Short Saga of the Mayfly

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Time is short, that’s all I know! Gotta fly, fly, fly — the light up ahead, I need to reach it! Why? Can’t say. Faster, faster, drop down lower, I’m almost there!

Out of breath, wings tired, I can’t see clearly anymore! Keep going, straight forward, toward the light. Bank to the left! Go higher, higher, musn’t hit the giant, noisy creature, whatever it is! It’s moving, but I can stay above it.  Smoke — it smells, different from the Waters where I’m from. Don’t like it — not natural!

Movement, dim senses, things around me I don’t understand, keep going, going; so many of my kind are there, covering things, connecting, attaching, resting. Don’t they know — to stop is to die, yet they — and I — must unite with the light.

Life, no meaning for us. Hours, not years. We have the NOW, and it’s stark and brief; no future. Still, no regrets. It’s all we know.  It’s all I know.

Thousands of us — over there, making our own quilt of death. We cannot plan, we cannot rebel against the nothingness that will soon be ours. No sadness. No fear. No joy. No pleasure.

I am joining them now, blending in, part of patchwork of life that will soon be a shroud of death, no longer moving, no longer flying, no longer heading toward the light.

I can feel it — something is leaving me, wings are motionless, the glow is almost gone, the time is at hand. Others will follow me, thousands, millions, billions, yet they, too, will not last long. They, too, will see the light fade, fade, fade …


“Look at that, George.  The whole side of the wall is covered with them!”

“Mayflies. Most of them live only a few days. By Saturday, they will be just another mess to be swept up and dumped in the trash can.”

“Wonder why they came to a gas station?”

“It’s the light, Georgie boy.  It attracts them.”

“Kind of a shame, isn’t it, Ed. They have no place in the scheme of things.”

“Yep — live a day or two, then die. Makes you appreciate being a human being, doesn’t it?”

“Guess so. Well, I’ll get that new kid that works graveyard to get rid of them — soon as they’ve, uh — gone to the Big Mayfly Mansion in the Sky.”

“Tell him to make sure they’ve expired first, before he puts put them in the trash. We don’t want to make their life shorter than it already is.  Move a stick around them or something — just to make sure.”

“Big Mayfly Mansion in the Sky — good title for a blues song, eh, Ed?”

“Sure ‘nough, Georgie boy. Good title, indeed!”


The End