Formaldehyde, by AngelBrynner [Firewalker, 1st Look]

“In the end…” she muttered, wincing at the strange prick of pain in her back before it registered  that the throb was in her adrenals & would disappear soon as she chugged something green.

They can shoot all the arrows they want after you from the spiritual place you’ve left for your own good.

Long as you stay cognizant of where you were able to see beyond them

& are wise enough to leave for it, to let them go,

those arrows will never reach the new world of your good you’ve been allowed into.”

“Why not?” he asked, lifting off of her before pinning her down & twisting her in opposite directions.

“The layers each have different consistencies,” she groaned. The burst of pain became tightness dissolved. He gamely passed back over her so she could do it again while putting her splayed groin through its paces.

“There are different considerations for each one.  Fiery darts there wouldn’t even be wisps of wind here.” she explained.  “But most importantly,  it’s comprehension of focus-“

“Liiiiike butterflies & caterpillars?” he asked, motioning for her to give up &  twist.

He laid across her chest after the bleats slipping out of the corners of her dissipated. She whimpered, then caught her breath.

magicicada septemdicem close up photo

“More like cicadas, the  ones who come up into the trees every seventeen to seventy years to scream & fuck.”

He sat up a bit in shock, turned & looked at her as it sunk in. A twisted smile spread across the entirety of him.

She was wrong.

“I was thinking…” he ventured, ” the attacks were like violence charging out of a Caterpillar’s fever dream as he’s turning to goo. All the jealousy & rage that he had stored up in him fucked with his inner pH level until he literally couldn’t live like that anymore. All that sick in him dissolves him like battery acid-“

“That’s good,” she mused, “Vivid. & dissolution…is better than sitting in a vat of spiritual formaldehyde, in stasis,  refusing to change…which was why the impenetrable chrysalis is initially built by the Caterpillar. To freeze a false halcyon daze in stone for itself,  so it can fester in the mental muck it’s chosen as its highest high in peace, away from the worms, maggots & gnats it highhandedly sees itself as so above. It is so obsessed with being above, jockeying, grasping,  foisting its way to the top, trudging up rotting tree trunks, cussing the circles of life it tramples on the way to where it feels it belongs-“

“Only to lowkey lynch itself there,  right?”he added. She nodded.

“But in that arc, in all that caterpillarian hate…it thinks it’s winning,  you know? In the muddy, murky midst of psychological putrefaction, at the height of the condensing, liquefying evil,  malice and all types of andry towards everything held apart as less than it, as it is finally flooding into the seat, the highest highs of how low can you go… the Caterpillar…is winked out of existence. Utterly.”

“Yeah! That’s what I mean-” he crowed, both of them happily punchdrunk off the fluids coursing through them due to the work.

“You were like different realms… I’m like the Caterpillar can’t grasp the world of the butterfly! It is a wholly different realm- fiery darts to wisps of~”

She lifted up her head a bit just to throw it back & laugh. “I feel you…but was a plane ticket in that chrysalis? A portal-“


” Nope! & he’d need it. Because he’s born into the Same world! Trekkie for life!  He’s still on the ship!”

“No effen way, maan!” he laughed.

“Look, is he reborn with a passport of sorts? Sure- but the land of the butterfly is same one the Caterpillar was haughtily crawling around the bottom of, thinking it was better than everything not it. Can the butterflies leave where they reconstitute? Sure, that’s the point… with those wings.  But the other point is a spiritual check… from the universe.. on having never appreciated the beauty of the full world as that Caterpillar.”

“That is what I see brightly in the dance of their wings.  There’s this…remorseful, languid, gratitude drenched repentence in each undulation to me…”

“Okay …that’s beautiful and all, but-” he interrupted.  “Look at it this way…the annihilation of the Caterpillar in its own chrysalis building,  gatekeeping putrefaction… was literal shit that the vestiges of the untouched good within it the brunt of him had completely lost touch with… forged those passport giving, Icarusian wings from. He was father & son to himself in the detritus of all that, trapped in a maze that led to nowhere, desperate  to get fully out.”

She interrupted him .”But it was shit it couldn’t get away from because it had consumed too much of it willingly. & we  give birth to what we consume,  be it vice or grace. Its inkling of good was rolling around in the darkness of its own feces-“

“Well still,  what survives IS a different consistency” he interjected.

“True. But seeing your world aloft… even with new eyes…  It’s the same terroir until you  have the balls to fully leave it.”

He groaned happily.  He’d thought he’d finally got where she was going and had beaten her to it. “Okay, fiiiiiiiine.  So I’m not wrong… you’re just about to go paint something crazier~” he chuckled and rolled off of her to lay smushed beside her.

“Go head, shoot” he purred, nuzzled into her raw bosom. He looked up at her & blushgrinned.”We should handle this plein air style more often, by the way.”

She laughed, shaking her head.

