He called it FLY. He had considered christening it–it being the only companion he had in his eight by ten feet cell–but then it would mean getting emotionally involved with the creature, and he didn’t want that. It was after all just a fly that would be dead in a matter of days, far before he would. So, why invite such complications?
It had come flying into his cell one day as he sat staring blankly at the wall, reminiscing about his life; there really wasn’t much to do anyway. It had been the first fly to enter his cell. Usually, he was visited by ghosts of his past; sometimes by some other creatures. But, that day, this little thing had buzzed into his space and demanded his attention.
And gotten him thinking about some rather unusual things. Like, what would the fly eat ? Or, how long would it sleep? Or, would it not feel alone now that it was separated from its family? Do flies have families? Or, are they loners? What must they think about all day?
The questions kept coming and got him more and more intrigued.
If he could, would he able to make the fly his pet? he wondered on days when his heart beat a different tune. He missed his family. And, being in isolation, there were moments when he felt the urge to communicate with someone, share a few laughs, complain about the food, the cell, life, or, maybe, at least, share a smoke.
But, because he couldn’t indulge in these fantasies–he did consider these fantasies; they wouldn’t come true, would they?–he wondered if he could tame the fly, teach it a few tricks, or at least, teach it to respond to his voice. That would be such an achievement!
A house fly lives for 28 days, he had read somewhere. If the fly lived with him, he thought, and if he could, indeed, teach it stuff, then at least the next 20-something days would keep him occupied in some constructive activity!
And so, he set out on this new adventure with the eagerness of a little boy, his heart beating faster and full of hope, his mind filled with dreams for the fly.
The first adventure of his life had found him a wife at age19. His second adventure had made him rich, thanks to the bank he had help his friend loot. He had gone into hiding after that and so was saved. How he had enjoyed spending the cash he had stored in sacks in the extra bathroom!
His next adventure had been bigger–or, probably the biggest. It had taught him to use a gun. He had mastered the art, decided to not use it, but, eventually, had, and killed twenty people, including five kids, seven women, and the mayor of his city. And gotten him in solitary confinement as they deduced he would be a danger to other inmates.
He had completed twenty years here, a guard let it slip one day. How many more? he had asked, for which he had received no answer.
It had indeed taken a toll on his health. His anxiety had risen, and he hallucinated so often. But, he had to save himself from insanity and had therefore forced himself to keep his mind busy, someway or the other.
First he had found a rat that had kept him busy for quite a long time. Then, he had found an army of ants. It hadn’t been easy training them so he enjoyed playing games with them.
And, now he had found this fly.
How long will you keep me busy, little guy? he murmured to the fly as it sat on his toilet, its two large eyes staring back at him, wondering, perhaps, what was in store for it.
The above post is written for #FictionMonday, hosted by my friend, Vinitha Dileep.
This week’s word prompt is FLY.