A Mosquito feeding on blood

For as long as I can remember he’s been doing stuff like this, going off, doing his own thing, more often than not dragging me along with him. Why should now be any different?

Well, I’m not going. Not now. Not this time. I’ve had enough. What’s wrong with here? We’ve got a good thing going. Nothing special maybe, but steady. Easy. Plenty of fruit. Plenty of friends. Sure, there are spiders about and frogs and birds and lizards, but they’re everywhere.

It’s quiet. Sleepy. There’s no noise apart from the cicadas, the river, the breeze, the occasional clap of thunder.

Where on earth did he get the idea that eating a whole cow would be a good idea? How does he think he can even do it? There’s a cow. There’s a mosquito. It would take millions of us to devour a whole one.

And what for? Blood? What’s wrong with fruit? We’ve got plenty of it here. We don’t need blood. Sure, it’s nice to get some once in a while. That pig we bit into that time was pretty tasty, but still – a cow?

And why does he have to leave to get it? Can’t he just wait, be patient? One’s bound to turn up sooner or later. Does he have to be so greedy? Then again, people get the blood bug. Once they’ve tried it, never go back to fruit. But was that pig really that good? Was it really so good he had to up and leave me?

I bet it was that one we met a few days back who got him on to it. I didn’t like him from the first, told him so too, but what can I do when faced with promises like that? Better than pig. Without a doubt. And as soon as you’ve tasted cow there are other things too. Things beyond your wildest dreams.

There was a big noise when he arrived, something like those things that float down the river sometimes, big and smoky, and covered with these odd pink and brown shapes that move about on it as it moves.

There was a smell too. A good smell. A delicious smell. An enticing smell. Too enticing. As if it was a trap. There are mangoes and then there are mangoes already cut open waiting, and you know not to go there, because even if you do want a bit there’s usually some danger nearby.

But did that make a blind bit of difference to him? Just one whiff and a few buzzes from that guy and off he went expecting me to go with him. Like I normally do. The smell. The smell. Can’t I see it’s so good? Well, yes, but – I didn’t finish. Off he went. Not a second thought for me. And what I want.

He never listens. He’s a baby. And he’ll probably go and get himself killed over it too. He’ll find his cow, have his fill then get stood on or swatted by the cow’s immense tail and where will that leave me?

Alone. Even more alone than I am now. I won’t even have his scent to remind me of him. Just a fading memory of a scent. A scent I won’t want in the end because it’ll just remind me of him and what an idiot he is going after cows when he should be here with me by the river, safe, instead of gallivanting around as if there are no dangers in the world, as if the world is there to satisfy his needs alone when really it doesn’t care about him and his taste for cow blood, couldn’t give a monkeys and wouldn’t give him a monkey if he couldn’t find a cow.

No. I’m not going. I’ve had enough. If he gets hurt he’s only got himself to blame.

But what if he does get hurt, never comes back? Can I really let him do that to himself? Can I really let him leave me alone? The smell was good. But – no.

Look. It’s getting light now. And he’ll be alone too. Why didn’t I think of that, just stop to consider? He’ll have nowhere to hide. Dawn might be okay, but then what? He can’t just blunder into other territories. There’ll be spiders, lizards, birds, things we don’t know about. We know where they are here. We know their tactics. But there?

No. I won’t – but then it’s all well and good me being safe, but will my life be any better without him? I’m complaining now, but do I mean it? Don’t I like to complain? Who will I have to moan about once he’s gone? The spiders?

This leaf is empty without him. Maybe I should go after him one last time. Have it out with him. Stick with him – the smell, he’s as alone as me – or make the break final.

I can’t leave it the way he left it. Suit yourself he buzzes and off he goes as if he were just popping out to wet his feet in the river. He’s been gone too long. I can’t leave it like that.

No. I can follow him. See how this cow thing’s going, try to dissuade him then come back. I know his scent. I can smell him a hundred feet away. I can sense traces now. Yes. I should go. The smell.

Go. I can follow his trail out through these leaves and twigs and branches, over the mud and pebbles and brush and out. Yes. I can smell him. Smell that.

This way, I’m sure. This was where the noise came from, out here in the light. That’s a bit too far, but – yes. Look, the sun’s out now. I’ll stay here in this little valley by that long, grey, still river. Yes. I can follow it and stay in the shade, follow his scent.

He was definitely here. He’s in the wind. Just like that other smell. That good smell. That delicious smell. If I follow that I’ll find him then talk with him, confront him, bring him back, make him see reason, or just stay with him, with the smell.

If I just follow – God, that smell’s strong. Every gust brings it closer, stronger. He must be here. He must be. That scent. I can hardly smell anything else. Stronger than any mango. Making me light-headed, dizzy.

No. Focus. Follow the scent and see him. He’s bound to be here.

What’s that? Yes. That must be where it’s coming from. That pink thing that I see on that smoky thing that floats down the river. Look. It’s there. He’s got to be too. Bound to be.

Right. Take a rest. Compose yourself. Look around. Smell. Identify him in all this. He’s here. I know he is. So’s the smell. Coming right from there. Maybe if I just – no. But then if I get it out of my system then I can concentrate on him.

No. It must be dangerous. It can’t be this easy. There’s no cow. No great tail. No lizards or spiders or birds or frogs. Just a little feed and then go on. Find him.

No – yes. Do it. Take it. Drink. Drink it all.

Oh, God. This is wonderful. Why have I never tried this before? And you’re here now too. Yes. Nodding. Smiling.

Forgive me. Forgive me for not believing in you. I’ll never go back to fruit. I’ll never complain again. I promise. I promise.

You were right. You were right all along. This is wondrous, woundrous. How could I have been so blind?


2 thoughts on “A Taste for Blood

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