Light. Move. Light grows. Crawl out. Buzz. Bright light. Crawl from egg. Free.

Wings. Grow. Flap. Buzz. Flap, flap. Whir. Fly.

Light is bright. Fly around, see many others. Buzz around. Food is close. Smell the food, land. Feed. Flap again, buzz again. Fly away.

Light is bright. Fly around, see many others. Buzz around. Food is close. Smell the food, land. Feed. Flap again, buzz again. Fly away.

Female…

Light is bright. Fly around, see many others. Buzz around. Food is close. Smell the food, land. Feed. Flap again, buzz again. Fly away.

Movement. Ground shifts. What? What is that? Large eyes. Something sees us.

New food. Ground moves. Smell other food. Dark, then light. Fly, find the food. Feed. Flap, buzz. Fly away.

Brighter light now. What is this? Ground moves again. Ground is… in the air?

New ground moves away. Change in the air…

Aaahhh!!! It burns!

Fall…

Cold ground. Bright light. Twitch. Darkness closes in… In the air, hear a sound…

Drosophila.”


The idea for this piece came to me some years ago, when I was taking a Classic Genetics class for my Biology course. The story depicts the course of a genetic drift experiment as told from the perspective of one of the test subjects: a fruit fly of the genus Drosophila. Fruit flies are very commonly used in simple genetics experiments, and for some reason I thought it might be interesting to try writing a story about their life course during an experiment: over two weeks, the flies are hatched in a jar with a floor covered in a special nutrient mix, left to grow and reproduce, moved to another jar so as not to crossbreed with the new generation of flies, and eventually knocked out with alcohol fumes and placed under a magnifying glass for observation. The simplicity of the writing is meant to mirror the simplicity of the fly and its life, and the repeated paragraphs reflect what I assume would be the fly’s extremely short memory span and limited activity inside the jar.

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