Drop #106: Moth
January 24, 2013 6 Comments
They were young and in love – the type of fresh, true love that makes wall paper peel down castle walls in sticky, messy ribbons – but it was war-time (someone wanted to appropriate someone else’s means of exploitation, to strip bare land just stolen from a different someone) so the fellow, call him Theobald, was sent to a distant land full of swamps and strange foods that smelled of armpits and leather, to offer his brawn, mediocre intelligence, dedication and if it came to that, his young life. (He was barely old enough to have grown his first mustache, which he proudly bore and trapped morsels of cheese in.)
After some time in the field, in which Theobald lost a toe to infection and an earlobe to the wayward swipe of a countryman’s saber, and during which he watched many of his friends die gruesome and peculiar deaths, several others twist ankles, some badly, and still others become crippled with terrible haircuts, his troop joined with the ninth battalion, a hairy, smelly bunch, and fortified a stronghold on a cliff near a pretty little peach tree with the most delicate branches and intricate silk-like leaves, that caught the afternoon sun to show off a potpourri of colors and textures so varied and lovely, the sky looked dull and silly beside it.
Here, the courageous men awaited reinforcements, playing cards, singing songs out of tune, and dabbling in buggery, and here, at last, Theobald (or Theo BO, as he was sometimes called) finally had a chance to write to his beloved (call her Beatrice) and state his undying love anew:
Beatrice, my dove,
The ugliness of war has done nothing to douse my love for the world’s one true beauty: thee. I think only of a return to your delicate arms to plant endless kisses upon your visage. I do not know how long this hell will endure, and when I will be set free, but perhaps you can come to me instead, in not too long. We will soon depart for Cottonsmere, not two days travel from our cherished abode. It will take us some time to march there, so I ask you to wait for a month, and then set out to meet me. We can spend the day together before my troop pushes on towards the coast.
I cannot wait to nestle my fellow in your bosom once more, my sweet, pillowy darling!
Yours, ever in love,
Theobald Nungus III
He sent it with a carriage at dawn and thought of nothing else as they took off once more, marching miles in ill-fitting shoes, and the days dripped slowly by.
Theobald worried that the letter had not reach his beloved, but it most certainly had. Unfortunately, he was unaware of the tragic typo he had made when he wrote it. He had written moth, instead of month, and so, ever since the letter had arrived and filled her heart with the most luxurious glee, Beatrice, who’s astuteness was inversely proportional to her ample bosom, had been waiting night and day for a moth to appear.
She anticipated their reunion with great excitement, looking oh so forward to snuggling with and caressing her love again, and particularly, to feeling his soldier a rap-tap-tapping deep inside her belly once more. Without pause, she stared out of the window, bags packed, cucumber and lard sandwiches prepared and wrapped, just waiting for a single moth to appear so she could leave for Cottonsmere post-haste. There were spiders and beetles and plenty of slugs, but a drought had beset the land and nary a moth was to be found. Three months past as she sat, growing old with dejection, eating, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, and remaking the sandwiches, till her despondence grew too heavy to withstand. So, broken willed, Beatrice ran into the forest and lived the life of a wild woman, mute with anger and indifference. She ate berries and salmon like a bear and never saw another human again.
In the meantime, after waiting for Beatrice for a week at Cottonsmere, Theobald had to push on towards the coast with the army. He wrote two more letters, concerned and looking for answers but this time, each was lost in the mail. The first, which had been scented with honey, was eaten by a snaggletoothed raccoon on route, and the second, having the wrong zip code (another typo!) was still in transit somewhere between Lagos and Zurich. After four months, Theobald, a gaunt shell of a man, returned to his home, their home, but finding no one there, fell into a deep depression. He went to sit in front of the TV, and has been watching game shows while drinking beer and smoking bongs ever since.
Anyway, that’s the story of how an imaginary moth ruined a succulent slab of young, true love, and this is the lesson: don’t make typos or you’ll either end up eating berries in the woods, or on the couch, smoking a bong, watching Wheel of Fortune reruns, forever.
By E.M. Vireo