by G J Hart
He watched the Cow’s tail sail overhead like an upholstered star.
“At least I still have a fantastic body,” he slurred, looking down at his voluptuous hips and tapered waist.
“I’m a fucking rock star.”
Having spent the day munching tunnels through Dr Janner’s apples, the most succulent ones near the north gate, the Wasp was quite, quite pissed.
“A fucking rock star,” he repeated, stretching out on the rump of the Cow, flexing his sting. True, he thought, the sting still slipped easily from the puckering of his abdomen, but it wasn’t the straight, strong weapon of his youth. He leaned forward studying the battered appendage, his mouth contorted.
Noticing a Tick paddling slowly through a septic gash further up the Cow’s back, the wasp closed an eye, tensed and prepared to propel himself forward. But no good, the sting drooped and retracted, his muscles too weak to sustain its weight. Any muscle memory a nostalgia now.
He fell backwards, moaning.
“At least I haven’t put any weight on,” he sighed.
Sleep. He thought. Time to Sleep.
He was just nodding off when he heard the Fly approaching from above.
“Oh dear, dear me,” he moaned, burying his head. He disliked Flies and was yet to meet a single one he couldn’t immediately label, since it invariably transpired they were an incorrigible thug.
“Saw you doing a bit a target practice there,” said the Fly, who had landed at the Wasp’s side and was pointing toward the Tick.
“Well sort of, not much good now,” replied the Wasp, weighing the sting in his palm.
“Well at least you have a weapon, no matter how defective. All I can do is fly away,” shrugged the Fly.
“I imagine,” replied the Wasp wearily, “that is why you are called Fly.”
The Fly turned, a thousand eyes flaming, his jaw accelerating beneath crimplene cheeks like the mechanics of a chipped massage chair.
He began to appear and disappear, as if jump cut, up and down the length of the cow, until finally stopping still as a beaten cymbal, inches from the Wasp’s face.
“I have asked you many, many times – DO NOT MAKE FUN OF MY NAME!”
The Fly spat a ball of stinking juice down onto the Cow’s back.
“Sorry, forgot,” slurred the Wasp, grimacing.
The Fly paced, many hands behind his back.
“It is true,” he continued ,“I am ‘Fly’. I ‘fly’, I have wings. It is how I move. It is also true, as you kindly pointed out, my primary means of survival is to ‘fly away. But if we follow this line of reasoning, why are you not called ‘Flysting’, ‘Stingfly’, or a narrow derivative there off? No, you are ‘Wasp’. Not the most compelling name in the world but compared to Fly….” the fly spat and turned, biting his arm.
“I wouldn’t mind being called Stingfly,” slurred the Wasp and burped.
Exhausted, the Fly sank slowly on dark hydraulics.
“I’m not well,” said the Wasp. “I’m dying, Fly.”
“I really don’t care,” replied the Fly, “and to clarify: even if you were a fly, I wouldn’t care. Even if we’d know each other intimately for decades, I wouldn’t care. Even if, by some peculiar twist of breeding, we were related, I still wouldn’t care. And now,” the Fly rotated, upright, “you see how dark I am, how complex, how conflicted! But still I am Fly. Always and forever fucking Fly.”
Having spent the morning gorging on cow’s shit, the Fly, unlike the Wasp, was in no danger of dying anytime soon.
He pressed a hand to his stomach, feeling the flumes of masticated nourishment slopping along the carved runs of his innards. Drawing two black legs across two stained glass wings, he shivered with well-being.
Both sat in silence .The Cow’s tail glided overhead like a helicopter decorated for carnival.
The Wasp, suddenly agitated by cravings for more apple, attempted to stand. He managed a couple of steps before falling backwards, his arms and legs following like loose straw.
The Fly shuffled up and looked down.
“Goodbye Fly,” whispered the Wasp.
The Fly slid an arm beneath the Wasp’s head, laying it gently down.
“Goodbye Wasp,” he whispered.
The Fly sat a while waiting for the evening’s sign.
When it came, he drew two black legs across two stained glass wings, threw it all around himself like a cloak and flew off. glass wings, threw it all around himself like a cloak and flew off.
G J Hart lives in Brixton and is returning to writing after a very, very long break.