Casual Cruelty – Bob

Flash Fiction Stories
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Short Story


Bob the housefly was having a good day.  He was unaware that he was a housefly, that he currently carried typhoid, cholera, anthrax and salmonellosis, or that his name was Bob, which was probably a large part of why he was having a good day.

He’d gotten a good night’s rest in a cozy corner, hanging not-quite-upside-down just above an unidentified heat source.  Of course, the source didn’t matter – he was warm, and that’s what mattered.

Then, not an hour ago, he had found a nice pile of dog feces, and had been cheerily slurping away ever since.  He was unaware of the concept of an hour, or that his meal was, in fact, dog feces, but would have been just as excited, if he did.  To a housefly, all food is sugar. Bob didn’t know this either, but he knew it tasted good. An ocean of Belgian chocolate couldn’t have made him happier.

To top things off, there were a number of promising virgins hovering near him, which he planned to approach after the meal. One of them had been eyeing him for a while, and for a fly, that’s saying a lot.

He didn’t know what optimism was, but would’ve seen the sense in it if he had.

Should he stop eating and go talk to her, maybe invite her over to his particularly tasty section of the dung pile?  Or perhaps he should play it cool, take his time, just enjoy the meal before approaching her, then go over with confidence and see her reaction.

Yeah, play it cool.  Don’t let her know you’re interested – not yet.

It was a good strategy, and would’ve worked quite well on this particular housefly, had Bob ever gotten the chance to use it.

It was at this point, however, that his four-course meal of every sugar imaginable was stolen from him. He didn’t even think as the shadow descended, immediately bolting from the area and landing on a flat something-or-other nearby. He could smell his brunch leaving at a rapid pace, and then the scent was suddenly cut off, save for its lingering aroma.

Bob desperately tried to follow the scent-trail, but it was no use.

But why mope? Why not find that lovely young fly from before? Yes, that would cheer him up nicely.

The search didn’t take long.  He found her near the spot where the dung had been, mounted by another fly, larger than him. She saw Bob, and stared at him impassively as the large male fertilized her eggs.

Had Bob known what pessimism was, he would now be seeing the sense in it.

As awful as it felt, he couldn’t bring himself to look away from the depressing scene before him, which was precisely the reason he didn’t see the shoe until it was too late.



Photograph by Thomas Tolkien


Image Curve’s Manifesto

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