Fly Trap

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Through the eyes of another time

Submitted: December 14, 2016

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Submitted: December 14, 2016



“Fly Trap”

Orin Rook

I spent the summer on the west coast with my grandmother.  After picking me up at the airport in Spokane, I spent the two hour ride into the country snoozing away, jet lagged, in the backseat of her dirt filmed van.  As we rumbled down infinite expanses of dusty, deserted backroads she turned to me quite suddenly.  “The bugs are bad around here.”  I nodded. “Bugs are bad everywhere.” I thought.  An insect is hardly, if ever, an isolated incident.  Once you spot that first bug, you know the second isn’t far away.  Since you can’t seem to go more than a few yards without spotting a crawler or a flyer or a jumper, I’d say bugs are a universal problem. 

Their presence was apparent from the moment the driveway’s gravel crunched underfoot.  Tiny specks of obsidian zipping in unpredictable patterns across the horizon into oblivion.  We went up the splintered front steps, to the left of the wind-battered screen door hung a pouch.  “Looks like it’s getting full.” My grandmother said inspecting the bag.  I leaned in and regretted it ever since.  The bag, which turned out to be a trap of unknown and inconsequential design, was alive with furious, frustrated hissing.  The bag’s contents of sugary water had lured hundreds of flies whose collective mass formed a sort of twisting, writhing pontoon atop the sweet fluid.  The mass fought with itself to readjust, to clamber to the top and away from the bloated corpses which formed the base. 

They say time is relative, which means that different species must live in different dimensions of time.  Take us, seventy years seems like a pretty long full life, but not to the sea turtle which lives for 150 plus years.  As we walk past their slow crawl we must look like blurs of color, but they know why we appear that way, we don’t have as long to get where were going as they do.  Now take the fly, which lives for only a few days.  Watching us must be like watching trees, we could spend half an entire lifetime sitting in the same spot, unmoving except to take slow clumsy swats at them.  God I hope that’s not true, because if it is that means that they spend half their lives in that cesspool.  35 years of trying to untangle knotted, broken limbs, so you can squirm away from the putrid rot below you.  35 years of your starving neighbors barbed mandibles grazing the back of your neck.  35 years of watching new blood who still remember fresh air enter.  35 years of knowing only a thin sheet of impenetrable plastic separates you from a decent death. 

“Oh well.”  I thought.  “fuck ‘em, they’re just bugs.”

I couldn’t sleep that night, a giant hairy horsefly sat perched on the ceiling directly above me, it’s red eyes catching the lamp light in a demonic twinkle.  I’ve never seen one so still, so contemplative.  It took me little effort to swat him, and watch his crumpled body fall on the desk by my computer.  Only when I returned from collecting a paper towel to dispose of him with, he had vanished. 

Paranoia gripped me that night, I swatted at the shadows who tickled my legs.  I screamed at the ghosts who whispered soft hisses into my ears and only after dawn crept past the rolling hills did I sleep.

I awoke not long after having fallen mercifully into the arms of Hypnos to the buzzing outside my window.  Wearily I trudged to the front porch to take in the sun with a cigarette.  I lit the end and expected to smell the sweet aroma of burning tobacco, but instead my senses were assailed with the pungent aroma of feces and filth.  I turned to the fly trap, which quivered like a heart about to burst.  I dropped my cigarette and fled into the house.  I wouldn’t call my flight fearful, but more or less reproachful.  I think that’s a common reaction to the truly horrible that we all share, best turn our backs and trust whatever system is in place no matter how vulgar.  After all “fuck ‘em, they’re just bugs.”

I saw that damn horsefly again as I crawled into bed.  He looked bigger, maybe he wasn’t the same one except in his mannerisms.  The way he rubbed his hind legs together, mocking me.  I made sure to do it right this time, I painted the wall with his guts, watched his dismembered limbs flail impotently.  I nodded in satisfaction and lay back down, leaving the desiccated corpse hung on the wall as a warning. 

That night I felt something crawling near my ear.  I shot out of bed and flipped the switch, I wish I didn’t.  All of his parts were moving, great hairy legs wriggled towards me like worms, wings danced before my eyes like samaras seeds.  The guts were the worst part, they oozed towards me, streaking the carpet with a phlegmy trail.  I suppose I must have fainted.

I began to twitch in reaction to any buzzing sound and scratch myself furiously at any slight tickle for fear it might be one of them.  This kind of unseemly performance would usually be classified as junkie behavior, and I hoped that’s not how my grandmother interpreted it.  She asked me to go get something from the car today and I literally twisted my own ankle with a loud pop in my hands, anything to avoid going near that fly trap. 

“Fuck ‘em.” I said to myself as I massaged my swelling ankle with ice. “They’re just bugs.”

He watched me again that night, fully formed, the moonlight elongated his already formidable frame in a shadow that consumed my whole ceiling.  I watched him, crawl down the wall towards me.  I didn’t put up a fight, I lost the will.  The size of my hand, he crawled across my whole body.  His spiny hairs and drooling mouth caressed me in grotesque fashion.  That night seemed to last forever, at least 35 years.  I hated it, I wanted to swat and kill him but I knew it would do no good.  All I could do was lie there, paralyzed in the grip of disgust and despair.  That was the worst part of the whole ordeal, knowing that nothing would change, that this was it, that there was no point to fighting any more. 

I walked past my grandmother’s morning hello with a dead stare.  I limped right past her into the kitchen and grabbed a knife. 

I pushed open the front the door and stood before the fly trap, eagerly hissing at me, as though the damned could see through my eyes and into my soul.  I slashed the bag open, it fell to the ground and burst apart.  The born again flew free in a great cloud, consuming me. 

I know I must have inhaled them, every time I took in a breath I could hear their hiss in my lungs.  I know they flew into my eyes, my vision was now splintered into hundreds of fractal segments.  I know they ate my insides, I swayed with the slightest breeze, a husk of a human.  I know they carried me, because I flew in the wind. 

I landed on the sill of a concrete window with bars of iron.  I watched the sad, hopeless orange clad men inside, moving like sap down a tree.  They say time is relative, I hope to god that’s not true.  If it were that means these humans were trapped here for thousands of lifetimes.  Thousands of lifetimes of feeling impotent and powerless.  Thousands of lifetimes of being unable to remember the feeling of your lover’s touch.  Thousands of lifetimes of knowing that you can never live your dreams.  Thousands of lifetimes of waiting to die. 

“Oh well.” I thought.  “Fuck ‘em, they’re only human.”


© Copyright 2018 Orin Rook. All rights reserved.

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