A Fly’s-Eye View of Things

Carolyn’s Online Magazine


In author Rebecca Miller’s book Jacob’s Folly the voice she used was given to…a fly.

  • A common housefly, yes, but more important, it’s the proverbial fly on the wall. Embodying that metaphor so literally is silly but also brilliant; in a sense, this is what writers do, spy on their invented worlds, eavesdrop on their characters.

Is this why the WordPress.com, on March 20, 2015, repeated its prompt Fly on the Wall: If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

I originall responded to the same prompt given on July 19, 2013.

Perhaps the WordPress staff didn’t think anyone would realize the repeat. Or perhaps they think it is a good prompt, which I must agree with, because I wrote two prompts in 2013 (My Parents Meet and Marry and Madame De Leval Meets Gen. Henry Jackson.

Flies, I guess, are generally considered pesky but they do have their stories.


I ask you, have you ever considered Setting Foot on Fly Soil ? No, it’s not  soil which flies enrichwith their manure. It’s a small town in Ohio (click on the link). Monte and I stopped there when while on a mini-vacation to explore Gallipolis, Ohio—which is one of the settings in my novel.


The headline sounded like the title of a science fiction novel: Horror fly returns from the dead.

…a mythical beast, not seen for more than 160 years. A nocturnal animal that feeds on the rotten flesh of large mammals. A species active only during the winter months that reportedly emits a luminous glow from its large, orange head. What new horror is this?

It’s a fly, the bone skipper Thyreophora cynophila, and it is back from the dead.

The bone skipper, considered globally extinct, was the first fly to be killed off by humans. It was first described in 1798, and was last seen in the 1804. The original was found on a dog’s carcass, and was rediscovered in baited traps in woodlad around Madrid and in La Rioja province.

Thyreophora cynophila is sarcosaprophagous: that is, it specialises in eating and breeding in marrow from crushed bones of large mammals such as deer.

We need this fly. What else would receive its sustenance from animal carcasses?


Daniel Dudzisz, 26 in 2014, might disagree with describing any fly—or insect, for that matter—with the title “horror.”  While he was stranded and lost in Australia’s inhospitable Outback by floods the German backpacker survived for around two weeks eating insects. He joked about never going hungry “because of the amount of flies you can eat in the Outback.”


If and when WordPress.com decides to repeat their prompt Fly on the Wall: If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose? I (and I assume others) will find it an easy task to relate a variety of stories.

Thanks, WordPress.com. Enjoy your flies.


Also read about my alter-ego cartoon character:

Cochran Cornell Caught on Flypaper: Part 1


About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com. My novel site is www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com.
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One Response to A Fly’s-Eye View of Things

  1. Tom Beck says:

    I just heard a joke that was brought to mind by your post. Two flies landed on some horse droppings, when one fly passed gas. The other fly said, “Oh, come on, I’m eating here.”


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