Flies

They never stop. Buzzing, day and night, around her head. Buzzing that seems like words, unintelligible. No matter how many times she cleans her apartment, no matter how many times Sarah bathes. All the shampoos, soaps, insecticides, and detergents in the supermarket can’t rid the flies, they always come again, seemingly out of nowhere. People stare at her, more weirded out than disgusted, but they never mention them, the flies circling her head.

Sarah dreads going out. She works from home, where she lives alone, as a freelance translator. When the buzzing gets unbearable, Sarah brings out the whiskey and puts on Chopin. It helps, but the flies remain nagging.

Sarah used to have friends. They didn’t mind the flies, but the way the flies made Sarah drove them away. Sarah hated herself, she wasn’t religious but she surely believed the flies were some kind of a curse, so she turned to god, he did absolutely nothing, the exact same reason why she had abandoned religion during her adolescence. Her friends had told her to learn living with the flies, she couldn’t. They consumed her thoughts and interfered with everything she did. Her frustration and powerlessness would fuel rage fits upon encountering the most trivial of inconveniences when dealing with people.

One time, her neighbor had knocked on her door to complain about loud music at 6 in the morning, Sarah threatened to kill the poor old man if he didn’t vanish this instant in a voice so high his glasses shattered, he rushed to the stairs with quivering legs, slipped, and fell to his death. Evidence against her was inconclusive. The incident didn’t occupy her mind for long, but it did take her mind off the flies for a while, the sight of the man taking his last breaths, the hiccups of death.

Then one night, Sarah caught one of the flies, killed it, and studied it under a magnifying glass. She took photos and enlarged them on her computer, what she found made her dizzy. On one wing the name Muhazmed was written, on the other, Hashtan; the fundamentalist preacher living two blocks away.

Revelation, there was no arguing with the flies, they must be eliminated.

Blithely, Sarah searched for the sharpest knife in her kitchen.

On the next day she began stalking Hashtan, waiting for the circumstances to announce his last second in the 21st century.

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