My Day As A Fly


I remember some old chap at the bar saying, as an acquaintance recounted a tale of drama and chaos, “I’d have liked to be a fly on the wall for that one” and we’d all snorted into our glasses because, let’s face it, nothing takes our minds away from our own troubles faster than hearing about someone else’s.

The reason that memory is important is that I woke up the following morning, with my head on the pillow, and everything else of me for that matter, because somehow overnight I had become a fly. You’d think I’d panic and start buzzing round the room in hysterical circles in between bashing into the window pane and various lightshades but no, that did not happen. There was an ant passing by on the wall behind my head and he turned to me and said, “It’s only for the day. Tomorrow you will wake up as your normal self and I will return to being the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but hopefully with a new perspective on life”

I’m used to strangeness, being something of a loner, so I wasn’t as alarmed as your average Mr” I must catch the train by eight” might be. I flew off, avoiding the spiders web skilfully constructed right outside my window and whizzed along a street or two just “shooting the breeze” in the literal sense of the phrase. Finally I alighted at the window of some women painting scenery with a luminous brilliance I thought, and there was a sense of intense concentration and gentleness about her which was transfixing. She was entirely lost within herself and her subject, and nothing could be heard inside the room, but the sound of her brush being washed as she refreshed her colours.

Regardless of the freedom I was granted, I found myself, quite literally, settled on her wall, and it was clear she was one of those beings who treasures life in all its forms and gentleness was her subtle protection.

Wilderness comes in many forms and I, living in metropolitan obscurity, have walked the untrodden path in between the conventional and obscure. I make a living doing odd jobs and am not moved by a sense of monetary wealth or social standing so much as by experiences and insights. In this lady, lost in conversation with her canvas, I saw something similar in another being. I did not know her name or her circumstance but I prayed, as far as a fly can pray, that on the morrow I would remember her, and find some way of bumping into her life.

The next morning I awoke and once more I was human in shape and thought, but all I had in mind was that women and how to say hello to someone I thought so special, whose image was granted me by wondrous chance. Even knowing she existed softened the harsh outlines of my life. Perhaps that was the limits of her offering.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Love, Peter Wells, Romance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to My Day As A Fly

  1. This is a really profound piece of writing, Peter, which I have read now three times, and each time it offers new reflections. There is a sense of ‘being in another’s shoes’, but also a feeling of realisation of what really matters in life. I like the way that this comes across as real rather than purely dream-like. A great piece of thoughtful prose.

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  2. The most effective and life changing moments come from a change of perspective.

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  3. You’re lucky someone didn’t come along with a swatter.

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  4. There must be a sequel to this story. And I have so many questions! Like, how did you get outside? Did your human self leave a door open?? Through the attic?? Hmmm….

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  5. mikesteeden says:

    A belter of a piece…can’t say more than I thoroughly enjoyed the read and that doesn’t happen that often on WP!

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  6. A terrific and very unusual piece to say the least! And you know how much compassion I show for files! If you had appeared on my wall there would have been no swatting, just a piece of paper and a glass, and then freedom! 😊

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  7. catterel says:

    We never know what fly-spies surround us – scary thought!

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  8. Pingback: Old is the New Tale | A lot from Lydia

  9. The fly used his time well. 🙂

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  10. Kriswasp says:

    I love how it’s a reflection of how we as artists, even in the wordy sense, wish we could be viewed and appreciated by others. Not for our looks, our appearance, our heirs and graces, but for what we create, what we bring for others to enjoy, and how we wish that we could be remembered for our talent and how we express ourselves through our chosen medium. Kudos.

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  11. Beautiful.
    the next Kafka! x

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  12. ksbeth says:

    what a profound impact others may have on us, and many times without them ever knowing –

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  13. Another beautiful post – one that made me smile. It’s a shame that the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not stay as an ant! – However, wonderful that the fly could return to its human form. Janet:)

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  14. James says:

    I loved this! Nicely treading the line between the surreal and the profound and genuinely laugh out loud to boot.

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  15. Ina says:

    Hi Peter, lovely story. Did you see that movie The Fly 🙂 ? I was reminded by your story. To be a fly on the wall… well thanks to you now we know how that feels like. Flies all look the same to us perhaps, but now we know they have personalities the same way we have. I think.

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  16. Al says:

    Ducks, when you write a piece so eloquent and incisive it prohibits me from making my usual smart-mouthed comments. A small price to pay in this case.

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  17. olganm says:

    Beautiful and a great thing to learn, even if we all have to become flies…

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  18. tmezpoetry says:

    You have quite a gift! The story instantly reminded me of my aunt who would say in a silly voice, “Help me, help me I am a fly on the wall’. Writing it here it seems mundane, but I was easily humored with the theatrics. 🙂

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  19. nelle says:

    Very clever. Thank goodness you didn’t land on a spinning record.

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  20. Very original and deep! When I was in preschool I made friends with a fly, and when she flew away I hoped she would come back someday…

    Liked by 1 person

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