Catching Flies by Carole Johnstone

Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: Catching Flies
Author: Carole Johnstone
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow) & Fearful Symmetries (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: FamilyHorror
Dates read: 26th April 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: And then she stopped.

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Her Mum is gone and she has to protect her little brother. But from what? You’ll never be comfortable ‘catching flies’ again.


This was a seriously creepy story. I mean, I knew it was going to be fairly uncomfortable, because all of the short stories in The Monstrous collection kind of are. But, it’s all written in the voice of a little girl…. I think I kind of hoped it would be a little less… insanely intense. And uncomfortable. And gruesome.

The little girl in this story is not the only one who has been told “close your mouth, or the flies will get in”. I am probably now never going to say that myself… this story made that an especially creepy way to think about / talk about such a thing. And, I’m pretty sure I was still missing something in the storyline. Mostly, there is just a horrible darkness of flies and death and mystery. It is truly horrible.

The part of this story that I love the most is that the girl who tells this story is a big sister. And she will do pretty much anything to protect her younger brother. Including sacrifice herself. It’s definitely something that I feel towards my younger sister…. That need to protect her. Against pretty much everything.

<- Down Among the DeadOur Turn Too Will One Day Come ->

Image source: Amazon


3 thoughts on “Catching Flies by Carole Johnstone

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