IT’S AMAZING HUMAN BEINGS are the dominant species on this planet. We have too many detriments. We’re easily distracted, anxiously annoyed, and effortlessly entertained.
HE SLEPT LIKE A BABY when it buzzed past his ear. Instinctively, Jason whacked the side of his face and woke up.
But he missed it.
Fifteen minutes later, it recurred. He heard it fly by and smacked his face again, missing the mosquito.
MINUTES LATER, his wife (Rachel) got out of bed and turned on the light. Jason tilted his head up as he spoke.
“What are you doing?”
Rachel stared into the corner of the room. She spoke slowly while encroaching the intersecting walls.
“I’m trying to kill a mosquito.”
Jason curled his lip and closed his eyes. Forget that… he thought. Then returned his head to his pillow while speaking. “Good luck. That thing buzzed by my ear twice. I tried to get it both times. I’m not getting up.”
Rachel snapped at him. “It bit my face! Look!”
He peered up from his pillow, and glanced at her appearance.
Three welts protruded from her forehead. They were the size of dimes. Two identical bruises beamed from her cheek, glowing red lights. He chuckled. “Did you lose a fight?!”
Rachel spoke sarcastically. “Very funny.”
She stopped walking, then looked at the ceiling while extending her neck.
Jason followed her eyes. “I don’t see anything.”
“Me neither. I just saw him. But he’s gone.”
“You mean, you just saw her. Mosquitoes that bite are females, not males.”
Rachel rolled her eyes. “I know that. But it’s acting like a dick, so if you don’t mind, I’ll continue to refer to it as he. Is that a problem for you?”
“No problem. Why is he biting you so much? It didn’t bite me at all.”
There was no response.
She peered towards the window, then trailed her gaze above the curtains while walking towards the bathroom door.
“Do you see him?”
Rachel sighed. “No.”
Jason returned his head to the pillow, and closed his eyes. Seconds later, the bedroom light turned off. Rachel climbed into bed.
THE FOLLOWING NIGHT, Jason’s head lay on the pillow. He’d nearly entered deep-sleep mode when he smacked the side of his face and woke up. Ugh… he thought to himself... not again.
Two minutes later, he slapped himself once more, and cursed… fuck! He rubbed his hand around his ear, neck, and head, checking for bites while murmering to himself… why are you diving at my ear? There’s nothing in there! Leave me alone! He pulled the covers over his head, and buried his face in the pillow. Thirty seconds later, he heard it again.
That buzzing sound like a miniature chainsaw.
It circled the sides of his face, then hovered above. He shook his head, and it went away. Five seconds later, it buzzed by again.
He threw the covers off his body, and jumped out of bed. Upon standing, he turned on the light, then stared into the corners of the room, trailing his eyes around the perimeter.
Rachel, tilted up from her pillow. She chuckled.
“What are you doing?”
Jason sneered. “You were right about this mosquito. He’s a dick.”
“Did he bite you?”
“No. But it keeps buzzing by my head. It’s doing it on purpose. This thing is mocking us. It thinks it’s better than us. I can tell!”
Rachel shook her head. “Relax, psycho.”
She climbed out of bed while speaking. “I’ll help you.”
Jason walked towards the bathroom door and spoke over his shoulder. “You should’ve killed this thing last night.”
“I know, but you’re the best insect killer in the world. You murder these things with ruthless efficiency. I’ve never seen anyone kill as well as you.”
FOUR WEEKS AGO, they sat in the living room, watching television before bed when Jason noticed a fly. It buzzed brazingly around the room. He glanced towards Rachel.
“You see him?”
“Yup. I’m not sure when he came in the house. But I gave him a chance to leave. I opened the door and told him. ‘You should leave because if you stay, you die today.’ He decided to stay.”
“Maybe he said the same thing back to you. ‘How about you leave, or you die today!?’ The reason this fly stayed is because he wants to take you down.”
“I don’t know. I can’t think like a fly; that’s your department. Anyway, I’ll get him.”
And she did.
While Jason refilled his glass of water in the kitchen, Rachel yelled.
She walked towards the garbage and passed him while opening her cradled palms.
Inside, lay the murdered fly.
Two weeks afterward, she did it again. This time, it was a spider. He crawled into the high corner of their living room, and thought he was safe. They ignored him for thirty minutes, then Jason went to the bathroom.
When he returned, Rachel spoke.
“I killed him.”
“You killed who?”
IT WAS 3 A.M. AND THEY BOTH STOOD, seeking the mosquito who came from hell when Jason raised his brow.
“How come you only kill these things when I’m not around?”
“What do you mean?”
“Four weeks ago, you killed a fly in the living room. You did it when I was in the kitchen. Two weeks ago, you killed a spider. You did that while I was in the bathroom.”
“So what’s the deal?”
Rachel shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know.”
“Do I have to leave the room for you to do whatever you do to kill these things?”
“I don’t think so.”
Jason raised his hands. “How did you kill that spider, anyway? He was ten feet-high, crawling on the wall above the entertainment center. How’d you get up there?”
“I don’t know.”
“That makes no sense. How do you not know? Do you blackout when you hunt these things?”
“No. I just hit them.”
He exhaled while he spoke. “Okay.”
Jason walked backward, inching his way to the bedroom door while keeping his gaze on Rachel.
“I’m going to get some water from the kitchen.” He closed the door slowly behind himself while exiting the room.
“You’re the killer. Kill.”
HE ENTERED THE KITCHEN and removed a pint glass from the cupboard. Then opened the freezer and retrieved three ice cubes from a tray before dropping them into the glass. Next, he positioned the glass under the kitchen faucet and tilted the handle to the right, filling it with water.
He took a sip and sighed… delicious.
Upon returning to the bedroom, he opened the door and glanced at Rachel who lay under the covers with the bedroom light on.
Jason raised his brow while he spoke.
“Did you get him?”
“What? How is that possible, honey!? You’re a killer. Killers kill. That’s what you do!”
“You’re slipping.” He spoke quietly. “I’ve lost faith in your insect slaying skills. I still love you though.”
“I love you too.”
He turned off the light, then crawled into bed and pressed his head into the pillow while Rachel spoke.
“I killed him.”
“You killed who?”
“You just said you didn’t kill him! Which one is it?”
“Check your toothbrush.”
“Huh?” He climbed out of bed, and turned on the light. Then entered the ensuite bathroom and turned on its light before approaching the sink.
Upon arrival, Jason raised his brush from the countertop.
Bristles pierced fragments of wings like an alien skewered in a spiked pit of death. Six spindly legs embraced its bloody abdomen, surrounding a dismembered thorax and head. He stared at the murderous scene.
The mosquito twitched.
“It’s still alive!”
Jason imagined its voice, screaming in agony.
‘Agh! Help me! Please, help me! I don’t know what happened!’
He responded to it. “What happened is you got knocked the fuck out. You messed up. My wife’s an assassin, son. You better send a message to the others. She’s a killer!”
He spoke over his shoulder.
“Why did you smash it with my toothbrush?”
Rachel spoke softly from the bed.
“I don’t know.”