Midnight Snacks

Mosquitoes like midnight snacks.

Tonight, M1 sneaks into the room where little Adriana is sleeping. He perches on the table, waiting for A to emerge from her fortress.

A’s mother has cocooned her in a high-quality mosquito net. Fool-proof, you say? Nope.

When A wakes up to pee, she races to the loo and focuses all her energies on climbing up the commode without accident. She must concentrate on not soiling her Paw Patrol pyjamas, while also ensuring her little ass doesn’t slip through the seat. It’s a lot of work for a three-year old and requires impeccable coordination, much like appearing for a driving test. Compelled by the state of emergency in her bladder, little A forgets to tuck her mosquito net under the mattress before embarking on her washroom adventure.

By the time she waddles back, M1 has infiltrated the tent. He can’t wait to feast on her fresh, clean blood. His grandfather says that kids make the best meals since they don’t eat garbage. “Men are trash,” M1’s grandfather says. “Women are trash too. Only children are angels, because their bodies are not contaminated with assorted chemicals. Their blood is to us what kale smoothies are to the hat wearers.”

M1 thinks his grandfather is smart for taking a stand against contamination. If humans can demand organic, gluten-free, non-GMO aliments, why shouldn’t mosquitoes aim for wholesome blood? It’s only fair.

Little A lifts the flap of her mosquito tent and shuffles back in. M1 is waiting for her to lie still so he can find himself a juicy spot. But holy heck, what’s this? A’s entire body is stinking – giving off the nastiest odour M1 has ever known. He barfs. His appetite is gone. What IS that smell? It makes his head spin. He can’t focus on dinner anymore. All he wants now is to get out of the net alive. But the girl has, in a moment of belated wisdom, remembered to tuck in the ends.

Fuckety fuck fuck.

M1 buzzes around desperately, trying to locate an emergency exit. There isn’t any. She has trapped him in. Dear Lord Entomos, the girl smells like the devil’s fart. And she won’t get out of bed until dawn. This is a catastrophe. Must M1 die here, in her noxious company?

The next morning, when A’s mommy arrives to fold up her bedding, M1’s carcass slides off the mosquito net and onto the floor, where it is eventually gobbled up by the electric monster with a bottomless stomach.

The next morning, the aggrieved mosquito community convenes an urgent meeting. 

“Brothers and sisters,” begins M1’s grandfather, who is their chieftain, “One more of us has been martyred. The humans are using unethical tactics now. Earlier, they used to fire their weapons from a distance. Now they’re wearing their ammunition to bed. What shall we do about these foul-smelling death potions?”

The younger mosquitoes are livid. They want to organize a protest and demand compensation from the mayor. M1’s heart-broken girlfriend wants to arrange a candle-light march. The older mosquitoes however, wise from experience, know that demonstrations don’t help. What they need, instead, is strategy. It is decided that humans must now be attacked in the only place where they don’t apply the foul-smelling goop: their feet.

Meanwhile, the WHAM – the Welfare & Health Association for Mosquitoes – passes a resolution mandating M-95 masks for all members. Blood-sucking is serious business. Workers must not pass out on the job. 

That night, M1’s cousin M2 sneaks into the room where little Adriana is sleeping. He perches on the table, waiting for A to emerge from her fortress.

Around midnight, A wakes up to pee. She races to the loo and focuses all her energies on climbing up the commode without accident. She must concentrate on not soiling her Peppa Pig pyjamas, while also ensuring her little ass doesn’t slip through the seat. It’s a lot of work for a three-year old and requires impeccable coordination, much like appearing for a driving test. As always, with a typhoon raging in her bladder, little A forgets to tuck her mosquito net under the mattress before embarking on her washroom adventure.

By the time she waddles back, M2 has infiltrated the tent. He can’t wait to feast on her fresh, clean blood.

Now, where are her feet?

Just then, A’s mommy waltzes into the room – with a magic wand.

Like a tennis player possessed, she wham-bam-slams around with the strange device, which crackles every two seconds. M2 is dumbstruck. What is she doing? Do humans have night-time dance rituals Grampa never told him about? 

The next second, the magic wand smacks M2. He combusts spontaneously.

In the morning, M2’s carcass is gobbled up by the electric monster with a bottomless stomach.

Mosquitoes sometimes become midnight snacks.


Megha Nayar will tell anybody who cares to listen that she was long-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020. She spends her time teaching French and English, learning Spanish, taking long walks, and pondering the purpose of human existence. Writing is her dopamine fix. She blogs at meghanayar.tumblr.com and tweets at @meghasnatter.   

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