BLOWFLY

Well, this lockdown situation is really getting to me. I’m on my own in the flat (I’ll tell you why in a minute), and I’m having contact with the tutor and the other students via social media. But I’m not going to let them see me, and so I won’t switch my camera on. They can’t make me. You see, I have turned into a gigantic bluebottle.

My voice is still pretty much OK, a bit rasping and dry perhaps, but that’s to be expected. When I looked in the mirror, I could see my mandibles. They were a bit frightening, but I liked my eyes. There are many of them, and they look like jewels. My body is crispy and blue. I am fast. Before this change, I was rather a sluggish creature.

It is in our nature to reproduce ourselves. Did you know that my babies - maggots - are called gentles? I often check that they are OK, and that they have enough food. I had to make sure that they have a safe home. My flatmate’s body lies in the kitchen, and I laid my eggs in the wounds that she bore. I can’t recall how she got them. But I may have been angry with her for having the wrong sort of eyes.

Some people might find the smell in the kitchen distasteful. But to me it’s sweet, not cloying. It signifies home, and food for my babies. It’s a good job that I switched the camera off. I can talk the talk as I am required to do, and no-one can see the hidden banquet in the kitchen, or the roiling, heaving play of my little ones. For the moment.

feminist gothic literature | tales of the macabre | fantastic and supernatural | gothic fiction | written by women | gothic literary tradition | gothic fiction | supernatural | fantastic and paranoia | literary female gothic | gothic narrative | stories of transformation and surprise | sue harper | short stories | feminist gothic literature | The Dark Nest | portsmouth university | emeritus professor sue harper | feminist gothic literature | tales of the macabre | fantastic and supernatural | gothic fiction | written by women | gothic literary tradition | gothic fiction | outstanding achievement award | british association of film, theatre and television | professor of film history at portsmouth university | film, media and creative arts | british academy and the arts and humanities research council | stories of transformation and surprise | sue harper | short stories | feminist gothic literature | The Dark Nest |

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