“Go head,  rhapsodize~i feel it coming…” he whispered against her heart as a gale of viceroy butterflies danced by the nearby garden nettles.

macro photography of butterflies perched on lavender flower
Photo by Cindy Gustafson on

“I’m not discounting your eyeballs at all,” she murmured into the top of his head, “but when I was talking considerations and comprehension of focus I thinking like…those guys.”
With a toss of her head his eyes are drawn to the cicadas waking up in the tree branches and clearing their throats at 545am.

“Those motherfuckers literally scream songs from their scrotum sacs from dusk til dawn…to score some sweet cicada sooky-sooky.” she grinned.  He snort laughed.

“Not just any tail though! It’s not the free for all it seems to us, looking in. Lives upon life cycles have been lived out underground.  All their mythologies and religions spoke of upside down mountains above, a blindily bright sky where they’d had only night…the  roots their world danced through having an inverse they could some day crawl up into…”

“Literal lifetimes elapsed underground, in Hades… loves, hates…& then finally,  waves of generations find out it wasn’t religious stupidity after all as they flood up to the surface, screaming as they make it up into the trees-“

“Well damn-” he muttered.

“& ya know what they’re scrambling over each other bellowing?” she said demurely, eyes on fire, knowing she had him.

“What?” he whispered back, rapt as she threw back her head again, like it tickled as it roared out.

“MARTHA! MARTHA! I’M HERE! WE MADE IT! MARTHA!!! WHERE are You?! Sonofa-” she dissolved into titters.

“…Fuck is wrong with you-?” he laughed, shaking his head.

“What!? It’s romantic!  They’re not all yowling Martha.  They’re not all named Martha, it’s- We all have that One that…we know… we’re gonna find again in Heaven & get to be with again …all the way &~that’s how…it gets underscored …we are in~ paradise…when we wake up to the good of them here, too,  there’s no going back. It’s done. Everything alters. That’s what I mean about the “good.” & the focus. The level of focus is literal. It’s not the same spatial plane at all. Elsewhere has been…entered.”

emanated vase of mediterranean cicada
Photo by Adonyi Gábor on

“It’s cicadas and butterflies, every time. Tells ya everything you need to know about a being…being here. You can love all…but the core is the core. One is focused on rebirth. incessantly. Always having to come back and fix the stuff they bungled. It’s a demand, a tying into the machinery. That’s why butterflies are so often shown as the motif for the psyche. it’s the soul-trap. Because in the dissolution… you forget.”

“Yeah, and they crave being seen in their beauty~ as their beauty…because in all that caterpillaring they don’t even remember all they wanted was to be seen as beauty. That was where their insecurity lived and flourished, their haughtiness and their drivers to climb. It was all in the ugly way they privately viewed themselves. It’s a lot for a a being to work through in this realm too.”he added.

” And the only butterflies who have a lock on transmogrifying out of that whole loop are the Monarchs and the Viceroys, who fought for those extended lifespans to have time and space to do that work. But Cicadas?”

“Cicadas are the fuck you, bros of the entire insectarium-” he chuckled.

“They aren’t jockeying to be higher or lower than anything or anyone. They know what this place is. And they are roaring for the one they came here to be with…who knows their voice even if not their sight- because they lived so many lives in the dark-can find them. They don’t give a fuck about how ANY thing feels about the sound of their voice , or their clip, none of it. It’s for her.”

“MARTHA is gonna know my voice when she hears me acting a fool-“he laughed.

“Martha been sleeping alongside wild-eyed cicada Mark yodeling for lifetimes in Hades. It’s the rock of Ages to her crazy ass. And she’s watching him off in the cut, screaming his heart out in his real voice to be seen, straight “fuck it, I am what I am, they’ll adjust.”

“She’s shyly tattooing his now into all her lil eyeballs, basking in finally seeing what love sounds like after eons of hearing it. & Mark knows Martha on sight too. Knows he’s gonna know she’s good, soon as he sees her, even if it’s climbing up the tree and not yet time to sing. He WANTS her to see him sing. All the cicada females are gassing those boys up to sing…because they all get it across the species- “

He gently headbutted her in the breast. “Like …Our world is their heaven~”

“Isn’t it everyone’s, when we all wake up to it?” she whispered.


green birds on brown tree branch

She peeked from under the pillows on the bed of this new temporary place and sleepily looked out the window.

The pair of green parrots in the tree overlooking the butterfly garden that had been shrieking affectionately at each other for half an hour on the outskirts of her dream quieted down to give the cacophonous cloud of cicada catcalls the stage they’d waited seventeen  to seventy years to grace.

Ten miles away the waltz of the Flowers softly  ambled up into the sky and danced across the rooftops strewn between them as they each rose to start their day with the birds, spirits shyly calling out to each other like cicadas who also knew where they were and why, just like the birds.

“Those meant for heaven, hone it in themselves,” she blushed to herself as she unfurled her limbs in bed and began to stretch in spiritual concert with him, synovial fluid buoying them together,  no matter where in heaven they helmed.

©️ Angel Brynner, 2024.