Once upon a time there was a fly. Her name was Peppermint. She was called so because, while the other flies would fly around trash or honey, Peppermint would look only for smells that followed her namesake. This made Peppermint a bit of an outcast among the other flies despite the fact that flies don’t really have any “castes” to be “outed” from. It seemed that, though having no organized or structured society among them, the other flies would particularly drive her away from the proper places a fly should frequent. They would buzz loudly and swoop down at Peppermint. Around rotting corpses or dung piles, they would regard her with contempt. When eating dripping honey, they would try to push her off. they would even move the other side of the puke puddle.
Peppermint didn’t really mind the other flies very much. She knew that because she liked peppermint so much, while the other flies loathed the smell, that she would never really get along with them. It was a fortunate tradeoff because Peppermint the fly didn’t really like anything but Peppermint. So she wandered from peppermint smell to peppermint smell, totally alone.
She would find old mints that were stuck to the bottoms of tables. She would dine elegantly on a discarded thin mint or an unguarded after dinner wafer with no care or qualm. Her life was all she ever wanted: Peppermint after Peppermint.
It wasn’t until that fateful day (a week after her birth) when she had found herself flying in through the open window of a collage common room. The other flies were happily gorging on crumbs, scraps, particulates, uncleaned spills, and pieces of ginger on one side of the dinning table while on the other side some grubby teenagers watched internet videos back to back of people doing things outside.
It was dark, dingy, and warm inside. The perfect atmosphere for her kind. Peppermint was immediately hit with a myriad of smells and stenches that had never been in the same place at the same time before. She was overwhelmed. She flew around in circles landing on ginger, on the scraps, and crumbs, sampling each of them. Yet none of the food there satisfied her cravings. She decided it would be best to leave to find something with the peppermint she so loved.
Yet when she flew towards the bright sky, she was shocked to run headlong into an invisible barrier. She flew again and again towards the sky but each time was met with the invisible wall. Peppermint the fly grew frustrated and worried that she would be forever trapped in a world without the joys of peppermint again.
The teenagers took no notice of her and tried to ignore the other flies as well which made it to their side of the room frequently and landed on their computer screen. They were becoming a nuisance, interrupting their videos of skydiving, rock climbing and mountain biking. There were a total of seven flies around them at the last straw when one of them said to the others.
“We need to do something about these flies”
The other students agreed.
“I heard flies hate peppermint” Said one of the teenagers before she stood and left. The others watched the screen. The flies buzzed around them and landed on the computer, blocking fly sized pieces of the the action shots.
The student returned from the hallway after a moment with a small bottle. It said on the side: “Peppermint spray body and facial wash”. She sprayed the spray around the computer and the flies fled in disgust. Peppermint on the other hand, stopped smashing against the window. It was the smell she so enjoyed.
She buzzed across the room at a blistering pace. Her wings beat quickly across the air and landed among the smell. It wasn’t until she landed on the smooth surface that she realized there was no food there. The surface was black. Peppermint was discouraged. It took a moment. Then the world erupted in color and sound. Great blues and warm sunshine. Great ocean waves rose above her and although she was not flying or moving, she seemed to slide along them. The great scene played out before her spanning far below and high above.
The spray of peppermint smell encouraged her as each wave brought her up, and where she stood on the screen, it felt as though the great and vast ocean beyond was pushing her along. A surfer crused next to her, wiping back and forth across the wave until it crashed and they slid together along the placid water. And then, just like that, another wave would be beginning and the thrill repeated once more. Peppermint marveled and awed at the great world she had stumbled into.
It was in that moment she had one desire beyond the thing that she was named for and that was surfing.
Of course peppermint had no idea what real surfing was. Her idea of surfing was what she was doing just then. Standing as the images swooshed and swept around her.
That didn’t stop her from hanging ten.