Flies get on my nerves. I can’t stand them. It’s not that I’m afraid of them or anything; I just want them to die. I killed a good many flies back in the day when I was the Official Fly Slayer of Gene and Jo’s Grocery Store. I was the savior of my female coworkers, killing every fly, bee, and pretty much any bug I saw. I also had to forcibly remove from the premises (but not necessarily kill) the occasional creature (i.e. mice, toads, birds and even dogs) that wandered into our workplace, but my specialty was flies. In fact, when I stopped working there my coworkers gave me a flyswatter as a going away present. Aww.
Someone could say something like, “Johanna, there’s a fly in the Meat Room.” and just moments after uttering these words, Johanna would be in the back, combing the Meat Room, flyswatter in hand and murder in her eyes. And then, usually about a minute later, she would either be proudly carrying the dead fly by a protruding wing to the garbage, or scraping his mangled remains off the wall with a paper towel. Either way, that fly was dead.
I don’t work there anymore, but my hatred for flies has not faded in the least. Flies still annoy the heck out of me, and I still kill them on a regular basis, only trying to make the world a little less horrible and the spiders a little more hungry (hopefully they’ll die off, too). So, as you can probably imagine, when I am unable to kill a fly, that gets on my nerves. Like today…
So there I was, sitting in the Mill, being a good girl and studying (cramming) for my Spanish test. All of a sudden, I feel the familiar tickle on my arm that could not be mistaken for anything but a fly. An unreadable emotion flickered in my eyes for a moment, but other than that I gave no facial expression. I glance down to confirm my suspicion. There it sat, on my arm, feeling around with that gross sucker thing that comes out of the middle of their face, being a fly. I wanted to smack it so bad, but, although I hate them with a passion, I was slightly hesitant to splatter fly guts on my person. So I waited. Apparently the fly was finished with my arm and moved itself to the table. Perfect.
Some people feel or see a fly and are content to simply shoo it away with a wave of the hand. Not me. I have to kill it, kill it dead! Deader than a doornail, as my father would say. If you shoo them away, they always come back. If you kill them, they never come back to irritate you anymore.
I moved my hand slightly, trying to get it above the fly without him realizing that he’s about to be squished. I get no farther than an inch before he jumps into the air and relocates at the other side of the table. my mouth twitched into a slight smile.
Ah, feisty, are we?
I slowly grab my practice test that I was supposed to be studying and roll it into a tight little bundle. Trying not to arouse the suspicion of the patrons sitting at various tables around me, I quietly raise the rolled up test. I glance around, making sure nobody is watching. And then I look back and—hey! It was gone! The little pest. Where was he? He hadn’t left…I knew his kind. They enjoy making my life miserable. Then I felt it: a tiny tickle on my forehead. Without thinking, I slapped at it, hitting myself hard smack-dab in the middle of my forehead. When I looked around the room, about five people’s heads quickly snapped back to their books and computers. I was so angry, not so much at the fly as I was at myself…I had played right into his little bug hands! He was slick, this one. Slicker than hot snot on a brass doorknob, as my father would say. My father says a lot of things.
And then, there he was, sitting atop my computer screen, staring at me with those freakish eyes (the fly, not my father). We sat there for a minute or two, staring at each other. It was a face-off. Then somebody set down their glass, and, like the shot heard around the world, we both sprang into action. He flew at me, and I succeeded in hitting him and knocking him off balance, but not catching him in my hand, as was my plan. I was angry, and he was cocky, but his arrogance was his downfall. He landed on the wall for just a second too long…forgetting that I still had the practice test in my hand. he learned a valuable lesson that day: above all else, never underestimate the Fly Slayer.
He’s still where I left him, nothing more than a brown smear on the wall. A testimony to all who play his foolish game and practice his dark arts. He got what he deserved. You should never play with fire, kids, or with people who want to kill you. Because eventually, if you make them angry enough, they will kill you, deader than a doornail.
Flies, ye be warned.