I lived close to the elementary school that I went to, so it wasn’t a big deal for me to walk home on my own sometimes. I was perhaps in 2nd grade when this incident happened. I’d taken a slight detour to buy myself some snacks before heading home. As I crossed the road, I noticed a smell coming from a drain on the side of the road I’d just crossed to. Always being an annoyingly curious kid, I walked towards it and peered down.
It was summer, or maybe a month close to summer, because I remember it being hot. And I remember flies. Lots of them. I once read that from the moment of death, the bodies attract flies. With no defense against them, they’re able to lay their eggs in the corpses. Often within 24 hours, the eggs hatch into maggots which start consuming the body.
Maybe it got hit by a car or perhaps had lost a fight against other strays, but a dog had died and fallen into the drain. I don’t know how long it had been in there. And in fact, I don’t even remember much about the dog itself because when I looked into the drain, all I could see were maggots. Crawling and writhing, covering the corpse of what was once a dog. It looked like the static noise grain from an old CRT television when you lost signal from cable. Unable to tear my eyes away from the sight, I stood there staring until some adult shooed me away.
If I had to mention the moment after which I’d started being absolutely revolted by maggots, it was then. Seeing them aside, sometimes just thinking of them in slightly more detail than necessary made me feel like I had maggots crawling all over me; on my back, on my thighs, in my hair, everywhere. And the feeling wouldn’t go away until I took a thorough shower and changed my clothes.