CHAPTER 3 PART 2: GWEN




“But don’t put your summer clothes away just yet,” Connie continued from the television. “By Monday afternoon things will start warming up again, and we will see highs in the eighties by the end of the week.”

The fly hung there in the light of the screen, bobbing up and down like a drunken cherub. Gwen leaned forward in bed, trying to get a better look at the thing. There was something about it that looked off, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. The fly was larger than most, true, but then it wasn’t the most colossal one she’d ever seen either. It was just, from where she sat, a big fly.

Yet . . .

“So I shouldn’t pack away my running shorts just yet?” That was Jim Stanton, anchorman and all around clueless personality of the Action Twelve News team.

“No you shouldn’t, idiot,” said Gwen to the television, the fly forgotten. “She just said not to put away your summer clothes.”

“Not if you plan on going jogging later this week, Jim,” replied Connie. And then they laughed as if they were two of the funniest people in all of creation.

Gwen sighed and poured another glass of wine.

The talking heads continued on as Gwen sipped her wine, mentally pushing the sound from the television into background chatter as she waited for the top of the hour and her show to start. She didn’t like flipping through channels. There was just too much out there and she would often find herself overwhelmed by the choices.

So, she drifted in a cerebral sort of way and waited, distracted once in a while when a line or two from the television would slip through her mental wall.

“ . . . no over ever told this monkey that he couldn’t drive a motor boat . . .”

Gwen suddenly realized that the fly no longer hovered in front the television screen. She looked around the room but couldn’t immediately locate it.

“. . . clowns don’t normally carry automatic rifles . . .”

Then she heard it.

The fly buzzed off to her right, in the corner over near the window.

She couldn’t see much over on that side of the room with the light off. The bedside lamp’s illumination didn’t quite stretch that far. The switch to the overhead was over by the door. She didn’t quite feel up to getting off the bed and so decided in the end to ignore the fly.

“. . . filled close to capacity with patients showing nearly identical symptoms . . .”

But as the buzzing continued, she found that she couldn’t take her eyes off that patch of darkness.

“. . . medical professionals urge the public to keep calm . . .”

Even the sound of the fly seemed wrong. It was deeper, there was more bass to it. And it was almost . . . muddy was the word she would use. Like the sound was coming from a barrel full of molasses.

“. . . but the Senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity . . .”

Gwen continued to stare into the dark corner of the room and for a time, the buzzing was all she could hear. It was like she was suddenly in a vacuum with only the sound of the fly.

To be continued . . .





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