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I Heard A Fly Buzz. . . by James Eveleth
They attacked at dawn. I say "they" because it was difficult to distinguish how many there actually were. I had been awakened from my morning slumber by the roar of their engines as they flew overhead. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a rapidly approaching engine. I glanced quickly around, scanning the horizon. Desperately I searched for the origin of the noise. There! There it was! It was alone and coming in quickly out of the south. There was no mistaking its destination. It was heading right for me. I dove for cover. As I concealed myself, the thundering roar of the engine boomed overhead.

The buzz of the fly faded out of my hearing and I cautiously peeked out from under my sheets. It was quite warm in the room. The sun had cleared the hill that allows me a couple extra hours sleep each morning and rays of sunshine were now streaming in through the double windows. I reached up and released the latch on the windows.

As the windows swung open, my eyes slowly scanned the room looking for the assailant. The bedroom was not overly furnished as rooms can be. It had what I considered to be the bare essentials. Besides the bed under the double windows, I had a study desk whose top was adorned with a lamp and a disarray of books. The desk sat next to a glass door which led to the deck outside. Against the far wall was a dresser with a stereo on top that was flanked by twin speakers. A wastebasket sat next to the dresser. Next to the bed stood a nightstand with a windup alarm clock and a collection of magazines.

My eyes once again looked around the room and riveted on the fly who was perched on the closet door. I looked around quickly for a weapon. I spotted a copy of Sports Illustrated lying on the nightstand. I slipped out from underneath the sheets grabbing the magazine as I did. As I rolled the magazine up, I stealthily approached the fly. Carefully, I continued to move in. Closer and closer I came, being sure not to make any sudden movements or noises that might tip the fly to it's impending doom.

I stopped moving. I was within a foot of the door and the victim. That would be as close as I would need. I stood and watched him for a moment. He was sitting quitely. Occasionally, he would lift a leg or make a nervous twitch but he seemed quite unaware that I was standing there watching him. I tightened my grip on the Sports Illustrated, which was rolled up tightly, and brought it back slowly. I wanted to make sure I had a full blow. As I was ready to swing, I paused a moment. I almost felt guilty sneaking up on this small amount of life for the sole purpose of splattering that small amount of life on my door. But then I thought of how rudely I had been awoken this morning and I swung.

The thud of the magazine hitting the door sounded through the room. I laughed a little to myself as I slowly, almost ceremoniously, removed the magazine from the door. The little black and red spot that I expected was not there. But that didn't worry me, it must be somewhere in "Illustrated." I looked at the rolled up magazine but it wasn't to be found in "Illustrated." It wasn't under "Sports" either.

As I stood perplexed, I heard above me a constant pinging sound. I looked up and saw my black spot bouncing in and out of the glass light fixture. The fly dipped down from its lofty heights, momentarily, to fly by and smile at me. As he did, I swung the magazine wildly at him but to no avail. I decided this was enough and I flung the magazine onto the bed as I marched out of the room.

**************************** Part II ******************************

I slowly cracked the bedroom door open and quickly slid into the room. I was now properly armed to handle this intruder. The metal wire handle of the fly swatter felt cool in my hand. I slowly twirled the handle, watching the plastic mesh square turn over and over, trying to decide which side would be the best to use. The plastic mesh leaned to one side. Obviously, this was the more frequently used side and had the most experience. I thought it would probably be the side to go with because of its strong past history. On the other hand however, the other side would not give as much because of its comparative inactivity. It ocurred to me that this could be useful as the fly had already shown its strength by surviving the magazine.

The fly was still playing with the light fixture as I continued to twirl the fly swatter directly beneath him. The fly stopped to investigate part of the ceiling and my twirling stopped also. I didn't look to see what side I was using. I just swung. The fly swatter brushed against the ceiling and then hit the fly. The fly started to zoom around hectically. The swing, being zapped of most of its strength by the impact with the ceiling, merely had given the fly a slap on the back.

The fly seemed to mock me as it darted in and around me at about head level. I started to swing, frantically trying to make contact with the fly as it buzzed by. I quickly turned and swung, turned and swung. I swung again and again, then turned again and swung once more. The pace quickened as the fly continued to tease me. I grew increasingly infuriated and frustrated, swinging more wildly each time. Finally, I made contact!

The crash of the lamp was a startling noise in the silence of the bedroom. I jumped back and surveyed the remains. The lamp, now in pieces, lay scattered in the middle of the floor. I grabbed the trash can and brought it over to clean up the wreckage. Careful not to get cut, piece by piece I cleaned up the mess. As I was placing a particulary large section into the wastebasket, the fly came buzzing by. I dropped the section. The piece shattered in the bottom of the trash can. I scampered to recover the fly swatter I had dropped upon striking the lamp.

As I grasped my weapon with one hand, my eyes once again searched the room for the fly. "Where is that bug eyed bomber? Not only did he wake me but now he has broken my lamp. Where was that damn fly?!"

I finally spotted -- which was what I intended to do to him -- the fly perched on my night stand. The time for stealth had passed and I charged across the room towards the fly. I had both speed and momentum as I started to swing.

Suddenly, I found myself face down on the floor. The wastebasket, I had just fallen over, lay rolling a couple feet away. I quickly looked with my hand for the alarm clock which was ringing a couple inches from my head. Finally, my hand slapped onto metal and the ringing ceased. Then, only my eyes weren't in focus. Slowly, they cleared as well and I once again looked for the fly swatter. The fly swatter lay bent and mangled at the base of the nightstand. The speed and momentum which I had wanted to distribute on the fly had instead destroyed the fly swatter.

I calmly got up of the floor. The fly was sitting on the dresser -- eyeing me. I ignored him and walked to the door. I felt his stare and I looked back at him. He smiled at me as he twitched one leg. I grinned and walked out the door.

I was smiling to myself as I came back into my bedroom. The icy coldness of the metal canister exactly matched my state of mind. The fly would get his this time. I set the canister on the dresser and proceeded to the double windows. The fly buzzed by, taunting me. I was cool and calm however as I shut the double windows. I walked back across the room to the dresser. The fly buzzed me again but I ignored him. I picked up the can and smiled sinisterly as I looked at the label -- "Black Flag Insect Fogger." I smiled a little more at the picture of the Black Flag snapping the fly dead. The fly buzzed me once again, circling around my head. I pressed the button and left the room.

**************************** Part III ******************************

As I reentered the room, the smell of the bug spray filled my nostrils. I looked slowly through the light haze left from the bug killer. I walked over and unlatched the double windows. The haze dispersed as the fresh air came streaming into the room. I turned around and once again surveyed the room. My eyes encountered the broken lamp and the tipped over wastebasket, but no fly. I saw the mangled fly swatter and the alarm clock lying on its side, but no fly. As I went about returning my bedroom to its prebattle condition, the fly was nowhere to be found. Not that it really mattered to me that I couldn't find the body but it would of been nice to have been able to look at that final testament of my supreme victory.

I walked over and picked up the now empty Black Flag canister and eyed the wastebasket now back in its proper upright position. I took aim and started to throw -- "Buzzzzzzzzz!" -- "Crash!" The fly circled around in the air in front of me and then flew out into the afternoon air through the jagged hole now prominent in my glass door.


Copyright 1999-2000 James Eveleth. All rights reserved.