The Fly On the Wall

Flash Fiction – Approx. 400 words.

I often hear people saying ‘I wish I was a fly on the wall’.
Well, I am that fly and let me tell you that it is not all that it’s cracked up to be.
First of all there is the question of the lack of respect by the so called civilised society. How would you like to be chased by maniacs brandishing a newspaper and trying to swat you? Are they the ones who say they wouldn’t hurt a fly?
Obviously they don’t believe in the aphorism as harmless as a fly.
Moreover, some people who profess to be ecologically-minded do not think twice in hanging poisonous flypapers from the ceiling determined to exterminate my species. I have a good mind to report them to the RSPCA.
Then we have the offensive derogatory expressions, such as the fly in the ointment and like a blue-arsed fly. Sometimes I feel inclined to fly off the handle.
I wonder if it would have been better for me to be the elephant in the room or a bull in the china shop rather than a fly on the wall. They don’t seem to get too much disrespect.
I am told that I have an advantageous position; that, ensconced on the wall, I can hear and observe all that goes on in the room below.
That’s true but it won’t serve any purpose whatsoever as I can’t communicate the intelligence that I have gathered to anyone.
You would be surprised at the shenanigans that I witnessed and the scurrilous language that I heard. I listened to people who publicly proclaimed to fly the flag but privately planning to fly the coop at the first sign of danger.
Talking of which, there is always a risk to come to a sticky end (and I don’t mean from the flypapers) because at the corner of the ceiling there is a vicious looking spider bent on bringing my existence to an untimely end.
I remember the seductive line uttered by that arachnid, ‘Will you walk into my parlour?’ and I am aware of the lethal meaning of those words.
Luckily I have a good sense of hearing and can quickly buzz off.
I can’t see how to deal with this kind of adversaries but, deal or no deal – to coin a phrase – I am determined to leave this place of obscenity and as soon as someone opens the window a crack to let the fresh air in I will escape from this crowd acting like a fly on the wheel.
© Luigi Pagano 2019

© ionicus 2023
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Wryly observed, Luigi, not many people would stand up for Musca domestica. 🙂
Everything’s got a use on this earth, except for maybe the Kardashians.
Ogden Nash said:
God in His wisdom made the fly,
And then forgot to tell us why.


Refreshing ingenuity! Enjoyed the clever usage of phrases and idioms on the fly. Reminds me of a poem I wrote in summer on the pesky fly.. a different buzz altogether. Love reading poems that employ personification. Thankyou for this enjoyable read Luigi. Warm Regards, Gomathi.


Aww! That’s so nice of you. Thankyou Luigi. Am posting my poem now. Can’t wait to read yours… about fly with vertigo problem! Amazing as ever.
Warm Regards, Gomathi.


Nice musings on the plight of the fly. I’ll probably feel a little bit sorry each time I swat one from now on.


Take heed don’t fly by night, or your into that web and in the shite.
A clever write from the point of view of a detested pest. I think only rats get a worse press. Well done.

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