Hello everyone. Here in England the seasons have completed yet another quarter turn. The leaves are falling, the wind is gusting, and the pumpkin spice lattes have been packed away faster than you can say Christmas sales.
To accompany the longer nights and contemplation of the cycles of life, this week we’re proud to present The Mothgate, by J. R. Troughton, originally published in Shimmer.
by J.R. Troughton
“This is your most important lesson.”
It was a rifle she handed me. Long and cold, ornately decorated. It was heavier than I’d expected, heavier than the one I had practiced with. She laid the barrel on the low wall before us and that helped.
“Watch and wait. No mistakes, Elsa. I know what is coming,” she had said, staring off into the trees. “Look for the butterflies. See them, and you’d best be ready to shoot what’s coming behind.”
We knelt behind the crumbling wall, rifles balanced over its brow, peeking over the moss-stained stone and into the dense trees that lay beyond. I tried as best I could to stop my teeth from chattering, but the winter night was bitterly cold. Mama Rattakin didn’t seem to notice. She was staring toward the tree line, pointing with her black and withered hand.