For the rest of her life, Persephone would never forget a single detail of the moth's appearance because, she would always be able to see it when she closed her eyes. It was much larger than it should have been, given the size of the cocoon, with a thin sleek body and legs that were unnervingly long and frail. It's wings were enormous and powerful looking with strange jagged edges. The body was as black and as stickily shiny as tar, and the wings were charcoal gray with streaks of burgundy, like blood drying over ashes.
It sat motionless for several moments and she wanted to leave, to run home and pretend like none of this ever happened, but something inside of her wouldn't let that happen. Instead, she sat staring at the moth and realized that it was staring back at her. Not only that, but that it could see her; see everything about her, things she herself couldn't even see. She could feel it's large black eyes digging into her. It was as if it were crawling through her mind and her soul, looking for something......something. Then it gave it's wings a great shake, to remove the last drops of moisture left over from it's transformation, and she knew that it had found what it was looking for. It took to the air, and the way that it flew reminded her more of a bird of prey than a moth; moving not with a quick fluttering motion but with huge, dramatic swoops of it's wings. It moved slowly and deliberately straight toward her then angled slightly to her left, at the last second. It's wing lightly grazed her cheekbone, like a kiss, as it passed leaving behind a charcoal gray streak of shimmering dust. She knew somehow that it had claimed her. She belonged to it now.
She turned and watched as the moth lifted upward into the treetops, and was gone. She sat there for another moment, trying to make some sense of what had just happened, but found that she was unable to form any kind of coherent thought. She could feel a strange pulse, as if the ground beneath her had it's own heartbeat, and it made it impossible for her to concentrate. So she stood and slowly walked home, unaware of the darkness that had fallen as well as everything else around her.
When she opened the front door, her mother instantly dashed over and grabbed her shoulders in something that was half way between a hug and a threat. "Where have you been?!" At first, Persephone could not understand why her mother was so upset; she always walked in the woods after school. It was only then that she became aware of how dark it had gotten. "Sorry, Mom. I guess I lost track of time." She said, with no inflection. "I'm going to my room, okay?" Her mother's look of concern and irritation became pure concern, and she asked "Aren't you hungry?" Persephone answered with a simple "No." and walked slowly, numbly, to her room. As she closed the door behind her, she heard her mother call "And what is that on your face?" but she didn't know how to answer that, so she didn't try.
She had a mirror on her wall that she'd had since she was four years old. It was a cheap thing with a wide plastic frame, that she and her mother had bought at a yard sale. It was her very favorite thing that she owned. When they first bought it, her mother had helped her paint the frame in a multitude of obnoxiously bright colors. Since then, it had become an ongoing project for them. The mirror had gone through several different incarnations, from the bright colors, to glittered, to covered in stickers, and was now a sort of mosaic. They had glued on everything from broken jewelry, to newspaper clippings, to scraps of fabric from her favorite clothes that she had outgrown.
She now stood before this mirror, that somehow represented everything that was her life, and studied her reflection. She looked different. She felt different. Some of the plainness had left her face. Her eyes and hair, which had always been exactly the same shade of generic and unappealing brown, appeared to have grown darker. Her lips seemed to have more color to them as well. That wasn't all though; there was something else, some undefinable quality that hadn't been there before. She looked at the streak of gray on her cheek. It felt tingly, as if there were a slight electrical current running through it. She thought of wiping it off, but couldn't bring herself to do it. So she walked to her bed, without changing out of her dirty clothes, lay down and was asleep almost instantly. For the first of many, many nights throughout her life she dreamed of the moth.
I think this will be the end of chapter one. I know it's short for a chapter but 1- I like short chapters and 2- if I ever actually make this into a book, I guess I'll add some more stuff in there.