"About The Bug I Found Plastered Between Two Pages" by Sarah Henry
I imagine that it happened on some recklessly sunny afternoon, the book and its owner, maybe my mother or maybe some stranger before her, lounging at a park. The book fanned out, forgotten, facing the sun. The bug materializes as if out of thin air, though really she’s been walking towards a single blade of grass for what probably translates to hours in Bug Central Time, but is actually only a few minutes. She crosses the book pages as a bridge from one side of vast, never-ending green to the other. As she does, a breeze catches, fluttering her and the page high on the wind, high enough that she can see a bicycle lazing on the grass, a lake glimmering in the distance, a playground where a child climbs by his lonesome. For a second, she pauses and if she were anything like me, she would rush to meet the moment like a car crash, holding on until her chest grows tight because she would feel it was already coming to end and she would know she missed it, though she wouldn’t know what it was. But she is not like me, or this is what I tell myself. She is a bug. So, she just waits for the wind to die down, for the page to fall, for her journey to resume. It never does though. Right then the book slams shut between the owner’s palms. It’s slid into a pants pocket or a backpack. Some days after, it is finished and placed back on a shelf. And so, thirty years later, the bug is still stuck between the pages of one sunny afternoon like a pressed flower, waiting for me to resurrect her.
Sarah Henry (she/her) is a journalism student in Florida whose work has been published in P'an Ku and the forthcoming issue of Stuck in Notes. She spends her time mending clothes (badly) or talking nonsense to her pets. You can find her on Instagram @sarahhhenryy