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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)

TITLE: Ickypoo, Sicko, and Poor Sap
By Marita Thelander


A huge fly buzzed past Marcy’s ear and landed on her computer.

“Eww…Ick.” She made a vain attempt to swat at the creature, not wanting to touch the pesky thing. It flew off and perched on the corner of a picture frame.

Marcy groaned when her eyes landed on the contents of said frame: An overly scrappy, glass-encased, proud display of her first best-seller review.

She switched her gaze to the wipe-off calendar. On June 21st in bold red ink the dreaded word stared back at her: Deadline.

The fly zipped past and landed on… the deadline.

“Grrr. Do you mock me?” Marcy stood and swished her hand above the fly. She rummaged through her drawer. “I need…I need…argh,” She heard the familiar rattle when the box of Gobbstoppers tipped over. “There they are.”

Like a drug addict, she pounded the box on her hand and tossed two brightly colored mini-jawbreakers into her mouth.

Buzz-buzz, a second fly appeared. Marcy rolled her chair closer to shoo it away. “What is this, a fly invasion?”

“Hey there, Ickypoo. Anything good going on?”

“Not yet, but she seems riled up. How’s it going, Sicko?”

“You know…same old thing, counting down the days to the dreaded deadline. Considering the temperature and the lack of food in the trash lately, I probably have about five days.”

“Are you done tempting death with Venus?” Ickypoo laughed (in a way only flies could laugh).

“Oh yeah, once I hit fifteen-days-old I knew I’d lost some of my youthful speed.” Sicko rubbed his legs together. “I hope to live the average twenty-five days.”

“Whoa, watch out,” Ickypoo flew away a short distance. “Sap’s on the warpath now.”

Marcy grabbed the first thing she could and swatted at the fat flies. They zoomed off in opposite directions. Her head turned side-to-side trying to choose which pest to smash with the manila folder.


“Almost gotcha,” Marcy squatted to scoop up the contents of the file.

“Ohh a swing and a miss,” Sicko gloated above Poor Sap’s head. He zigzagged around her half-hearted swats. “Did ya see that? I still got it.”

“You’re sicko alright. You must not want to grow old.”

“No harm, no foul. Right?” Sicko joined Ickypoo on the wall.

Marcy spread the papers on the desk and read phrases like; the next Francis Lake…can’t wait for the sequel…simply couldn’t put the book down.

In her glowing moments of success, Marcy printed off reviews of her first novel that soared to the best-sellers list. Seeing her name listed among well known authors she admired made her heart race even now.

She pushed the file aside and stared at her computer screen, 15,000 words of nothing going nowhere and the first draft deadline loomed. “Twenty-five days and counting,” she sighed and grabbed the Gobbstoppers.

Her head flung back and she stared at the ceiling, clicking the round candies in her mouth against her teeth with her tongue. Both flies landed above her. She spun the chair and watched two black dots blend into one. She sat up and continued to spin with increased speed, click-click-clicking the shrinking jaw-breakers faster with each rotation. Repeatedly she caught sight of the scrap-happy review and the red-penned deadline in the blurry mess.

“Wooboy,” Ickypoo hollered (in a way only a fly could holler).

“What’s she doing with her mouth? Does she have one of those sick tongue piercings?”

“You think those are sick, Sicko?” Ickypoo stared at his lifelong buddy. “It’s not a piercing. It’s those colored balls she keeps popping in her mouth. They must be drugs; Poor Sap’s addicted to them.”

“If she keeps spinning like that she’s gonna get sick.” Sicko quivered his wings in preparation for take-off. “Watch this.” He buzzed from the ceiling and danced around Sap’s head. Her arms flailed in a frantic attempt to not allow Sicko to touch her face.

“Vomit…vomit,” Sicko chanted with excitement.

Marcy spun until she about lost her lunch. Memories of traveling carnivals flooded her senses: flies buzzing around cotton candy, dizzy rides, hot sunshine, mysterious carnies… “That’s it.” Marcy pulled up to her computer and typed furiously, ignoring the pests darting around her.

“Looks like the fun is over,” Sicko darted off. “I’m not spending my whole life watching her.”

“Whatever,” Ickypoo took one more flight around Sap’s head. “You can do it, Sap,” he whispered (in a way only a fly could whisper), then tucked himself into bed, behind the flowery-phrased framed-review on the wall.

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This article has been read 541 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mona Purvis05/13/10
So, flies really do have a purpose. I was in the room, just a fly on the wall, as I read this great take on the subject.
Good job.

Sara Harricharan 05/13/10
That poor sap...er...I mean, what a sick...well, that won't work either.

I clicked on it for the title and the story was pretty interesting--definitely wince-worthy, but not bad overall. I had to laugh at the way the flies went on and I'm surprised the FMC didn't just grab a flyswatter and stalk 'em...but then again, they gave her a wonderful idea...heehee, thanks for sharing!
Joanna Stricker05/17/10
I liked it, and like my former commenters struggling to contain my own puns (poor ones in my case). Thought it was quite original and funny although I wasn't that crazy about the vomit bit, I can see how Ickypoo and Sicko liked it though :-).

I guess what they say is true...everybody's a critic...even the wall flies!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/18/10
Got share some irony...I'm burping the baby while reading this...got to the vomit line and he made a sound that made me push away the laptop...timing couldn't have been planned better. You gave me lots to laugh about.
Marijo Phelps05/19/10
Thanks, enjoyed the chuckles and visuals you drew with your words!
Kimberly Russell05/19/10
Loved the title--certainly got my attention!

Also really liked the convo between the flies. Didn't know they have a sense of humor, sick as it is.

Really cute take on the topic and definitely original.
Beth LaBuff 05/19/10
My first thought after reading this confirmed that I need not feel guilty for swatting a fly, it only shortens their life by a few hours. :) But then, when I reached the end, I wanted to go look behind the pictures on our wall. :) Fun read!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/19/10
I have to say...you critics are probably the most original ones this week! :-)