There was a dead fly in my bath.
I did not like this much because it meant that I would have to scoop it out with my bare hands and it might've touched me, which would've been even worse, because it could have been hoarding around a whole list of deadly diseases and who knows what else.
Hello, it said, as though surprised to see me.
Hello, I replied, eying it.
I'm dying, it said.
I know, I mumbled. I'm sorry. (What else could I say?)
It's not a good way to go, it continued. Drowning, that is. In fact, it's rather terrible.
I nodded patiently. These were, after all, its last words, and I thought I ought to pay respect to it. All things great and small, and all that.
You see, it said, once the water seeps into your lungs, you start coughing, and then you can't get it out, so you're sick. Now, not that I'm unaccustomed to being sick actually, I do it quite a bit but it's never a pleasant experience, especially when you're dying. Anyway, after you're sick, you choke on that as well as if you hadn't got enough on your plate already! After that, it's just a blur, really, and that's what I'm doing now.
What exactly is it that you're doing? I asked curiously.
Blurring, it replied. Just... blurring, I suppose.
There was a short silence, then. It was alright because we were both thinking deeply about what the fly had just said. Or rather, I was thinking, and it was blurring.
I'm going to have to flush you down the sink now, I said sadly. I really am terribly sorry. You're right drowning is not the best way to go.
Oh, it mumbled.
I have to have my bath, you see, I went on. I'm dreadfully sorry.
That's alright, it replied, quite amicably. That's quite alright, there's nothing you can do anyway. It's not your fault.
I cupped it in my hands and it swirled briefly around in the rock pool of skin cells and dust.
Just before I let it go, I asked, is there anything I can do? Do you have any family I can contact?
Oh, it muttered quietly, almost gone now, yes. Yes, why what a good idea. Tell Dorothy I'm sorry I ate all the sugar that we found on the table. And goodbye, and I love her. She should be flying somewhere around the bottom of the stairs, I think.
I see, I see, I said, nodding as I took all the information in. I couldn't afford to forget this. I smiled sadly, I am sorry about this, again.
Alright, it said. Better get this over and done with, then.
I dipped my head softly in a sort of salute. It was very nice talking to you, I said truthfully.
Yes, it murmured. Yes, and you.
While it was busy doing the last of its blurring, I opened my hands and down it went.
Goodbye, I whispered.
Although flying down the plughole was not a very dignified way of going, nor was it really a proper funeral, I thought it was as respectable as I could have made it. Of course, I would see to it that Dorothy, whoever she was, would be informed in the most delicate manner possible.
As I stepped into my disease-infested bath, I nodded proudly to myself. Job well done.