The only time he saw the moth clan was in the night. It was always in the same room, a cottage style bedroom with only a small orange molded chair and a student’s desk against the wall. The walls were lime green on two sides and it was upstairs. He knew it was upstairs by how one of the walls was sloped downwards. Not all the way to the floor, mind you, but halfway, as in you would have to duck if you were to touch the wall. There was an old closet door with a white ceramic handle and a small light hanging from the ceiling. The bracket marks where shelves used to be could still be seen – where someone had hastily painted over them with the hideous green paint. Against the door away from the room stood another door, propped up against it. He had no idea how it had come to be there, only that it had. That was the way the house was.
The moth clan were snowy white. They were gentle, fragile things and they would come in through the window and fly about me, all around. They would whisper secrets to him, that he could never fully recall, and then dance and inspire him to sing and dance himself. They were the happiest moments in his life, as he could recall, and he did not want them to come to an end… But they did.
They always came in through the window. There were two dirty windows that faced outside, and both of them had an old crank that would open them up towards each other. The one on the right was always open and that is how the moth clan would enter the room and dance and whisper their secrets. The window was always open whenever he arrived and would stay open when he left. Outside the window, he could see a utility pole with a light at the top and woods all around. It was the only thing he knew about what was outside.
One night they didn’t come. The light was on and other bugs wandered in and out. There was one gray moth who he tried to talk to, but it did not speak, so he left it alone and waited patiently for them to arrive. They did not come that night or the next night either. On the third night, he was tired of waiting for them. What else was there to do in the room but dance with the moths? Nothing as far as he could tell, so he opened up the closet door.
Inside the door there were six or seven dresses: old and unused and in ill repair. They looked like old women’s dresses, mauve and purple and gold. There was nothing else inside and it smelled heavily of old pine. He moved to the other door – the one propped against the door to the room. It was dusty and had never been moved as far as he could tell, so when he moved it, he sneezed violently for all the dust that also inadvertently moved. It was heavy, as old doors are, but once moved away and leaned against the adjoining wall, he was able to see the door to the room finally.
It matched the other two doors. Old heavy wood with the white ceramic handle, and it was locked. The lock was above the handle in the old turn-key latch style. He flipped it, touched the knob, took a deep breath and woke up.