“Fly”

This is another story I wrote while in College, another one I very much loved. Take a look:

 

There is a fly in his apartment.

I’m sitting on his bed, waiting patiently for him to get home, but there’s this fly.  Normally, this wouldn’t bother me.  Today, however, the fly shouldn’t be here.  It’s my fault the fly is here, and its being here could prove disastrous.

I get up and look around the apartment for some way of dealing with the fly.  I don’t say “kill,” because the fly hasn’t done anything to deserve death.  It’s simply a nuisance, and it’s possibly in the way of me completing my task.  I’m not even sure he’ll notice the fly, or if he does, that he’ll understand its significance, but I don’t want to take any chances.

For that, the fly must be dealt with.

I find a jar in one of his cabinets that could be used to contain the fly.  I scan the apartment for the insect, but it appears to be eluding me.  I walk into the next room to see it circling a lamp, where it settles.  I can’t capture it there, not without breaking something.

I swat at the fly and it leaves its perch, settling instead on the bed.  I bring the jar down upon the creature, but, as flies often do, it escapes.  There are a few more attempts at cornering the insect against a wall and a few times on the carpet, but to no avail.

I decide it’s time to try a new tactic.

I enter into his kitchen again, searching the cabinets for anything else.  I might be able to use, and I find a Band-Aid.  A simple tool with many uses.  It’s perfect.

I tear off the white strips of the bandage and place it sticky-side up on the counter.  I open his refrigerator door and find a loaf of bread.  I open it, take out a crumb of bread and place it on the sticky part of the bandage.  This is harder than you might think while wearing gloves.

I return the bread to its proper location in the refrigerator and carry the bandage into the bedroom, where the fly is taunting me yet again.  I set it on the windowsill and wait.

I’m patient.  I know it will happen eventually.  I watch the fly as it settles on the lampshade.  The pillow.  The ceiling.  The ceiling fan.  The window.  My arm.  Finally, the windowsill.  But not the bandage.  It can sense the bread, I’m sure of it.  It studies the bread with its thousand eyes and I know I have it beat.  After a few moments, the fly lands on the sticky part of the upturned bandage.

For a second, the fly is content eating the bread.  Then it tries to fly.  It lifts upward momentarily, but the bandage is too heavy.  The fly can’t get off the ground.  It struggles against its captor, but I have been successful.  The fly is detained.

I look at the clock.  It’s 5:06.  It’s almost time.

I watch the minute hand creep around the clock face, pointing at the 2, the 3, the 4.  Still, the fly struggles against the bandage.  I look at it pitifully.  If only it could understand what I understand, that sometimes there are forces at work that you cannot overcome.  Sometimes you just have to understand that you’re going to die.

At 5:27, he walks through the front door of his apartment.  As I suspected, he acts normally, suspects nothing.  He opens his refrigerator and pours himself a drink.  He whistles while he performs his actions, unaware that I am seated only a room away, waiting for his entry.

The fly tries to take off again.  I want to yell at it, to convey the message that there’s nothing it can do, but still it fights.  There’s honor in that, perhaps.

He walks from the kitchen towards his bedroom and stops dead when he sees me sitting on his bed.  He doesn’t ask how I got in.  He knows who I am.

“Look, tell them I have the money,” he starts to plead.  Pitiful.

I raise my gun and fire two shots.  He’s dead before he hits the ground.  I stand up, wipe off the barrel and begin to make my exit.  I look at the fly.  Even now, it struggles against its bonds.

I walk over to the windowsill and pick up the bandage.  I take the fly gently between two fingers and pry the bandage away from its legs.  One of the fly’s legs tears off, still stuck to the bandage.  It’s better than what he got.  I let go of the animal, and it flies out of the bedroom.

When I open the front door to leave, the fly leaves as well.  A wise decision.  I close the door behind me and walk out onto the street.

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