THREE FLASH PIECES by Mercedes Lawry

by Mercedes Lawry

Was there transposition?

Toby wondered why flies always died on their backs, or so it seemed. He had not conducted a scientific analysis or even done research on the suspect Internet. He was fully prepared to admit he’d made up the entire premise, simply because he’d observed a dead fly upon coming out of his bedroom, though he was pretty sure he’d come across other dead flies in this position. He had no idea, really, if the fly had died on that spot or elsewhere, say, the windowsill, where so many did, no doubt yearning. A stray breeze might have wafted it to the floor. A sneeze. Another fly tired of looking at the corpse. He felt fairly certain the fly had not been there when he went to bed last night but he would not have sworn an oath.

Could a coroner determine when the fly had died or if it had been a natural death? And what was a natural death for a fly, old age? Malnutrition? Did flies that inadvertently found their way inside have shorter lives than those who remained in the wild? Toby could certainly understand why someone might choose the fly as a compelling subject to explore. There were so many questions to be answered. He supposed, as in all fields of study, one question led to another and soon one might be inquiring about the pill bug or beetles. Should one become a generalist or a specialist and which was more rewarding, more intellectually challenging, which garnered more respect?