And He answered and said unto them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pumping Your Muse 081509

Pumping Your Muse Prompt
Write a story based on a man or woman obsessed and carrying a flyswatter.

The Day of Small Things

"10-4, Karen. I'm at the door now. Over." Pete heard the dispatcher reply and the comforting buzz of other officers in the two way strapped to his shoulder. He knocked on wooden part of the screen door. It looked weathered and original to the woodframe house. In spite of the overgrown bushes, the porch was immaculate. He looked through the gray sheers of the bay window and saw a shadow moving toward the door.

The front door opened and the woman stood with a flyswatter in her hand. It had a white, metal handle with a blue plastic screen that was torn and frayed in the middle.

"Hi, Deb. What seems to be the matter?" Pete looked with concern at the woman staring back at him through the screen. "May I come in?"

The woman pushed the door open and as if on cue, began to cry. The front room was immaculate and inviting; not a lamp or coffee table book was out of place. She sat down on her couch, held her head with one and sobbed. The other hand clutched the swatter white-knuckled.

Pete left her and walked into the kitchen. The cabinets were dangling loose on their hinges, the window was cracked like a windshield. Floors, the counters, the stove and refrigerator were as spotless as the rest of house. As he grabbed a paper towel, he heard a buzz. He noticed a black fly and watched it land, black on the white stove top.

"Deb, that's quite a fly you got in your kitchen. Do you know it circled around me twice? Here." Pete handed her the papertowel and sat on the matching chair opposite the sofa. Deb looked up in horror, wiped her face and stood up.

"Pete, you have to get out of here. Now. Leave. They know you now." Deb ran to the door as she looked toward her kitchen.

"Deb, come on, hon. You can talk to me. We've known each other since high school. You're friends with my wife. It's ok. I'm your friend." He walked to go outside but kept his eyes focused on her.

"Pete, please. Come outside. Please. Outside." Deb whispered hoarsely and wiped her nose. She kept her gaze at the kitchen and opened the door. She walked out but kept never looked at Pete. He walked past her and immediately she shut the door behind them.

"They're here, Pete. It's not a fly. It's--" Deb grabbed his upper arms, the flyswatter near her face. He gently freed himself from her grip.

"Put that thing down, Deb; it's right by my face. Come on. I'll take you over to Dunkin Donut and get you a cup of coffee."

"It doesn't kill them. No. A machine can't be killed, Pete. It disables the ship for a minute so you can get a hammer and crush them. It's the only way. What are we going to do, Pete? We have to call the National Guard. They're here. There are so many."

"Deb. I'm going to call Jim and see if he can get off work a little early. Geez, you're not even dressed. Why don't you throw something on and we'll go. Come on, Deb."

She opened the screen door and stood between the doors as she looked through the window in her door. "Pete, I know it's gonna sound crazy, but you have to listen to me. It's not a fly at all. It's a ship. I've gotten 20 of them. I stun the ships with this flyswatter. I thought they were flies, Pete. I thought I'd hit 'em and that would be the end. They'd just fly circles around you over and over. When you sleep, you can hear them." Her voice deepened. Her eyes looked old and tired. "If you stun them, you can smash them, Pete. But there's always two to take their place."

He took her by the arm and led her to the adirondack chair on her tidy porch.

"Deb. Honey, Caroline has been going through moods like this. It comes with the age. I'll get you the name of her doctor. Since she's been on that bio-identical pill, she's back to her old self, ok? In the meantime, how about I go in and get that little fly for you."

For a moment, he thought that Deb would come at him, but she just stared. She rose up, wiped her nose one more time and straightened her back.

"I'll do it, Pete. Just come in with me and watch."

"Officer Brennan, do you copy?" The operator sounded loud and sane.

"10-4, Karen."

"Pete, Joe's requesting you over on Clifton Park Ave. "

"10-2, Karen. I'll be done here in a sec."

"10-2, Pete." The only other person in the room with any sense clicked off with a button. Pete was moved with pity and sorrow at his friend's delusions. He followed her back in the house and straight to the kitchen.

Deb's flyswatter was up in the air as she ran in her kitchen screaming.

The black fly sat on the white stove top. Deb approached it and smashed the blue net hard on top.

"No more problems, Deb, see--"

"Wait for it."

They stood for a couple of minutes. When Pete would object, Deb would raise her hand to silence him. Out of pity and respect, he waited but nothing more happened.

"Deb, come on. I'm going to call Jim right now. This isn't good. Does he know what's going on?"

Deb began to cry. "Look, Pete. Look at it. I hit it square on. It should be dead. And look. No wings." The black fly quivered and fly directly at Deb. She screamed and swung, but missed. It landed high on the ceiling and then flew at her again, this time land on her hand. She flung it away from herself and it flew out of their sight for a moment. Her hand had begun to swell.

"Deb, let me get you some ice."

"No. No. We have to get them first. Pete, grab the hammer. By the dishwasher, in the drawer."

Pete sighed and got the hammer as the fly circled around his head. He brushed it away with his hand but it came back.

"It is pretty agressive." Pete watched her run around the room and chase the little black speck. She smashed the swatter on the cabinets, then the counter, then back to the cabinets. She was getting more frustrated and hysterical when she finally got nailed it near her phone. Deb grabbed the hammer out of his hand and smashed the fly violently and repeatedly.

Pete took the hammer from her as she stared at it and panted.

"Flies don't bleed, Pete. Flies aren't oily when you kill them. Look, Pete. It's metal. You have to go now. They know you." Pete examined it and tried not to laugh at her face. It was flat as a nailhead with a little bit of liquid that oozed near. Surely a fly has body fluid.

"Deb, come on. Get dressed and you come over. Call Jim and he can pick you up from our house. Ok?"


"Deb, please do not argue with me or I'm going to have to call the paramedics. Do you understand? Take a shower. I have another call and I'll come back. You can have a nice visit with Caroline. Get the doctor's business card. You'll see. I'll give you some time to get ready. Ok?" He looked at her and saw she was ready to cry. "Deb, do you understand?"

"I do, Pete. Please. You have to go. They know you now."

"Ok. I'll be back shortly. Get cleaned up. Caroline will be glad to see you. Karen," Pete said as he walked out the door. "10-2, do you copy?"

"10-2, Pete. Proceed to Clifton Park. I'll patch in Joe." The dispatcher signed off with a couple of staticky clicks and he descended the porch stairs. For the sake of their friendship, he would not say too much about Deb on the report.

"Pete, 10-2, do you copy?"

Pete got into his car and closed the door. There was a fly that buzzed around his head. He didn't
remember them being in there when he got out of the car.

"10-2, Joe. What's up?"

"Can you give me a hand? I have a resident who's pretty disruptive. Says the black flies are alien spaceships. It must be a full moon." The officer on the radio paused for a moment and said, "Now they're bothering me."

"I know what you--" Pete swatted his fly and got it with his newpaper. He opened his window and shook it off. When he looked at the paper, it was clean. "I know what you mean. 10-2, I'll be there shortly." He pulled the car away and noticed ablack fly perched on his paper.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

It's pretty sad when I've been thinking about what to write using this particular prompt.


A Bishops Wife said...

I did not even realize I was not following you!!!! I thought I was. Now I am following both blogs! You are on facebook too aren't you?

Donna Sundblad said...


I'm thrilled with this story based on my prompt. Do you mind if I post a link to it over at Pumping Your Muse Prompts?

Donna Sundblad
Author of Pumping Your Muse

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