The dragonfly hovered, then settled on the snowy railing. He watched it sit and stretch its wings, graceful, full of dignity. It was night and dark and soft snowflakes fell in silence. It was a perfect little thing, he thought, this dragonfly. The deck shook under steps and a shadow fell across them both.
“Fuck you, Carver.” He looked up at the face, cast in shadow by the porch light behind it.
“What?” He was very drunk.
“I said fuck you, Carver, you little bitch, why are you even here?” He couldn’t remember what he had done. His whole body felt numb and he lifted his cup to his mouth. The shadow reached out and knocked the cup from his hand. It hit his lip on the way down and spilled beer all over his shirt. He stood there, dripping and rubbing his lip.
“Well, get the fuck out of my house, how about that? Stop drinking my beer, stop trying to talk to my girl, just get the fuck out of here. Why are you even here?”
Oh right, the girl. He wished he weren’t so drunk. There was another shadow behind the shadow, this one smaller, with long hair. “Hey.” He lifted a hand and sort of waved.
The fist came quickly, but he was calm. He figured there were a number of ways this could go. It seemed strange that the punch hadn’t connected yet, so he ducked. It whistled over his head, but he had ducked so far down, he now found himself in a sort of awkward crouch. It was strange, he wanted to giggle.
He was at shoe level now, and there were two right in front of him. They were slipping in the light dusting of snow, sliding away from him. As he rose up from his crouch he felt a great weight press down on his back, then it was gone. He heard a shout and a crash. Rubbing an eye, he turned to look over the railing and saw a fresh black hole in the bushes below the deck. There was much shaking down there and what sounded like crying. He sort of felt like crying himself.
“Bye,” he said to the little long-haired shadow.
“Don’t talk to me,” the shadow said. “Why are you even here?”
He left. As he walked through the crowded party nobody noticed his beer-soaked shirt, in fact nobody noticed him at all. He wondered about dragonflies. Did they migrate? Hibernate? He couldn’t remember ever seeing one in the winter before. They couldn’t all just die when it got cold, could they? No, that was crazy, he thought, there must be some place they go.