bug

Black and White - Horse Fly

“There’s a bug here, look.”

“Yes.”

“Did you see it? There’s a bug here.”

“I did see it, yes, I know about the bug. Are you ready?”

“Well. As ready as you can be.”

“He’ll be here in fifteen minutes. You have what you need, I gave it to you – and the drawer?”

“What about the drawer?”

“The drawer, the things in the drawer – here, wipe that smudge off you. Look at you – sorry, just a smudge, there – look at you, prettiest I’ve ever seen you.”

“He said how long again?”

“Fifteen minutes.”

“No, for the thing. The actual thing.”

“Oh. Don’t think that’ll take much longer than about an hour. It’s a quick thing. It won’t hurt as bad as you think.”

“It’ll still hurt, though.”

“Yeah. Well, yeah, it will.”

“That bug. Why the hell was there a bug in your shower?”

“Listen for a minute, look at me in the eye. There we go. Now, listen, you’re distracting yourself and that’s fine. I can give you your shot now, or right before. What do you want?”

“Now.”

“Ketel or Tito’s?”

“Who the fuck do you think I am? Ketel.”

“I’ll clean up the bug. It must’ve gotten smushed on accident.”

“That didn’t look like any accident I’ve ever seen, not any involving bugs at least.”

“You see a lot of bug accidents?”

“Shut up. Ah. This is better. That tasted good. Damn. Goddammit. This isn’t real. None of this is real.”

“Don’t lose your shit.”

“Fuck – you hear that? That him? Fucking hell, god, I can’t believe I’m going to do this – “

“Cool your jets, okay? I’m cleaning the bug and you’re about to make a fuck-ton of money. We’re booking it to Europe after this. Okay? Gonna see us some really cool, old shit.”

“Okay. Okay. I get it. Clean the bug. Just fucking clean that bug.”


The forest, at night, hugged tight by inclement weather, is an unforgiving place. This place inhales troubled spirits.

It exhales white mist.


“Girl, this your first time? Girl, look at me when I speak to you. This your first time?”

“Yes. First time.”

“It’s going to hurt.”

“She said it wouldn’t hurt that bad.”

“Who did, your friend? That bitch? That bitch, I tell you what, that bitch – “

“Whatever, forget it.”

“Put this on.”

“That’s not very flattering.”

“You got a nice face, what you got on doesn’t matter.”

“So where does it come from? The thing?”

“That bitch didn’t explain anything to you?”

“Hey. Stop, c’mon.”

“Put that on, I wasn’t kidding. And the thing? The thing, the vessel, it touches dirt right over there. I don’t know where it comes from. Really, I don’t. You can glare all you want, I really have no fuckin’ clue.”

“So it just comes right out of the sky and swallows me up?”

“That’s how it looks to me every goddamn time, sure.”

“And it’ll hurt.”

“Sure will.”

“How much do I get again? Just to – “

“Justify it, I get it. This is your contract. You gotta sign off on the bottom. Make sure my dumb ass doesn’t get sued or whatnot.”

“This isn’t as much as I was promised…”

“I take a percentage, girl, for bringing you here. Safety fees.”

“There’s an ‘earthling’ fee too. What the fuck is that?”

“That’s a pretty word for ‘human error,’ which is what you are by default, being from this godforsaken planet.”

“Oh.”

“Oh, yeah, here it is. Damn. Thing gets bigger and brighter every few months, man. Oh, man.”

“Fuck! “

“You got the suit on, that’s fine. You look great. They’re gonna love you. They don’t talk much, though.”

“Fuck – ”


“- her, this bug isn’t even that smushed. It’s a tiny little thing. A baby fly. This thing’s a baby fly, is that a thing? Flies are maggots when they’re babies, right? Fuck it, whatever, this shower’s clean as a whistle. Hope they don’t smush her like this. Hope she comes out okay. Hope she can still fly like the rest of us. Yeah. Hope, hope, hope. Whistle while you work.”


“There’s a human here. Look.”

“Yes.”

“Did you see it? There’s a human girl here.”

“I did see it, yes, I know about the girl. Are you ready?”

“As ready as you can be. Just clean that girl. What happened to her, anyhow?”

“She got smushed.”

“Huh.”

“Yeah.”

“Human error.”

“Precisely.”

“Ready?”

“Ready.”

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