I heard a boom and bang in my kitchen vent, the one that funnels out all my cooking fumes. My cat nervously pranced across the oven top, grumbling under her breath. A mouse, perhaps. A bird even. I turned on the fan and out popped a black fly, a much smaller culprit than I expected.
“What were you doing in there?” I asked. “What fool comes in from the outside and doesn’t remember to use the door?”
“You never open the door. Your backyard is divorced from your life, remember,” he buzzed.
“Yes, I guess that’s right, but why not stay out there?”
“There were no chairs, no plants, no fruit for me to ravish. What kind of porch do you keep?”
“Why have one chair, when you can’t have two?”
“That number would require you to try. When the last time I saw a man in your house? Oh, that’s right, never.”
I swatted at the fly, hit the corner of his right wing. He flew to the other side of the house and clung to the highest corner of the living room wall. He looked down at me, all gnatty and such, and said, “What a lonely way to live. Emptier on the inside than out.”
I turned around and the house was full of furniture and doodads. I pointed them out one by one.
The fly made an incessant sound that seemed to annoy him more than anyone in the room, although the cat seemed quite flustered. Then he launched himself directly at me. I tried my best to swing my arms around like the wild turkey I am, but he took my closed eyes as an advantage, landed on the back of my neck, and bit. It was shallow, yet pulsating and seemingly more damaging to him as he fell to the ground and began to twitch.
“Why do that?” I asked.
“To see how poisoned you were.”
“And I shouldn’t have to answer what you already know.”
I tried to scoop him up. I tried to get him back to the grass, the sky, but the door stuck for lack of use and he died in the palm of my left hand.
I grabbed my keys, went to the store, bought two plastic chairs, mango orange and lime green. I stuck them on the porch and went outside to read. The television missed me and so did my cat.
I happened to see my new neighbor over the fence. He smiled. His hair was thick and dark. His whole being seemed to buzz in the last reflection of the sun. I ran inside, closed the door, and hid.
Last night, I dreamt of black flies swarming around me, woke to find myself covered in larvae, my polluted skin the perfect breeding ground.
Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography have been published in several magazines, including Gargoyle, Foliate Oak, Literary Yard, Poetry Breakfast, Story Shack, and Yellow Mama. Follow her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kristinadengland.