's 2016 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Promestein

She can't shake the feeling that the flies are watching her.

Every time one lands, it stares at her, with those big, deep, dead compound eyes. They're so fast, she can never swat them, can never get rid of them. They fly from the table to the wall to the window to away, where she can't see them. But she can hear them - she can hear the constant, tinny buzz of their wings.

It's not that she hates flies, or insects in general. She's always liked them - ever since she was a little girl, she collected them. Ant farms, terrariums, small tupperware filled with clumps of dirt and moss, branches, with little insects crawling around. On her grandparent's farm, she'd dig up the earth to find worms wriggling in the dirt. Or, even better, maggots in some of the vegetables.

There seems to be more flies around lately. Maybe there's something rotting in her house. It makes sense that flies would congregate around something dead. The birthing ground for all their maggots. Maybe a rodent? She's never seen any mice around her house, though. But why else would there be so many around? Why would there be such an impossible amount of flies in her house?

They're in every room of her house. Every time she opens a door, a fly flies off of it and finds its way onto the other wall. They're in her kitchen, her living room, her basement, the bathroom, and even her bedroom. She pulls back the curtains and hundreds of them are lying dead on the window ledge. They still seem to be staring at her. Their eyes don't look any different in death.

At first, she brushed them off into a dust and then into the garbage, but the garbage bin just got so full, and every time she opened it, she was hit by the smell. Sometimes, maggots were wriggling around the dead flies, pushing out of tiny holes in their exoskeleton. After that, she started burning them in her fireplace. The buzzing only got louder as they burned, but they were dead, so how was that possible? She was probably just hearing things.

Any food she leaves out, even if just for a few minutes, is swarmed by the flies and filled with eggs. She exploits it to set up traps - fly paper worked well. The flies stuck to the surface, kicking their legs and struggling to escape. The buzzing sound was so pathetic. As she waited for them to die, it seemed to get louder and louder. She couldn't get away from the sound no matter what room she was in. And the flies never stopped watching her. On every wall, they stared.

It was worst at night. In the darkness, every fleeting shape seemed to be a fly. For all she knew, they all could be flies. They didn't quiet down at night, either. They just congregated in her room, buzzing, and buzzing, and buzzing, and staring. Still, somehow, every night, she fell asleep. The buzzing got strangely comforting over time. Like a lullaby.


The food in her fridge isn't safe anymore. Maggots don't belong there. Maggots don't buzz, though. So maybe these aren't maggots. But what else could they be?


The flies look different.

They're not bigger. They're the same size. But their mouthparts, antennae, legs... they look just a bit different. A bit less like a housefly, and a bit more like... every other kind of fly. Like a composite of every type of fly. Even the mosquitoes. She hoped they didn't bite.

They get closer every night that she spends in bed. Just a little bit. It escaped her notice at first, but it became more evident over time. Eventually, she woke up with them sitting on her face and staring into her eyes. A moment later, they'd disappear, buzzing.


Her neck itches. Do fly bites itch? Mosquito bites itch, definitely, but these aren't mosquitoes. Then again, they don't look like any particular fly she's ever seen... more like every fly she's ever seen. All at once.


There are things inside her.

She only has one bite, but she can see her veins bulging, small, wriggling creatures inside. They're all that's left. All the flies had left. They had just disappeared, one morning, when she awoke. But the feeling of apprehension was worse than the feeling that she was being watched.

They were all that she had, really. How long had they been there? Her concept of time had just sort of melted away. All the food in her fridge is rotting, but there's no maggots to be seen. None but the dead, anyways, curled up on and around the food.

The buzzing is still there. It's not coming from around her anymore, though. It's coming from inside her. It's all she can hear, all she can feel. She feels it in her neck, in her arms, in her stomach. Every day, more and more of her body seems to be maggot.

Maybe she's the one buzzing. Maggots can't buzz, after all. Even if these aren't maggots, they don't have wings, and that's how flies buzz. But the noise had become so pleasantly hypnotic... she couldn't sleep without it. So this was good, really. It was good that she could see maggots in her gums when she tried to brush her teeth.

It's the only way she'd ever get any sleep. And she always liked bugs, after all.


She wakes up. Her vision is fractured, millions of times over. Every shady corner of her room, repeated over and over again to give her the whole picture. And she sees it from so many impossible angles. She sees the wall in front of her, the walls to her side, the wall behind her, the floor, the ceiling... and the dead, maggot-ridden girl on the bed.

Was that her body? She vaguely remembered that she was in something like that, once. It was far too big, and unwieldy. And it had no wings! How could anyone be satisfied with a body like that? And those small, beady, empty eyes... she was happier as a maggot. Well, as maggots. She could see every one of her lovely selves, wriggling around on the body and cleaning up.

It was a big meal. They'd be able to metamorphosize, soon...

Then, she could finally open up her wings and buzz.