Diptera

More Than What Meets the Eye

Through the kitchen a fly buzzed around, reaching every corner until it landed on some blueberries. The fly was then shooed away by Joan, a young woman making a fruit bowl for breakfast. She grabbed some of the blueberries and tossed them in with the rest of her fruit.

She muttered to herself, "Damn flies."

She carried the bowl over to the table as the phone began to ring. She set the bowl down and ran into the living room for her cell on the coffee table. She picked it up and answered, "Hello?" All she heard was a dead tone. She hung up. "Strange." She returned to her bowl in the kitchen and noticed two flies on top of the fruit. "Shoo! Go away." She motioned her hands at the flies, causing them to fly away. She grunted as she sat herself down. She started to eat her fruit bowl, which hit the spot for a good morning. After only four or five bites, a knock came to the door. "Who could that be?" Joan left the table and dashed for the door. Before opening, she covered herself up with her bathrobe. She peeked through the small, thin window hidden with a curtain. To her surprise, there was no one standing at the door. She opened it and stepped out. She looked around to see if there was anyone near. The only movement outside was a dog, running down the silent street of what is usually a busy, suburban neighborhood. The sun was shining bright but Joan could see in the distance some clouds coming in to darken the sky. The wind started to blow harder.

Joan went back inside, closing the door behind her. She was confused by the knock at the door and the strange phone call. She ambled back into the kitchen half expecting another knock to emerge. Once in the kitchen, she noticed five flies, buzzing around her fruit bowl. She snatched the bowl away, stirring up the flies to go in different directions. She went into the living room to finish her bowl on the couch, hoping to stay away from the flies. She nestled in with a few pillows around her and turned on the TV with her phone. Going onto Netflix, she scrolled through the options. Nothing was showing as everything was blank on screen. "What the hell?" She turned off the TV and resumed eating her fruit bowl. After the first bite, something tasted wrong to Joan. She spat the food into her hand and saw that it was all black. She looked at the fruit bowl. Every single piece of fruit went rotten as seven flies sat on top of them. Disgusted at the sight, Joan dropped the bowl with the fruit falling to the floor and the bowl breaking into pieces. She stared at the mess with her legs curled up to her chest and her hands over her mouth. "Shit."

Joan quickly grabbed a broom and pan from the kitchen and started sweeping. While cleaning, the TV turned on, which started to play the old movie, The Fly. Joan brought her attention to the movie, seeing a huge fly, attacking a man. She got up and walked over to the TV to turn it off but it went dark before she could push the power button. As she stood next to the TV, confounded by the bizarre morning, Joan caught a glance of two flies on the TV. They remained very still. She wafted her hands at the flies but neither of them moved. Joan backed away, keeping her eyes on them. As she was backing up, she stepped on one of the pieces from the broken bowl. Joan jumped from the pain. She immediately sat down to check her foot only to see a small cut with some blood. The phone rang again. Still holding her foot with one hand, she picked up the phone and examined the screen to see who was calling. The phone only listed an unknown number.

She answered, "Hello?"

There was no dead tone but there was no sound either.

She asked, "Who's there?"

She listened for any noise. A soft sound began to develop. As it got louder, it became clearer that it was the buzzing of a fly. Joan hung up the phone. She got up and headed back into the kitchen carefully walking on her injured foot.

She went to a drawer and pulled out a first aid kit. She sat herself down, tending to her wound. As she finished up, a knock occurred but not from the front door. This one was from the back door in the kitchen. Joan popped her head up at the door from the table. She remained still, fearing as to who could be behind her house. Another knock occurred, allowing Joan to see the door jolt from the bang. Breathing heavily, Joan inched towards the door. Another knock startled her but this time from the front. She quickly opened the back door and saw nothing or no one. She hurried to the front and peeked through the side window again. She caught sight of someone walking away from the door but disappearing around the corner, not giving Joan enough time to see whom it was. Disturbed, Joan snatched her cell and dialed 911.

An operator answered, "911, what's your emergency?"

"Hello... I've been having some disturbances at my house."

"What kind of disturbances, ma'am?"

"I keep getting a call from an unknown number and when I answer it there's no one responding. And someone keeps knocking at my door."

The operator asked, "Did you get a glimpse of who was knocking?"

"Barely. I saw them walking away but didn't get a good look."

"Okay, ma'am. I'm sending a police officer over for you."

"Great, thank you."

