Bewildering Stories

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Fly Away

by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson

He sat in the room, feeling like he was being watched. It was the flies, he was sure. At least one of them. But which one? They all looked the same as they flew around, sometimes landing on the wall to stroll about or to rub their limbs together.

He’d already closed all the windows, so no more could get in. He switched all the lights on to see them better. He didn’t much care about them flies. Just flying about, watching him.

He had already decided to kill them. One by one. Squash them like... what they were. He grabbed the newspaper, and rolled it up. It was either that, or his shoe. And his shoe had deep-treaded soles. He didn’t want them flies to escape between some treads, no. He wasn’t gonna make it easier on them.

He began swinging at the flies. One, two, three blows, and the fly got away. Swat! On the fourth try. He looked at the flies crushed remains: orange-yellow goo spread out from its exoskeleton. Dead.

Swat! Swat! Two more flies stained his walls. More dark-yellow goo. He would need to clean up after he’d finished. The flies didn’t look good, squashed on the walls like that.

Only two left. He swung wildly at one, until he got it: in midair. It fell to the floor. He kneeled down to look at it. It was still alive. He’d just knocked it out. He could see it move its limbs. Smack! He crushed it to death.

Only one left, and it was taking a stroll on the windowsill. It flew away as he approached, as it knew what he was about to do. He swung at it, many times. He got it in the living room, a direct hit in mid air, and the fly landed on his living room table. He sat down and got his magnifying glass from the magazine stand by his easy chair.

This fly was special. He opened his penknife and poked it. It was hard to the touch. And it looked smooth, not sectioned like normal flies. He bashed it again with the newspaper. The fly was crushed open. He poked it some more with his knife, while looking through the magnifying glass. The innards were mechanical, rather than biological: no yellow goo; instead, golden wires.

He turned the fly’s head toward him, and said to it, “Mister spy, your fly is open.”

Copyright © 2004 by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson

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