The Butterfly Gym

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Tisa Fritillary
- 8/15/2023 10:45pm

I just flew in for the Butterfly Gym, and boy are my wings tired.

Darby Funtz
- 8/28/2023 9:20pm

"There's nothing to DO here," Talia said, sitting in the garden.

"Yeah. Let's take the bus into town. There must be a mall," said Jacob.

"Didn't we already find out that's a bad idea?" I asked.

"We should all go to the Butterfly Gym," Maia said. "I talked to @Tisa Fritillary on lower campus Sunday and she says it's awesome and we should check it out."

"I hate the gym," Talia said. "It's a ritualized capitalist behavior modification that enforces supremacy culture and colonizes alienation directly into our bodies."

"And the mall isn't?" I asked.

"And they stink," said Jacob.

"No, not the Butterfly Gym," Maia said, "It's more of a cooperative activity. And it's super low impact. You don't even need gym clothes."

Jacob skipped another rock on the reflecting pool. Two bounces.

"Ok. We could at least go look in the window," Talia said.

Darby Funtz
- 9/23/2023 11:30pm

There were posters on the windows of the Butterfly Gym. Recruitment posters, with colorful illustrations of svelte butterflies inviting you to join them on their way to a beautiful butterfly future. Maia was peeking through the glass between them.

"I see @Tisa Fritillary!" she said. "Let's go in!"

Darby Funtz
- 11/8/2023 11:57pm

The Butterfly Gym was filled with butterflies. All kinds. Tiger Swallowtails, Cabbage White, Mourning Cloak. They flittered all around us, and I was worried about hurting one if I moved too quickly.

"Oh, don't worry about them," @Tisa Fritillary said. "They're all animatronic."

They looked real enough to me. But why was the Butterfly Gym full of fake butterflies?

"This is just for the tourists," Tisa said. "The real gym is in the back. I'm so glad you came!"

Tisa flitted on Maia's nose and made her laugh.

"But first you've got to put these on," Tisa said. She landed on a touchpad on the wall and a wardrobe opened up. It was full of human-sized butterfly suits.

"We were promised no gym clothes," Talia said, looking rude.

"Oh it's not gym clothes," Tisa said. "It's battledress."

Darby Funtz
- 11/28/2023 10:56pm

"Well they smell like gym clothes," Jacob said.

We were all in the big padded suits. And they did smell a bit. And had odd stains.

"They are a bit difficult to wash. And even the biggest butterflies have a hard time dragging them to the laundry room," @Tisa Fritillary said. She was flitting around, giving us instructions on how to tighten up the abdomen and get the wings unfurled.

"Yes, I think that will do fine," Tisa said. "Now, if you'll just walk back here, to the de-anthropomorphizer..."

The legs were hard to get to work.

"And I can't see a thing through these compound eyes," said Talia.

"Oh you'll get the hang of it all soon enough," Tisa said. "Right over here. Walk into the light..."

Darby Funtz
- 1/15/2024 11:49pm

The next thing I knew we were being pummeled from every direction. By giant butterflies.

Battered by wings, jabbed at by spindly legs.

"Quick! This way!" it was @Tisa Fritillary, calling to us from behind some rocks. A giant Tisa Fritillary. Before, she'd been just a diminutive little Tinkerbell, flitting to and fro. Now that she was life-sized, it was frankly a little disturbing.

"OW!" Maia yelled. A giant Giant Swallowtail had pounced on her from behind, smashing her face first into the ground.

"Shoo! You git!" Yelled Talia, racing to her. Jacob joined in, and the giant butterfly flew off, with a wad of Maia's hair in its claw.

Tisa herded us to a protected outcropping.

"Welcome to the Butterfly War," she said.

Darby Funtz
- 3/14/2024 10:47pm

The Butterfly War Council was grim. And we were the main course.

"These four puny humans will not turn the tide," growled the Red Admiral.

"Our forces are tattered and torn, sir," said @Tisa Fritillary. "And the enemy will not expect a ground assault."

"They assaulted me on the ground pretty good," Maia said, holding her hand on her scalp.

"I can't believe you brought us here just to get beat up," Talia said.

"It's actually worse than gym," said Jacob.

"We really would like to go back," I said. "To the Butterfly Gym."

The butterflies of the war council fluttered their wings and drooped their antennae.

"The enemy has taken control of the re-anthropomorphizer," Tisa said. "No one can return until we get it back."

Darby Funtz
- 5/5/2024 11:29pm

I didn't understand just who this enemy was.

"Butterflies can be territorial," @Tisa Fritillary said. "Intraspecies aggression to protect food sources, interspecies aggression during mating, both intra and interspecies aggression based on ideological or religious zeal..."

"But," asked Maia, "we're in a gym, right? The Butterfly Gym. It's a place where butterflies come together, to be their best selves, and to make a better tomorrow."

"That's what the posters on the window said," said Jacob.

The Red Admiral and the other butterflies on the war council looked confused. They tilted their butterfly heads this way and that.

"Uh... yeah.... about that" Tisa said, leaning in an whispering so only we could hear. "They don't know they're in a butterfly gym..."

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