Joan hung up and then looked out the side window again next to the front door but only saw the wind increasing outside and gray clouds, covering the sky. It appeared as if it was turning from day to night. Joan made way for the kitchen to open the back door. As she stared into the yard, she noticed something move behind the trees. She sharpened her eyes towards the movement. Not seeing anything, Joan grabbed some slippers and a pan for a weapon before walking out into yard, approaching the trees. As she got closer, she spotted a group of flies, buzzing around a bush. Joan inspected the bush, finding a dead squirrel with flies all over. She backed away from the bush and turned around to go back inside, but came to an abrupt stop once she saw into her kitchen window. Lurking behind the window was what appeared to be a tall man in a brown coat, wearing a papier-mâché mask of a fly that covered his full head. In a panic, Joan hid behind a tree. She peered out from the tree to see what the stranger was doing. The man came into view as he stood at the opened back door. None of his skin was showing as he wore the coat, long pants, and even gloves to cover his hands. He wore a black, turtleneck sweater underneath his coat, which went all the way up to his mask. He slowly turned his head from one side to the other, seeking for something. Joan trembled behind the tree. The man walked into the yard, getting closer to the trees. He stared in Joan's direction. She brought herself back behind the tree. Her breathing became fast. Gathering herself, she looked around the tree to see the man but he was gone.

From behind, a gloved hand grabbed Joan's shoulder, causing her to scream. She turned and saw the man up close with the fly mask, staring right at her. She ran back into her house, slamming the door only to find the man up close again in her kitchen. Out of shear terror, Joan started hitting and punching the man. He grabbed her by the wrist and forced her down to the floor. As the two fought, flies were swarming around in the kitchen. Joan managed to grasp the man's mask. She pulled it off to find not a human but a head-shaped figure formed by flies. The rest of the body collapsed as hundreds of flies swarmed out of the clothes and into Joan's mouth. When the last of the flies entered Joan, she fell limp to the floor.

Not long after, a cop pulled up to the curb in front of the house. He walked up to the door and rang the bell. After a few minutes of no response, he rang it again. Finally, the door opened with Joan to greet the officer.

She asked with a smile on her face, "Hello, officer. Can I help you?"

"We received a call from here about a disturbance. Is that correct?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. There must have been a mistake. No disturbance here, officer."

"Is this 61225 Oak St.?"

"Yes... it is, officer." Joan continued to hold the smile on her face.

The officer frowned. "Well, is there anyone else living here? Because we most certainly received a call from this address."

"No, there is no one but me. Perhaps I forgot that I called. I am truly sorry, officer."

"Are you alright?"

"Of course, officer. What makes you think I'm not?"

"It's nothing. May I come in ma'am?"

"Certainly, officer."

The officer stepped inside, observing the house. Joan closed and locked the door, as the officer wasn't looking.

She asked, "Would you like something to eat, officer?"

"I'm good, ma'am. Thank you. Now we got a call from here around 10 AM. Do you remember what you were doing at that time?"

Joan responded, "I was having breakfast and watching a show."

"I see." As the officer stared at Joan, a fly crawled out of her left nostril and stayed upon her face. Joan paid no attention to the fly. "Um... ma'am... a... there's a fly on your face."

She stated, "I know, officer. Would you like anything to eat?"

The officer cleared his throat. "No... I'm fine."

"Please, let me get you something. You stay right there."

Joan left the officer alone in the living room as she made way into the kitchen. Still with a cheery smile, she grabbed a butcher's knife from the knife block. Returning to the living room, she hid the knife behind her back. The officer acknowledged Joan coming out of the kitchen.

"I honestly don't need anything, ma'am."

Joan approached him. "You certainly need this."

She took the knife and plunged it into the officer's chest. The officer attempted to fight back but failed as Joan stabbed him again and again with the same cheery smile as his blood splattered onto her. The officer dropped to the floor, lying dead. Standing over his body, Joan let out a scream as flies flew out of her mouth. She collapsed to the floor onto her knees, catching herself on an end table. She screeched in horror, seeing the dead officer and discovering the blood on her clothes and skin.

...

In a white, padded room, Joan was strapped to a chair and confined in a straightjacket. Bent over, she whimpered in despair not knowing what happened, what was happening, and what was going to happen. In the silence of her own torment, a faint buzz could be heard. She lifted her gaze up at the tiny, barred door window where a fly was swarming around. It came into the room, zigzagging but heading straight toward Joan. The fly then landed on Joan's nose. Joan remained still as she stared at the fly. 

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