To Concede

To Concede

An interpretive piece about two moths tempting fate, leading to the inevitable as is so often the way with life.


Literary fiction


Nikki Anna (Australia)

Two moths slowly being drawn to each other; antennae buzzing with anticipation as the potent pheromone captivates them. Drawing in, backing out, enticing each other with the alluring scent. Slowly they begin to circle each other, initiating the dance; the prelude to the main event. Their bodies contracting and expanding, rising and sinking, as their carefree movements grow ever more rapid. Intricate circles growing and shrinking, as they carelessly flit about, cautious of the closing proximity between them.
Each time they draw together they push away further, tempting and teasing, prolonging their inevitable fate. Diving, weaving, swooping; darting to and fro in a way that resembles organised chaos; forming mesmerising patterns in the sky. Their brown wings beating rapidly in the warm orange glow, highlighting the brilliant streaks of white running through them.
With a great gusto, the two moths begin to spin around themselves as well as their continuing circles around each other; their antennae vibrating from the centripetal force, allowing them to take in the sight and scent of one another more completely. Frivolously flitting about, enticing each other with their joyous promise of things to come. Hypnotised, their exuberant dance draws them closer to each other, their bodies throbbing with the prospect of things to come. So entranced by one another that the surrounding world and dangers become obsolete; all that matters is the jubilant display of anticipation.
Defiance blossoms within as the dance leads them towards the blazing fire; the warmth and brightness luring them into a state of apostasy. Licks of flames reaching out, desperate to taste the bodies of the two frivolous creatures, but falling short each time. Hungry and greedy, the burning whips lash out again, but the dancers initiate their spiral out of harm’s way.
Empowered by their newfound sense of invincibility, they move in again; dodging and weaving, flirting with the devil’s fingers. Growing ever more impatient, the fire reaches out with promises of warmth and comfort, using the appeal of their desires to lure them in.
Once again the pair dive towards the conniving inferno, swooping out of the way as the flames attempt another grab at them.
Enraged by its inability to hinder the duet, the blaze burns brighter; lengthening the eerie shadows cast by the imposing red gums that surround the scene. Yet this has no great effect on the flippant waltz, as the moths increase the diameter of their mocking loops around the fire. The tongues bow and sway, attempting to seduce them into altering their routine in a way that draws them closer, but their taunting actions prohibit any deviance from their erotic endeavours. Determined to be fed, the flames dance out further from the source, sparks leaping out in an attempt to grasp the lively bodies; as the coals burn brighter to fuel the lengthening arms.
Fervently, the couple complete another lap around the blaze; confidence growing with the completion of each circuit, as their darting actions increase in recklessness. Their swooping motions dangerously close to the burning whips, as they duck and weave their way through to exuberantly reconvene with their partner on the other side; increasing not only the temptation of the ravenous flare, but also between themselves. The exhilaration acting as an intense aphrodisiac; making the desire almost unbearable for the two erratic beings.
The ignition roars as a gust of wind breathes new life into it and hurls the entranced moth’s bodies backwards. Tossing and turning as they are violently thrown around; all sense of direction and spatial awareness discarded as the helpless creatures tumble around and over each other.
Pushing them on; the wind intensifies, with sudden surges and drops. Their bodies plummeting and rising, over and over, propelling even further back into the dark unknown. Panicked attempts to fight against the tempest are instantly deemed futile, as their poor wings—tired from their furious attempts at beating back—are blown behind them; their bodies increasingly flipping over themselves.
Scared, frantic and helpless; unable to control their own actions; the distance between them and the unearthly red gums closing by the second. A greater sense of trepidation begins to blossom inside them; their heart rate increasing exponentially.
Going into a frenzy now, the moths are hurled one last time and the poor creatures viciously collide with one of the colossal trees. Their bodies lying cautiously still, terrified of any further damage the fierce gale could inflict upon them.
After what seems like an eternity, the wind finally dulls back down to a gentle breeze. Tentatively, the beaten up creatures begin to ascend just above the ground; assessing the damage suffered by each of their limbs as they do.
Acutely aware of where their bodies had been discarded—as the impact with the tree, along with the journey through the air, had left them quite disoriented—they slowly stretch their wings out further. Carefully, they gently lift up into the air, testing out each of their limbs in turn; cautious as to not potentially cause any further damage to their battered bodies, attempting to judge the state of their bodies but struggling from the new wave of dizziness that threatens to compromise their ability to stay in the air.
Panic re-emerges, as one of the exhausted moths spins around, only to discover that it cannot sense its surroundings—or even tell which way is up, for that matter. The creature’s spirit crushed as its lifeless antenna hangs severed in front of its body.
Defeated, the crippled creature falls back towards the ground, collapsing into a heap upon impact. Decidedly losing all hope of survival or recovery, the mangled body discards any lingering desires for its mate; who—with the exception of the battered feeling—was not suffering any detrimental injuries at the fate of the savage force of nature. Not wanting to be a hindrance to the other’s prospect of a full and joyous life, the broken critter ignores any attempts its former partner has with communicating with it. Undeterred, the healthy moth continues to pursue its desire to be noticed, with wide, sweeping dives in front of its comrade’s enfeebled body—but to no avail. Persevering, the creature tries a new tactic; gently landing on the ground and cautiously creeping up in front of the other. The defective moth’s head twitches as its partner comes closer, making out its lively form as it comes to rest directly in front of its defeated body. Slowly, the cripple picks itself up, and stands directly in front of its partner; unable to sense any of its other surroundings.
Hesitantly, the two moths begin to circle each other once again; this time more gingerly than the first; until their confidence grows enough to lift them off the ground. The distance between them almost negligible, as their bodies twist and turn, intertwining with one another, careful not to put any distance between them. The two bodies steadily increase the length of space between them and the ground, cautious of not causing further aggravation to the splintered antenna, spiralling continuously around each other.
What was once a frivolous and carefree samba is now an intimate, slow dance into the sky; full of relief that the cruel wind didn’t end either of their lives. Filled with a renewed sense of affection towards one another, the proximity between them remains interminable.
The two creatures slowly perform a wide arch across the night sky; choreographing this unfamiliar dance as they instantaneously act it out, judiciously pre-empting any further harm that could potentially befall upon the broken antenna. Their moves simple, but displaying a greater sense of trust, solace and affection between the duo; the cripple putting all of its faith in its partner’s sense of self awareness, not realising that they are so engrossed in one another that their direction is determined more by the moves they are performing than by any forethought or intentions.
Circling each other, round and round, bodies so close that they almost touch; hypnotised by the sight, feel and smell of each other. Slowly forming spirals through the air, unaware of anything but the body of their companion, their actions completely analogous.
Drawing intricate designs across the dull orange sky, with no real sense direction or purpose, merely trying to avoid any further contact with the ground; their bodies swaying together through the air. Delicate and graceful loops never hindering the intimate proximity between the mesmerised couple; so enraptured in each other that they don’t realise that their dance has led them straight into the open arms of the long anticipating fire.

Competition: Friendly feedback, Round 1



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