The Fly – Essam H. Al-Baqshi

translated from Arabic by Essam M. Al-Jassim

I was driving the other day, and the weather was getting hot, so I rolled up the window and turned on the air conditioning.

Nothing unusual happened until a fly inside the car began buzzing frenetically in all directions. As if that was not annoying enough, it began harassing me—a kiss on my cheek here, a smooch on my eyelid there. It even dared to smack me on the lips! I swung my hand rapidly back and forth to make the fly stay within the confines of etiquette and stop pestering me, but it only stalked me more persistently.

Exasperated by my vigorous hand waving, the fly attacked the steering wheel, causing me to swerve left and right as I tried to swat it, again and again, until I almost hit the sidewalk. I gripped the wheel firmly to foil the fly’s miserable attempts. It grew bolder. Almost recklessly, it sat on my right thigh, then it moved to my left thigh. I became more suspicious, and doubts about the fly’s intentions crowded my mind. I smelled a rat!

As I was trying to think of a way to rid myself of the audacious insect, I happened to drive past a massive emporium. I rolled down the window and indicated to the fly that the complex would be full of gorgeous ladies and handsome men. The winged bug immediately flew outside, heading towards the emporium.

Questions buzzed around my mind. Just questions …

Does this fly possess genes similar to those of humans? Do flies have an innate tendency to go after what looks good on the surface? Or was this merely the absurd act of a common insect?

Essam H. Al-Baqshi is a Saudi satirical writer of humorous short stories. Mr. Al-Baqshi holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. Many of his stories appeared in some Arabic online literary journals.

Essam M. Al-Jassim is a writer and translator. He has a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages and Education from King Faisal University, Hofuf. His translations appear in a variety of online and print Arabic and English literary journals. He lives in Hofuf, Saudi Arabia.

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