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Sweet Rot and Decay

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It is quite simple, really. I’m not a three headed fire breathing iguana or a winged lemur with a snake as a tail. I’m not a blue footed booby, a screaming hairy armadillo, a Heterodontosaurus, or anything else with a strange name, for that matter.

No. All it takes is four first-grade-level vocabulary words (or rather 7 if you include ‘I am a’) to get the message across that I am a foul and distasteful creature that feasts on rot and decay. I am a big, black, juicy fly. Fat black hairs cover my legs, and my disco-globe eyes see all. Yet I am what I am, and I am content with that.

You might even say that everything about me is simple. My brain is simple, a puny clump of nerves that acts 100% on instinct. My hopes and even my fancies are predictable and (of course) simple.

I love the squish of rotting road kill under my feet, and the stench of mold. I enjoy biting sweaty humans in places where festering bug bites would itch the most. But what I treasure the most of all, what I would never give up for my life, is the delectable flavor of half-cooked spam.

In fact, that is what I am doing now, at 5am in the morning, in early fall. I am sipping chunky, blood soaked meat. I am not a food critic, but the thing that fascinates me about Marley’s Microwavable Spam factory, is each day the churning mush has a different flavor, a different mood. Some days I detect a hint of rat, while just yesterday I swear I sensed a dash of expired Spray Cheez.

Suddenly, I see a flicker of insect-sized movement. Each of the refracted images that my disco globe eyes show me says the same thing: an intruder is invading my territory. I zip after him, emitting a low, warning buzz that bounces off of the high, gray walls and echoes around the chamber, becoming louder and fiercer every passing second.

He glances back, and speeds faster ahead. He is a young, skinny, fly, probably just out of maggot hood, and is far quicker than I could ever be. He is terrified, and is made even faster by fear. Soon he loses me, and I am hopelessly lost, far away from my homeland. My heart drops, and I cry fly tears.

Then, suddenly, a great aroma drifts through the air and wraps itself around my being. It slowly, but purposefully, glides over my eyes, and drifts into each of my six nose-holes, one on each leg. My breathing slows, and I am engulfed in a thick, delicious mist, almost like decay, except for it isn’t sour, it is sweet. It runs through my body like liquid sugar.

Whereas my senses are numbed, my mind is clear, with no doubt about what I want. Find the aroma’s source. The single thought pulses through my mind like a heartbeat, and I slowly fly towards the heavenly fragrance.

Time stops, and in an instant, or maybe half an hour, I am there, hovering above the plant. The fragrance is floating out of a strange, potted plant, with jaw-like flowers with soft green eyelashes. Then suddenly I am inside of the eyelashes, my tubular mouth sucking up the red liquid like a half-starved vacuum.

Then the space seems tighter. I begin to feel cramped, so I punch at the eyelashes, expecting them to rip like wet paper. The eyelashes are not soft; they are as hard and powerful as iron prison bars. The walls close in on my sides, and I feel my carapace beginning to crack, almost like I’m molting, except there is excruciating pain shooting up my sides, and my heart is thumping so fast it is doing cartwheels in my chest. Every heartbeat is a hammering blow, far worse than any smack from a flyswatter.

I cannot breathe. I can feel my lungs beginning to pop, and my brain is being drowned in razor-sharp shards of glass. All of the blood from my middle is being squeezed up to my head. The pressure is too great, and one of my eyes bursts like a water balloon, emitting a thunderous POP and an explosion of fiery agony.

Finally, black, numbing tendrils creep up my sides, wiping out all feeling. They engulf my abdomen, and encircle my head. I see each of my trustworthy refracted disco-globe images fizzle out, until only one, simple, image of pain and death is left. Then, with a sigh, the blackness takes me, to somewhere else, somewhere different, and I know no more.





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