Zoe was not like other girls and it wasn’t because of her sparkling crystalline eyes, nor was it because of her mischievous grin and cunning glance, in fact is wasn’t even the red polka dot ribbons she used to tie up her chestnut coloured bangs. Zoe was the quiet girl in school who did her work silently and interrogated anyone who wanted to be her friend. She was a mysterious girl, a girl with secrets, a girl with a passion. An obsession some might even say.
Paranormal events, psychic readings, the occult, tarot cards, the illuminati, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and ghost stories: She read all about them. Typically she did this at night hidden away in her wardrobe with a torch. She had turned her wardrobe into a secret hideout where she stored her bookcase full of ancient and forbidden knowledge. Her room was filled with arcane objects and photographs of ghosts and fairies. She was a believer in the paranormal.
One day she was tinkering with a walkie talkie and learning Morse code so she could send messages into the aether to contact the dead. She hoped she could also manage to tune the receiver into the wavelengths used by ghosts to communicate.
So it was hardly surprising that one hot summer’s evening, as she was tinkering with parts of a radio transceiver, she heard a message: Three long, three short, three long. SOS.
The sounds were a faint buzzing sound. She looked around her room but she could not see where it was coming from. Then her eyes locked onto the object sending the message. A giant blow fly was buzzing away in Morse code his general distress from on top of her mirror.
“Excuse me, Mr Fly, but are you in need of assistance?” Zoe asked the fly as though this were the most normal conversation for a young girl to have.
The fly flew around and hovered an arm’s length from her face. She stared at the fly and the fly stared back at her.
“Do you require assistance?” She asked again
The fly buzzed out more Morse code: “Y – E – S”
“How can I help you little fly?”
The fly started to buzz out a long series of dots and dashes. Zoe hadn’t memorise Morse code yet but with a pencil and paper she quickly was able to decipher the story the fly was telling her through the buzz. The fly was actually a boy called Icarus and he had been turned into a fly by an angry sorcerer. He needed help to turn him back into a boy again.
When Zoe asked what he needed to break the spell, but she could not help herself from rolling her eyes when he told her: a kiss from a young girl. Boys would do anything for a kiss from a young girl it seems. Even fly boys it would appear.
“Icarus, I feel deeply for your situation, had I been so foolish as to upset a sorcerer I am sure I would be quite upset by such a turn of events. But as it is, I have not and consequently feel expecting me to kiss a fly is completely unacceptable. I do however have need of your services. Assist me and I will consider the delivery of the promised kiss at the conclusion of our business together.”
Icarus buzzed disappointedly, but reluctantly agreed to her terms.
“Excellent, tomorrow you will come to school with me and help me to solve the mystery of the missing school flag.”
Zoe then provided Icarus with a dish of water and sugar which he gratefully drank.
“Right, in the morning I will set you to work helping me to solve the greatest mystery of all.”
Zoe tried to sleep, but Icarus kept buzzing and it was keeping her awake. Eventually Zoe asked Icarus why the incessant buzzing when she was trying to sleep. The answer came in Morse code again.
“Spiders, everywhere, I dare not land or one will eat me.”
Zoe sighed, emptied her box of matches and ushered the fly boy inside and gently closed the lid. Once safely inside Icarus could finally rest easy.
The following day at school Zoe informed Icarus that the best way to solve the mystery of the missing school flag was to be a fly on the wall and to eavesdrop on all the conversations going on in the school. Icarus buzzed his frustration at how petty he thought that the mystery was. Zoe shushed him and reminded him of the high price it would be for her to kiss a fly.
Icarus buzzed around the schoolyard and listened into all the conversations. He reported back reams of gossip about who likes who, how to hack into the school computer to change grades, which teachers can be bribed with marshmallows, even that Mrs Alsop’s hair was actually fake, and finally he had heard that some of the older boys had stolen the flag in the hopes that the school would fly their sport team’s flag instead.
Zoe was impressed, she had never had so much gossip before, seeing the value of Icarus remaining a fly she grew greedy and wanted to prolong the length of time she could keep him as a fly so it would suit her purposed. Zoe told Icarus that he had done a good job, but informed him that she felt it was too easy for him to solve this mystery, and instead he should help her solve the mystery of what the teachers did all the lollies they confiscated from the children in class.
Icarus was miserable having had the promise of his freedom of being restored back to boyhood denied. When he had an idea: he went back to Zoe and told her the flagpole was actually part of a secret transmitter for communicating with aliens. The teachers were in on it and the control room was hidden in a door in the Science lab. Furthermore, there was an alien living in this control room and the teachers fed the alien all the lollies they had confiscated from the children every day.
Zoe was excited, “I knew it!” she exclaimed.
She ran down to the science lab and tried to reach the door Icarus had told her about. But it was up high and set into the wall. Icarus told her that he was tall enough to reach it, if only he were a boy still. Zoe frowned, she really liked having a fly as a friend, and it was nice to have a fly boy desperate to impress her. But she decided she was just too keen to get into that room and decided that kissing the fly was worth the risk. She gave the fly a kiss and in a flash of magic he was transformed back into a boy.
Not waiting for Zoe to recover from her surprise at seeing him materialise, the boy quickly ran away never to be seen again.