The Flies

They want me to believe odd things are happening. Gulp.  Maybe they are.  It’s true that birds have been singing all through the night where once they’d sing from dawn. The phrase ‘dawn chorus’ is for the birds. Or was.

They tell me that rats are the first to be aware that there is trouble on board a ship, as they rush up from below to get to safety. The phrase ‘rats deserting a sinking ship’ is for the rats.

Flies.

Now, my understanding of flies is two fold.

Firstly, they arrive through your open windows during the warm summer, and secondly they are born of maggots. My understanding of maggots is that they are normally born of very dead things. Yeuch.

So, the England household suddenly becomes aware of a very strange plague of mainly walking or sitting still flies. This is slightly unusual since their normal habit is to, well, fly. You know, around and around. Flying annoyingly near light bulbs and so on. Ok, so firstly there are hundreds of walking flies, and even more hundreds just sitting there on the walls … staring.  And it’s winter, not exactly fly season.

Ok, any logical person at this point will jump to the same conclusion explained in the exclamation, “Oh my god, there’s something dead around here and it’s rotting”. Been there, done that. The entire abode was methodically picked over to find the dead antelope or whatever it may be that had hidden behind the sofa and given birth to flies. Nothing. A careful study showed no particular room favouring the flies, so no hint there either. The flies would wait until nobody was watching and then suddenly move en mass to another room. Obviously the dead antelope wasn’t moving as well. The fact that a few hundred flies would move whilst nobody was watching and all decide to follow the leader to a new place to just sit and watch from was slightly disturbing.

Now, the paranoid will ask why the extensive fumigation using any supermarket-available fly spray wasn’t attempted within 30 seconds of the first finding of the pack of flies. It was attempted, but the can proved to be empty (One assumes the flies hadn’t arranged this, but you can never be sure). And then other things and tasks became more important, and then the shops were closed and so on. A tragic set of circumstances, I realise, but all in all probably designed to allow a greater time to observe the pack of flies. Indeed, watching them watching you is a little bit creepy. Waving arms and blowing making only the individual flies in line for immediate attack reluctantly move a few metres, and strict instructions not to squash flies on the walls and spoil the decorations, conspired with the lack of fly spray to give even more time to observe the strange behaviour.

When the bathroom was the chosen venue, and despite considerable attempts to shoo them into the hallway only to find them returning to exactly where they’d been shooed from, spending a period of time naked in the bath appeared to captivate them. Or were they planning a ‘Birds’ film style attack? Well, nothing happened apart from all parties (including the humans) trying to stare the other out.

When the fly spray was eventually purchased, each room was given a double or treble dose. Indeed, the pack were mainly spending time in the bedroom (Planning an attack scheduled for when the humans were asleep, maybe?) and their genocide began. Since the smell of the powerful fly spray was awful it was decided to do the deed, and then leave the house for some hours to perform other duties. The hope being the smell would have dissipated by the return.

The return some hours later was to an abode empty of flies. Expecting to have to vacuum-clean up several hundred carcasses, a careful examination of each room was made pulling the Dyson in tow. Nothing. No flies dead or alive. Not one.

So, where did they come from? Where did they go? Why were they there? What does it all mean? Is the world ending?