Fly on the Wall – Tim Jamieson

“For God’s sake,” the woman exclaimed, opening a drawer in the kitchen, “why are there two cling film boxes open? It’s a fucking nightmare!” She pulled them out of the draw, making as much noise as possible, and proceeded to wave them about her head like a crazed director wildly snapping the clapper board.

Why? She said, shaking a bulging eyed, exasperated question at her husband, who was sitting at the table reading the newspaper.

I couldn’t help but wonder what a cling film related nightmare would be like. I imagined streams of plastic wrapped around a suffocating, convulsing body in bed, waking up only to find themselves wrapped in bedsheets and sweat. In any case, two opened boxes of cellophane cling wrap resting in the same drawer did not, in my tiny little mind, constitute a nightmarish vision.

“I don’t know love,” he replied with about as much enthusiasm in his voice as that of a young boy receiving socks on Christmas day, “I guess I didn’t notice. It’s not a big deal, just put them on top of each other and use the top one first. Ok? Sorted.” he went back to lazily swishing over the pages of the newspaper. Not really looking very engaged, more just going through the motions of a Wednesday post dinner evening.

She slammed one box back in the drawer and ripped out a sheet of plastic from the other with such venom she didn’t even need the serrated edge of the box to cut it, she just ripped it clean off with her hands.

“Don’t do that again. I’ve got enough to worry about at work, I don’t need this crap from you when I have to come home and cook dinner as well.”

“Yes darling, won’t do it again,” said her husband as he licked his thumb, using it to flick to the next page.

From where I stood, legs stuck to the wall, I was at a bit of an angle but had a great view of what was going on. Prior to the little outburst I was flying lazy rectangles in the air. I don’t know what it is about rectangles and squares but there no better thrill then flying in a straight line only to turn suddenly at ninety degrees. Is there any better way to pass the time? I think not.

I was feeling a little peckish and eyed the fruit bowl on the sideboard. I decided I could wait a little longer before checking out the mandarins and limes. Thankfully this lady loved gin and tonics so much, the fruit bowl was always overflowing with limes. Lucky me.

She was sitting at the table now with her husband. She’d perched her glasses on the end of her nose and it seemed was studying her phone. Obviously for the first time because she was having great difficulty working it.

Her husband took the first sip of the fourth glass of his second bottle of wine and, with a slight slur and purple residue on his lips said, ‘Don’t forget the mandarins darling; they’ll go off soon. I bought them for you.”

“What?” she said, “I forgot all about them, I don’t really like them anyway.” Dismissing him absentmindedly she carried on tapping away at her mobile.

He stared up at her from the paper. She ignored him.

I was getting bored, and seeing a buddy of mine dancing around in the fruit bowl I decided to join him.

I made my way, in no particular rush, down through the air and onto a nice juicy mandarin. I buzzed hello to my friend and zipped over to the side where a nice fuzzy patch of mould had appeared. Delicious. What a life to lead, am I right?

I barely heard the huff of the man as he pushed his chair out behind him. I certainly noticed his presence, though, when his massive hand shot down to pick up the fruit I was dining on.

“Ugh,” he said, “these mandarins are mouldy and covered in flies.” No reply from his wife. He exhaled a deep breath and said, “Did you pick up some fly paper from the supermarket? Remember? I reminded you yesterday.”

“There’s some spray in the cupboard,” she said rather impatiently, I think she had started making inroads on her text message.

“I can’t see any spray…”

“For fuck’s sake. If I stand up and find some I’m going to lose my mind.” She stood up, stomped round into the kitchen, and opened a completely different cupboard to the one her husband was looking in. She pulled out some fly spray and slammed it on the table. The metal of the can made a tinny reverberating sound that hummed along the marble surface.

“There. I told you.”

She strode off in a huff and sat down in her favourite chair in the living room. She’d given up on her phone and picked up her knitting needles instead.

Her husband sighed again and picked up the can. But I barely noticed, I was too busy feasting.

Suddenly I was covered in a dense fog. Out of nowhere I could barely breathe. I started to wobble. The cloud got thicker and thicker. I was feeling very tired and then I realised what was happening.  In the distance I heard warbled talking. Something like, “Don’t spray it directly on the fruit you moron.”


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