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The Panda and the Butterfly
By Joe Greco

She sat on the living room couch, reading.

He brought her a cup of Earl Grey.  “Thanks for proofing the manuscript,” he said.

She took the steaming cup, looked at him.  “Do you always have to write about death, depression, darkness?  Can’t you come up with anything else?”

He put his hands on his hips.  “They don't publish stories about panda bears and butterflies,” he said.

She sipped, eyeing him over the edge of the cup.  “How do you know?  Have you tried?”

He raised his right hand, index finger pointing at her, and opened his mouth to speak.  Then he stopped, pondered.  “You're right,” he said.  “Of course you're right.”

She looked at him skeptically.

He walked into the den, sat in front of the computer.

“Are you really going to try?” he heard her say.

“You bet,” he said, beginning to type, imagining how a giant butterfly, cranked up on meth, would devour a panda.


Joe Greco is a Northern California lawyer and writer.  His short stories have appeared in Emprise Review, Bartleby-Snopes, 34th Parallel, FictionDaily, Dog Oil Press and Clever Magazine. Contact Joe.