“Two-Minute Tuesdays” are a series of micro-stories written in
two five minutes or less. Consider them “public practice,” like shooting free throws in the park. Prompts are supplied at the bottom in case you want to try your own hand at one of them.
On the Livingstone estate, flies were sometimes the first indication that someone had died.
The heat was too much for the carrion birds. The drought had been good for them, at first. They gorged until their sick bellies were twisted and swollen, and no small number died to desperate predators that they could no longer escape. Those same predators met an ironic fate in the next few weeks, going into the stomachs of their own prey’s brothers. But then even the vultures and crows could not find food, except for one another. And so they either died or flew on.
But the flies? The flies could never be starved out — only discouraged for a time, maybe. Jack thought it was no small wonder that medieval scholars had thought flies simply arose from rotting meat. He couldn’t fathom where they were hiding between deaths. But they were there—they were always there, swarming in the doorways of the huts in a small, dark cloud, mimicking or mocking the rains that would not come.
The flies would come for him, eventually. And so, after a while, he and the flies were the only ones left.
Jack had a decision to make.