Sunday 25 June 2023

'Unsettling Consequences' by Emily Macdonald

I swat, irritated by the persistent fly and though I miss, I disturb it enough so it flies off-course and careers headlong into the intricate web and the hospitable spider, alerted by the disquiet in its strings, spins its closeting spirals, trussing up fly for later safe-keeping-eating but the eagle-eyed bird swoops low on its crow-black feathers and greedy gulps the two-for-one lunch then pauses—considering the wriggle and tickle surprising its gullet—not noticing the cat, who slinks on its low-slung belly before pouncing, claws distended, to pinion the fruitless beating of wings, arousing the dog from his cock-eyed slumber and excited, dog chases the cat—jaws snap— worrying and bothering it from side to side, distressing the bellowing ring-nosed cow, who snorts and tramples and stamps his hooves in the ground, upsetting the horse who kicks and whinnies, and rears to unseat me, so I’m thrown high from its back to lie flat, breathless and dusty, and quite, quite still, disconcerted by the chain of events, stunned, silent and stupefied, and I lie there and listen, hearing every dust particle drop back to the ground and I hear, the growing insistence of the fly’s buzzing whine and I swat, irritated by its droning persistence, I swat, and I swat, and I swat!

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