The Flies

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“I came earlier today but you did not open.”

“I didn’t hear you”.

“I know you were in”.

“I was sleeping.”

“I rang like 14 times”. That innocent look was so annoying. Did he really think she was that simple? “And screamed, too. Your neighbours must think I’m crazy”.

He said nothing.

“However, it’s late and I’m hungry. Have you got anything to eat?”

“We can have some pasta”.

“Ok, I’ll cook spaghetti then. Where do you keep the tomato sauce?”

“It’s over there”.

“You want us to eat this?” She held the bottle upside down without stopping to stare at him.  “How long has this bottle been left open on that shelf?”

“I can’t remember”.

“If you can’t remember, then it must be a long time”. She tossed the bottle in the bin. “OK, I’m not that hungry after all”.

She looked around at the mess that was her boyfriend’s apartment. The bed was unmade: stained, mismatched sheets hardly covered the mattress. A heap of dirty clothes was piled up in a corner. Dust everywhere. Black, fat flies where buzzing over the kitchen table. The thought of them grazing on the tomato clots almost made her sick.

“They’re obnoxious.”

“Yes, they are. Give me that cloth, will you?”.

She took a rag from the back of a hair, and handed it to him. He started slapping the air.

“It’s high time I killed all the flies. Indeed”, he said.

There was a minimal, yet awkward pause.

“You do that”, she said.


One week later she went back to his place. They were supposed to meet there at two and a half. Instead, she found a note on the door saying “I’M AT THE BAR”. She stepped back. What? They had a date and he had gone out, seriously? She thought about it for a moment: maybe he wanted her to join him there. No, it couldn’t be. If he had meant that, he would at least have written which bar.

What a loser. At least, it was a progress: he had passed from hitting the bottle first thing in the morning to getting drunk in the early afternoon. Very well: if he was trying to get rid of her, she certainly would not stand in his way.

She dropped the heavy bundle on the ground and kicked it against the door with a grunt. Then she walked back to the car to fetch a biro. She stomped to the door again, tore the note off and scribbled something at the bottom of it, then put it back in place.

Starting the car, she considered turning off her phone. What for, anyway? She knew he would not bother calling her. She screeched away.

Inside, the man was sitting motionless. Everything in the room was silent. A couple of minutes had passed since the car had left: now he could remove the scrap of paper. As he opened, something bulky and colourful fell in the doorway. Something had been added to the note: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”.


Written in response to Writing 101, Day Twelve: (Virtual) Dark Clouds on the Horizon


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