I was outside – midday so the sun was high and warm, and there wasn't much wind. I was walking through my garden where many things are in bloom. For weeks now the monarch butterflies have been flying around singly and in pairs, doing their butterfly thing. I always talk to them and so by now they know me as the human who always talks to them. They zip and zoom past me and pay me no mind. For my part, I can feel myself gaining mana from being in their presence, as though this were a video game and my avatar was buffed by these flying benevolent busy indifferent creatures.
Anyway, I'm out there and they're zipping and zooming around and for a moment, I stand completely still, just stand there. I have on a sunhat and my phone is in my hand because you never know when an opportunity to take a picture will come up. I stand still and four monarch butterflies do a kind of tango near me, at eye level, and then split off in different directions. Then, right near my ear, maybe half an arm's length away, two of them collide briefly in midair.
The collision of two sets of butterfly wings. Or maybe their bodies. I didn't see. I heard.
It was a sound, clear as day, like cardboard, or paper, or I don't know. Let's just say like two butterflies bumping into one another and moving on.
A little sound.
Not like anything I've ever heard.
Quick, then, gone.
But I heard. Oh my goodness, what I heard.