The Unexpected Guest


© A Mixed Bag

Jerry’s hobby of refurbishing used laptops provided him with a modest additional income and some interesting experiences.

“It’s amazing what some people will leave on their hard drives,” he murmured as he opened the lid to his latest acquisition, one he found at a yard sale.

He was used to finding all sorts of food stuffs, potato chip crumbs, flecks of sandwich meat, drops of soda pop, on and around laptop keyboards, but the insect was something new. What’s more, it was still alive.

“Hello, little guy. You must have been caught in their right before they closed the lid and put the laptop out. Good thing I didn’t wait until next week to get to you.”

The fly’s wings were barely fluttering. It was caught by a leg. It was only a fly but…

Jerry had a magnifying glass and light rig he wore on his head to let him do close work. He used his smallest tweezers to create a gap between the space bar and the keyboard housing. The fly was free and took off.

The young System’s Analyst opened the window of his second storey apartment and escorted his unexpected guest back to its native habitat.

I write this in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge for April 30th. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction based on the photo above that’s no more than 200 words long. Mine is at the max: 200 words.

I decided to write something simple but uplifting in response to the prompt. Not too many people would have let the fly go free, especially with all of its legs intact.

To read more stories based on this prompt, go to

14 thoughts on “The Unexpected Guest

    • Thanks, Kecia. When I saw the prompt, I thought of a guy I used to know who liked to refurbished old IBM laptops. I had a slightly tougher time figuring out what to do with the fly.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Since you wrote this on May Day, I found myself free-associating to that old horror/sci-fi classic, “The Fly”: “Help me!, Help me!, (Mayday, Mayday). You may recall what had to be done to *that* fly, in order to “save” it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to be more cautious now with finding bugs on my laptop…I’ll need some guru to help corral them again!


  3. Great story based on the prompt, James. I’ve often opened a window to let a fly escape. I’ve had more trouble with small flies than large ones which has led me to believe fly intelligence increases with size. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne


  4. Bugs on your laptop, guru; good associative thinking, Kris!

    Also… smiling, PL; very few people even remember May Day.


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