Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

tickle against his forefinger and thumb, and before its tiny heart had beat its last, its plucked wings and legs were on the bench. Like a ship with no oarsman a fly would sail around and around the small tin-lined sea. It kept trying to reach the edge, and every time it had almost found purchase with two or three legs, it would be mercilessly shoved away, until eventually it gave up fighting for its wretched life. In the tobacco tin, which Tóvó had stashed behind the Heegaard stove’s lion feet, there were often nineteen dead flies. A piece of twine was wound around the container, and when he took the lid off, it smelled slightly of rot, but mostly of kardus. The flies that had not been tortured to death lay with their wings pressed tight against their bodies and their skinny legs curled up, like they were begging forgiveness for their very existence. Whether tortured, crushed, or drowned, the flies all had one thing in common: they were victims in the war Tóvó single-handedly waged against the measles. From what he understood, measles were a kind of fly, too. One single glance from their itty bitty measles-eyes and people immediately grew feverish and began to cough and rave madly. Some also sang madly, humming words mixed with guttural sounds, until they either gave out and fell asleep or became blue in the face and stopped breathing.


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