WHAT IT IS
She checked them off her acquaintance list, her it-will-get-done list because a moth’s bucket list is full of the kind of holes that render such a register pointless. In fact, the whole concept of a bucket list seemed inane, as the pleasure resided in the arbitrariness of the performance not the predictability of planning. These performances might be catching a warm updraft in her wings, bringing her to dizzying heights or tasting the first thistle flower of summer or presiding over the inevitable trials of life and death that is the moth’s world. Life was short for a moth with no time to waste on complexities of ecosystems defined by those scratching their heads to create the most profitable way to utilize that which belonged to no one.
But a moth to, must sometimes tow the line for the greater good and dispense of her carefree ways, giving up on arbitrary and follow the path of planning. To that end, and at the request of No.1, the moth was dispatched to aid Hammer in protecting the entrance to the land of one hundred women at the center of Plot 82. In the week that followed, copious amounts of spider silk were meticulously woven together and bound with the moth’s hair until an impenetrable wall protected the entrance way. Hammer, with the moth perched on a nearby rock, studied their work and hoped it would never be tested, believing it was Feather who possessed a far better chance of success.
WHAT IT IS NOT
A knight’s ritual before battle is varied and particular to each individual as they entomb themselves in chainmail, steel plating and other protectants they must believe will keep them alive. Feather fixated more than most with the condition of her horse, fussing over her barding, adjusting the chamfron and constantly checking the fit of her caparison. After checking her partner for the third time, Feather began her final preparations. She braided her long hair in two tight strands, then twisted the strands into one, curling the hair to sit atop her head, held in place firmly by a piece of silk given to her by the fairy from Ellesmere Island. Reaching into her tunic, she found Hammer’s straight razor, placed it carefully against her forehead until droplets of blood dripped onto her armor. With the middle finger of her right hand, she drew a half moon with her blood, she was ready. Feather had only one weapon, an ancient sword possessed with its own soul and driven by its own purpose and who chose Feather as its instrument to inflect and heal, to create balance and imbalance.
Wreckless, the horse, was the first to feel the unfamiliar rumblings beneath her hooves. She lifted her legs rapidly and swung herself around to face the unknown and as her ears twitched northward her nose scented what was about to come. She exhaled a mighty breath; she too was ready. A malicious M113 armoured personnel carrier roared across a fallow corn field and turned on to the road a quarter mile from where Feather and Wreckless were waiting. Time stood still as Feather mounted her partner and the twos fierce gallop brought them behind the lumbering menace. Unsheathing her sword, Feather hurled her weapon into the tracks of the vehicle believing it would cripple the monster, but the sword was merely ground up and spit out onto the gravel road. Feather tried the tactic three more times, but the beast lumbered on toward Plot 82.
At the request of that little voice which confuses justice with self interest, the one that nudges us to correct historical wrongs even when we plead our cases to judges who were absent and remain absent, that voice, through the chips and scares of the ancient sword, spoke to Feather and placed her in a space of determined resolve. It was not enough to be nudged to correct historical injustices, it was not enough to proclaim absence and innocence and it was not enough to put responsibility at the doorstep of the other.
Bolstered by the sword’s determination to redress, Feather and Wreckless found themselves face to face with the M113 in a headlong duel to an oblivion unknown. With a collision just meters apart, Feather held the sword above her head and hurled it at the turret, splitting the barrel in a fiery explosion and paralyzing the vehicle. Smoke and bodies scrambled on to the road and shots from the dislodged INSECT agents whizzed toward Feather…her armor no match for these modern injustices.