Silent WarriorNovember 10th, 2009
by Slade Ham
HOUSTON, TX -
It started at 3:00 am and it didn’t stop. It was relentless. It’s the second attack in as many weeks and my sanity may suffer for it. I am under siege from the most well trained, mosquito assassin on the planet.
I have forever been aware of the buzzing annoyance that describes most mosquitoes. This one though, this one is a special breed. With a regular attacker, you can isolate it by its sound. You listen to it as it gets closer and closer and then slap the last place you heard it. I’ve killed them by the thousands over my lifetime, and I’m afraid that’s why they’ve sent this demon warrior after me. The Uruk-Hai of the insect world.
If you’re confused, let me explain. This satanic little bug doesn’t buzz. There is no warning, no tickle of the ear, no sudden silence to notify an imminent sting. You just feel the injection of her tongue or beak or whatever it is as it punctures your flesh.
A thousand times in a single night.
I’ve read The Art of War. I know how to strategically fight something. Sun Tzu says to know your enemy, and I do. I know they’re attracted to white and things that expel carbon dioxide. I know I am both of those. I’m a target. We are natural adversaries. It knows how to prey on me; I must learn to prey on it.
But how do you fight something you cannot see?
This female, ninja warrior trained in guerrilla warfare is unbeatable. From out of the darkness she comes, unrelenting in her hate for me, she tactically locates pieces of skin that extend past the protection of the comforter. I feel it sting and I tighten the muscle where it jabbed me, hoping to somehow capture the proboscis in my arm and smash the mischievous little sprite into a puddle of thorax and my own blood.
But it’s gone again.
I drift back to sleep, another fitful twenty minutes before the next salvo comes. Is there more than one? There must be. If it’s a lone wolf, it should be huge. It’s had over a pint of my blood. Lay in wait. Feel the sting. Turn on the light and look for the thing that’s the size of a softball. It’s not there. It hasn’t flown up to the light or landed on the wall like a typical soldier. It is simply gone, vampiric in her tendencies to bite and then fade into the night.
Am I going to turn into a mosquito now? I can’t see it, I can’t fight it, and I certainly don’t want to become it. My only resort is to cocoon myself in the covers leaving nothing exposed. It’s hot and uncomfortable but it will prevent further damage. Wrap up, tend to my wounds, and reassess the battle in the morning. She has to sleep sometime. I will be safe in my –
Are you kidding me? How did she do that? I just got stung again. Sweet Jesus, she’s in here with me. That, or her stinger is long enough to penetrate my blanket. Oh my God, what if it is? What if I’m really up against some vampire bird with a foot long pike and a cloaking device? I’m not going out like this.
Covers off, lights on, I roll out of bed and hit the floor, fists up. Let’s do this motherfucker.
And just like that, she’s gone again. Am I crazy? No, the marks are still there. Aren’t they? It’s 7:00 in the morning now. Maybe this is the product of my delirium. Maybe there’s no mosquito at all. How ridiculous am I being? There are no non-buzzing mosquitoes. I’m just tired. Go back to bed. Stop hallucinating.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world she did not exist.
And that’s how she beats you.
I’m off to train for the next time we meet.