had been victims of their priceless possessions disappearing before their eyes, while in actuality they were just there, as always. Can’t imagine that being any reason for happiness.Bookmark here

“But… that can’t be… How? Why are we not noticing? There has to be a reason, right?”Bookmark here

“Yes, there is. Undoubtedly. And it is bit by bit the action of one of those so-called ‘paranormal entities’ you know are false. But as is tradition and because I consider it a nice pastime, I came up with a name for the ‘entity’ that possesses you all.”Bookmark here

“… Do say it.”Bookmark here

“The Blind Butterfly.”Bookmark here

“Huh? Why a butterfly of all things?”Bookmark here

“The butterfly is often associated with the mind, the psych and, above all, change. The blind part is pretty self-explanatory. And since the issue is related with your ‘minds’ and ‘change’, I considered it most appropriate.”Bookmark here

“…? I don’t understand. How is this issue related to change?”Bookmark here

“You’ll see soon enough. Please have a bit more patience.”Bookmark here

“Okay. Also…”Bookmark here

“Yes?”Bookmark here

“Thank you so much for your help. You don’t know how much this means to us.”Bookmark here

“If you keep talking like that, I’ll get the wrong idea.”Bookmark here

“…? What are you talking about now?”Bookmark here

“It’s nothing. Don’t mind it.”Bookmark here

It would have been pretty anticlimactic if she had noticed what I meant, so I decided not to press the issue any further. If I did, all the foreshadowing may be for naught.Bookmark here

“What I do want you to do for me”, I followed up, “is gathering everyone in front of your grandmother’s room. I’ll explain everything there, but I’d prefer it if I only had to say it once. Is that okay with you?”Bookmark here

“Yes, of course. Although… is it impossible to do it in any other place? I really don’t want to bother grandma… She’s very sick, and I absolutely do not want to disturb her…”Bookmark here

“It’s a must. I’m really sorry, but it's not a thing I can concede on. The truth behind this affliction that pains your family must be revealed.”Bookmark here

She didn’t want to agree, I really knew she didn’t want to. But I was not going to give up on that one. After all, this was my ‘job’, and if I had to do it even when hating it, I’d do it right. No concessions allowed.Bookmark here

After staring at her in silence for a few awkward, very awkward seconds, she agreed to do as I said. ‘You’re the expert, after all’, she said. Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

A few minutes later, everyone was already gathered in front of the grandmother’s room. We were a tad too many people for a space so small, but it would suffice.Bookmark here

As I  carefully stood right next to the room's door, the father asked me the question that everyone must have had in their minds at that moment.Bookmark here

“And… what are we supposed to do here, exactly?”Bookmark here

His voice was a whisper, just loud enough for me to hear it clearly in the otherwise completely silent apartment.Bookmark here

I was pretty sure that, deep within them, they knew what that ‘truth’ I was about to show them was. Their nervousness spoke volumes.Bookmark here

“I’m going to tell you how to exorcise the being that haunts all of you. As I am sure your daughter has already told you, it’s a being I have decided to call the blind butterfly.”Bookmark here

My reply was spoken in a similarly quiet tone, if mostly for the sake of respect.Bookmark here

"And must we do this here of all places? I would very much prefer if we didn't disturb my mother-in-law with our chatter."Bookmark here

His tone surprised me. It was obvious he was struggling to keep his tone down, and that he meant those words as a threat. Still, not like I could do anything.Bookmark here

“You will be freed from the curse you all possess right now, but for that, doing exactly as I say is a must. I will also have to – and I won’t sugarcoat my words here – slap each of you once."Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

They were all speechless, as was natural. I would actually have been worried if they agreed to it just like that.Bookmark here

“I assure you it is necessary. But please don’t worry, I obviously have no intention of hurting any of you. It’s a formality, if anything, but one that cannot be skipped.”Bookmark here

“… Okay, so be it.”Bookmark here

He then reluctantly agreed to my terms, and with the rest remaining silent, I interpreted that as everyone being fine with me proceeding.Bookmark here

I got closer to them, and commanded them to close their eyes and follow my orders without fail.Bookmark here

“Now you will all enter the room in front of us with your eyes closed, and I will proceed to slap all of you. After I finish, I will tell you that you can open your eyes. Until then please do not open them under any circumstance.”Bookmark here

I proceeded.Bookmark here

One after another, as I helped them enter without stumbling, I slapped them all, as gently as possible.Bookmark here

And once I finished, I spoke again, this time at a normal volume.Bookmark here

“Now, please, open your eyes.”Bookmark here

And there they saw the bed, empty, as they stared in shock and realized the “truth”. That their grandmother, who should have been right there - was no longer among them.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

“Thank you so much for your help, really. What you have done for us and how thankful we are is not something we can simply express with words.” Claudia spoke to me with tears in her eyes.Bookmark here

“It’s nothing. I literally did nothing, as you surely know. So no need to thank me.”Bookmark here

“Still. I know, but still…”Bookmark here

She came close.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

She couldn’t do it.Bookmark here

I didn’t expect her to.Bookmark here

But it was still somewhat painful.Bookmark here

She waved at me as I left, tears on her face and a smile on her lips.Bookmark here

“Goodbye, and see you tomorrow at school.”Bookmark here


Hungry Sheep
Aefener Alatus
SupraNatural cover v1


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