Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt this week is
When Harold Lark passed beyond his mortal state he didn’t, in truth, give the ‘what next’ much mind. Mainly because he’d not expected to die while sitting watching TV. And if Harold had been given to metaphysical philosophising, which he wasn’t, his demise was so quick he would have struggled to string ‘what’ to ‘the f…’ before his fridge detonated, vaporising both Harold and the rest of Pretty Trees Close and its twenty residents.
In truth it was all so quick Harold barely had time to consider whether, in this newly acquired state he was standing or floating. It was then he realised he was in fact hovering, using wings that had grown out of his back.
When you’ve spent your life as what you might describe as an incurious Anglican, to find that, in effect you are Buddhist and you have reincarnated as a moth is a bit of a shock. Harold fluttered to a ledge and sat, giving himself a moment to think things through. His thinking went something like this.
‘I’m a moth.’
‘Why a moth?’
‘What do I do?’
‘Is that a lamp?’
‘But why a moth?’
Harold wasn’t ignorant. He had Buddhist friends at the Glee Club he attended – they were particularly good at harmonies – and he was sure they said you reincarnated to a higher state each time. If so surely a moth was a few steps back.
As he pondered this troubling idea – that he must have done something bad to be punished so – an urge to fly gripped him. It was the light, pooling from the other side of the street, that dragged him forward. The part of Harold’s mind that was still human – a part that was beginning to fade – urged caution; the instinctual moth mind shouted ‘tally’ho!’ and urged him forward.
As the newly fragile Harold hurtled across the night sky, homing in on the lamppost, he had two last human thoughts. The first was that he had become a moth because he’d accidentally killed himself and twenty others as a result of forgetting to remove that bloody yoghurt; it probably exploded, short circuiting the chiller unit. The second, and last thought before he smashed into the glass that surrounded the lantern was: ‘Next time, I hope I don’t come back as a sodding moth.’