(Image via Pixabay)

It was a lone mid-October night and a girl was sleeping in her bed. It was around 1am in the morning, and there was a slight sheen of sweat on her face from the presence of her fuzzy blanket on a warmer night and the “It’s-not-really-feeling-close-to-winter-much-at-all” humid fall. She was not entirely comfortable, which led her to toss and turn, and in turn, create even more warmth for herself. It was one of those nights, yet she did not yet know it.

That’s when the blood sucker appeared – invaded, actually. Creeping into her home with methods unknown to this human soul, it evaded all measures of security and made its entrance with its partner. It buzzed with the desire for blood….

Well, it is a mosquito, after all. The infernal creatures.

This wasn’t the first time (but hopefully it was the last) a tale of woe and sleep deprivation and of angry wee morning hour safaris hunting for buzzing parasites, had plagued the girl.

The first mosquito, Martha, started her attack while the poor auburn-haired girl was asleep and defenceless, dreaming of the day when she could wear her toque. She motioned for her younger sister, Lois, to wait on the side, observing and taking notes on the best tactics for flying and attacking without fully awakening their prey.

The next part is too horrible to recount, for the time was wrought with hands sleepily waving and missing, with ugly splotches forming on freckled skin, and sleep being pricked with maniacal, diabolical, high-pitched buzzing. It haunted the girl’s sub-par sleep.

At about 1:30 in the morning, the girl finally awoke from her disturbed slumber. Matha had let her hubris take over and took a little too much joy in showing off for her younger sister, who was just new to the job. This was the only life they knew, the only way they knew of to gather what they needed to make a family…

The girl had experienced this kind of attack before, and last time she had spent the predawn hours foolishly, insanely batting at the buzzing beast until morning, then abandoning her refuge and trapping it within. She would not completely fall prey a second time. She refused to let Martha and Lois feast upon her flesh, even if their potential families were at stake.

The girl would be strong. She would rise up and show them what she thought of their existence in the season deemed “Fall” when, back in her homeland, all their compatriots were already dead and decaying. Here, in Korea, they defied the girl’s ideas of a season she typically experienced as chilled and snow-foretelling.

After getting up and turning on the lights, the girl cast her fiery gaze around the room searching for the beast that dared disturb her slumber.

Little did she know, as she searched and prepared for battle, that there were two. She also did not know that Martha (protective as she was, being of slightly older age and larger size) had Lois waiting out of sight, hiding should the worst happen.

Martha had been told this would be an easy job, that once you got past the security it was home-free! This wasn’t what she had signed up for, and of course, this had to be the job that she brought her little sister along on. Her thoughts spiralled.

She froze as she sensed the girl coming closer. She had hidden amongst some darker coloured faux-wooden moulding on the ceiling, hoping that she would mistake her presence there as lint or something. Now that the lights were on, Martha’s options for movement were limited. She wasn’t sure how fast she would be able to move, either, with her belly as full as it was from her pride-induced binge session. She had feasted too much, too fast. Now she may never live to learn from the mistake.

The girl left for a moment, closing the door behind her. But just as Martha was thinking through her options, the girl returned, holding something white and square and thin in her hand. That was no flag of surrender, either. It was…toilet paper.

Martha knew what that meant, but it didn’t mean she had to give up. She wanted to see her sister learn the same tricks she had, experience the same buzz of adrenaline she had. She wanted-

But Martha wanted no more, for Martha was now a red-stained mess of spindly legs and wings in the square of toilet paper that would be her grave clothes. The girl smiled triumphantly, balling up the white square and leaving Lois alone in the room to mourn.

When Lois heard the flush, she winced. Then she started trembling. If her matronly sister hadn’t been able to escape, how would she? She was frozen in fear. Perhaps the girl would leave the door open and she could retrace their steps the way they’d come.

No such luck. The girl had secured the door behind her and crawled back into bed after smothering a foul-smelling substance over the infected spots where Martha had bitten her. Lois would wait and see what happened…

But less than an hour later, Lois couldn’t take it anymore. She had to move and do something. The smell of that substance that came from the Monster of Melaleuca was proving too much for her.

Knowing her options were few, Lois knew what she had to do and she knew it would make her sister proud – if she succeeded. The girl wasn’t yet fully asleep, but Lois knew if she waited any longer, she wouldn’t last with that odour.

Doing just as her sister had shown her before her untimely death, Lois made a successful dive, landing and stole some of the girl’s blood! She did it! But in her jubilation, she flew too close to the girl’s ear. Her head turned and her eyes shot open as if she was looking straight at Lois. As the pest flew away as fast as she could go, she could hear dark mumblings coming from the girl as she went to flick on the dreaded light.

It was a full 25 minutes of cat and mouse chasing that ensued then. The girl would wildly throw her brown eyes all across the room, searching for Lois as she quietly waited in a white section of the ceiling. She hadn’t had time to reach the darker section where Martha had thought to hide, but that was probably for the best this time since that was the girl’s first choice for examination.

Lois also had the advantage of a lightly-filled belly, and use it she did. When the girl finally spotted her and returned with the dreaded white square of anything but surrender, she approached Lois slowly, calculatingly. But Lois zipped off before the girl landed her blow, hearing her responding growl.

Lois managed to dodge her for another 5 minutes before finding a spot the girl couldn’t seem to. That didn’t last long, for the ginger was as stubborn as Lois was speedy. Rousting Lois from her hiding place, the girl started their fierce game of calculated lunging and instinctive fleeing back up again.

Lois knew she couldn’t keep this up for much longer. She had made Martha proud already…perhaps it was time to succumb to the fate that had been sealed ever since they made their way into the girl’s solitary fortress. She had achieved her goal of heading out on adventures with her sister, and though they would never have their families together as they dreamed, she was oddly at peace…

Which was just as well, because as Lois was contemplating how full her short life had been, the girl whose REM cycle had been disturbed twice that night already rejoiced in dirtying another square of toilet paper. This one was not nearly as messy as the first, but just as satisfying for her.

After disposing of her last foe, turning off the light and treating her fresh wound, she returned to her fuzzy refuge.

Despite the fact it was by her hand that the families of Martha and Lois would never be, she went on to sleep as a baby would. She didn’t care about mosquitoes, even if they were named Martha and Lois.

And she went on to have a marvellous dream of wearing not only her toque, but also her scarf and mittens, and that it was frosty enough to kill all mosquitoes.

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