At the crack of dawn, a mosquito often wakes me. I carefully scoop my son out of his crib and bring him into bed with me. I lie awake, as light fades into the room, with my son under my arm and my hand hovering in the air, waiting. I am daring and fierce when my baby is in danger.
Sometimes I relax and doze off but as soon as I hear the high pitched buzz of the mosquito’s wings, my senses return. I watch the empty air for a flutter. I listen for her humming wings. All the while, I stay completely still with my chest and shoulders exposed, letting the sweet smell of my skin lure her to me.
She can’t resist. The mother in her drives her to take impossible risks. She needs my blood to feed the eggs growing inside of her. Like me, she can be daring and fierce when her babies are in danger. It is her motherly instinct that draws her to my naked skin. It is my motherly instinct that keeps me awake, ready to kill.
Finally, she lands. I strike. There is a moment of stillness. I lift my palm slowly, holding my breath. A smear of blood and the remains of her crushed body stain my hand. I exhale.