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The Flea

Based loosely on John Donne’s ‘The Flea’.

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The Flea

The Flea

I watch from the sill as the man, blonde hair tied back with a blue ribbon, edged surreptitiously closer to the woman, pulling the sheets tighter around them. She, equally blond hair cascading in rivulets upon the pillow, simpered sickeningly and muttered something about reputations before giggling and retreating teasingly back to the edge of the bed.
    I hopped up and down with annoyance, squeaking something which would have been ‘get on with it’ if only humans had ultrasonic hearing. They never fail to amuse me with their quirky mannerisms and habits of awareness. That’s the problem with humans, most of them are just far too aware of what’s going on around them. They think too much. Take this sorry couple, they both want it, you don’t have to be a flea to work that out, but she’s far too concerned with keeping a good reputation instead of earning one in what she would call an ‘inappropriate manner’. With humans it’s always a competition, a race against peers to see who can climb the most rungs up the social ladder.
    The beribboned wooer interrupts my thoughts with an irritatingly heavy exhalation of air from his oversized nostrils, the bed linen rustles softly as he rolls over onto his back, gazing sulkily up at the ceiling beneath a pair of frowningly frustrated eyebrows.
    Not for the first time in the proceedings do I have the urge to roll my eyes but, remembering that they are humans after all I decide to help them out a bit with my superior instincts. Fleas now about such matters, we are known for having big families. I fidget mischievously from my vantage point, if there is one thing which girls, especially girls concerned with reputations, don’t like then it is fleas. Here I see an opportunity to quell both my hunger and Blue Ribbon’s. Biting the girl will no doubt cause her to look for protection from her pursuer, and this I feel he will give in superfluous measures.
    Bonding downwards I trapeze across the ravine and land elegantly, not upon the girl but he, ribbon awry with exasperation, and can’t resist taking a small nip before leaping on to the next course. She squeals with disgust as she spots me hopping wit deliberate enthusiasm upon her breast and, as hypothesised, jolts backwards into his arms. ‘Kill it! Kill it!’
    My contribution completed I spring back to the sill to escape to inevitable flailing of arms and, still tasting the remnants of my meal, sit back to watch the consequences of my anonymous counselling.
    The blue ribbon tilts nearer to the blonde curls. But wait, what’s he doing now? Stopping at the seizure of his opportune moment he draws back and I see a look of revelation splash across his features. Ignoring those presented to him, it seems he has found a new means of seduction. H arranges his lips and begins to speak.

‘Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deny’st me is;
It suck’d me first, and now suck thee,’

I bang my antennae against the window pane.

‘And in this flea, our two bloods mingled be;
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead’
Why do I bother?

‘Yet this enjoy before it woo,
And pamper’d swells with one blood made of two
And this alas, is more than we would do.’

As I said, humans think far too much.


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