“Let me help you,” said Megan, his wife. He couldn’t speak his gratitude; she knew that he no longer had vocal chords. “You poor thing, you can’t even grip the lever.” She was so brave, stronger than he was and he knew that if their positions were reversed he’d be in tears by now.
Between them they succeeded in releasing the press’s safety . He walked quickly over to the control panel, signalling to his wife with his insect limb to follow. He mimed what she had to do to get the press to work. She nodded her understanding and started to cry, “Oh, Richard, Richard. I wish I didn’t have to do this … I CAN’T do this!”
He nodded his mutated head as vigorously as possible – yes, yes you can, you have to. There is no choice. Richard laid his good hand on her shoulder, a pathetic gesture of comfort. She sniffed then, and Richard could have cried himself if his damn fly eyes were capable. Richard remembered the need for urgency; the job had be done quickly, they must not find him like this. Who knew what would happen if they used his work for the wrong reasons. He turned his back on his tearful wife, wishing he could hold her one last time but could not even risk that tiny comfort - the fly mind was taking over. Walking back to the press with a heavy, resigned heart he knelt down and lay his head between the killing jaws – and waited.
Richard felt the pain as the press crushed his insectile head atom thin, but it was so short a pain it was as if it had never happened. But his consience still existed. As he had flitted from excrement to rotting sparrow corpse, from drain to dog turd he began to awaken. As his resurgent humanity took over he began to feel revulsion, loathing, until he could no longer digest.
He alighted on a garden bench, tears welling, as he examined his remaining human arm but the heavy tread of human feet caused his insect fear to kick in . Without thought his wings transformed into a blur as he buzzed from the garden bench, straight into a spider’s web. He had chosen to death but not this way. He fought for freedom, knowing it’s futility. He also realised that to struggle would bring his death about sooner by alerting the spider but the owners of those footsteps were approaching, one he recognised as his brother. He screamed.
“Help me, please! Somebody, please help me!”
Richard felt the web vibrate as the spider was alerted. It was quick. It bore down on him as he continued to scream. Black.
When I awoke it was dark. I had had a terrible nightmare. I had been a fly. I had been trapped in a spider’s web and about to be devoured. I’d tried to raise my right arm but found any movement was hindered. I made to move my left arm to try to release the other but all that happened was a buzzing noise. It hadn’t been a nightmare; it was real, all so fucking real.
In the flick of a switch the garden was deluged with light. I could see my darling Megan at the kitchen window. I so wanted to go to her, to see her and let her know I had survived, but knew it was impossible. I looked about. I was tangled in the web but the spider was a crushed thing, looking of blood and broken sticks. Is this my end? Flies don’t live long, about three days I thought. But I didn’t know how old this fly was when we … fused. I could die here, at any time, tangled in this web. But I felt so strong! What if I was some sort of super fly? Perhaps I could live for another fifty years! I laughed out loud but no one could hear me, so laughed louder – I felt so powerful. No, I would NOT die here. I looked once more at the window, at darling Megan. But what was this; my brother and my wife … kissing?
I flew. In anger and confusion. So many thoughts zinged through my mind. They fell over each other in their fight for priority but priority for me was revenge. Unfaithful? More likely this had been going on long before the fusion. But – the best revenge is success. My mind wondered as a lady fly sailed by, wriggling her bluebottle ass like a common floosie and I responded like any other red-blooded bluebottle would.
The seeds of revenge had been sown. The mother of my children had no name, and I never saw her again. She laid her – our - eggs in a fresh road-kill hedgehog. I carried the eggs of our offspring, one by one, through a break in the window and set them down on the sill to keep them warm till night time.
The cool of night slows me down and saps my energy. But I have a new zest for life now that I have a plan. I pick up an egg with my hand. I hear snoring from the upstairs bedroom and know it is time. He is asleep in my bed, the two people I loved most. Hah! They must be thinking that fortune has smiled on them, me dying so conveniently.
Holding an egg in my human hand and another with my legs I fly through the dark, up the stairs to the bedroom. My wife lays on her side facing my brother. She always faced away from me - now I know why. She smiles contentedly in her sleep, a cynic would call it a smug smile. He, the adultress pig, lies flat on his back snoring like the aforesaid hog.
She is easy. I crawl into her ear; she feels nothing. I go as deep as I can into that pot hole, blindly. I drop the eggs and go back for more.
He is more of a problem – he has so many hairs, it is like fighting my way through a jungle. But once past the entrance there are no more encumberances.
It is complete. All my offspring are deposited and I look forward to being a father – Megan never wanted children but in a strange way she will have a hand in bringing up mine; the wicked stepmother.
They grow – my children – but they are not the miniscule insects that even I had envisioned. The maggots are big, the size of a fire extinguisher each one, and they are hungry.
I've had 50+ stories published in the small press. I just wish it was that easy to get my novel published. www.ukauthors.com