Short Story Exercise: Swat Flies

(using this book, set timer for ten minutes and wrote a short story relating to the phrase “swat flies,” lightly edited)


Dallas pulled his hand from his neck to examine his kill. “That’s number eight,” he muttered, smearing the green goo, antennae, wings and legs that now covered his fingers. If there was one thing Dallas hated about being deployed to New Venus, it was all the damn flies. They had the high pitched whine of mosquitoes, bit like horse flies, and looked like a cross between a potato bug and a dragon fly. Doc said they were great for seasoning steak if you dried ’em out and ground them to a fine powder. Dallas reminded himself to never eat one of Doc’s steaks.

He slogged through mud around a rubber tree, swatting another gargantuan insect away from his face. In front of him Tallahassee was whistling a tune, sounded like The Clash. Tally’s pack held all of Dallas’s favorite things: the radio, the Slim Jims, and at least eight sticks of gelignite.

As Dallas fantasized about strapping an explosive to some of the larger insects inhabiting New Venus, one of those bzzzzzing flies began swirling around Tally’s pack, probably after the greasy meat sticks. Dallas waved his hand toward the bastard, but it ignored him.

Tally, seeing the motion behind him, stopped and said, “What now, Dallas?”

Snatching with his left hand, Dallas caught the bug before it could fly into Tally’s face. He gave it a squeeze, enjoying the squirming sensation followed by the gloppy pop. “Swattin’ flies, man.”

Tallahassee opened Dallas’s hand to look at the insect’s innards. Then he grabbed a few of the legs and dropped them onto his tongue. He groaned with satisfaction and said, “Tastes just like old number seven.”