I’m sure you’re first thought upon reading the title, there goes ole DT, off on another weird subject. Can’t help it, I like unusual subject matter, especially if it can relate to the dystopian, apocalyptic stories I write. Summer is nearly over, but the Culicidae parasite is still in high season. Plenty of biting insects fill the roster of least favorite critters in this world, but none are as universally despised by the global community than mosquitoes, or mozzies as the Aussies like to say. In my latest tale, a future where humans teeter on the edge of extinction, our hero ponders why mosquitoes continue to have free reign of the environment when 95% of the human race has perished from a plague virus.
“A sting to my arm reminded me the ecosystem was still far from balanced. I slapped a mosquito and reached for the insect repellant. Too bad the plague virus didn’t pass on to the damned bloodsuckers while feeding off folks twenty years ago. Not one living creature on the planet would mourn that bug’s extinction.”
Some things in life just aren’t fair.
A recent Burning Question article by Heidi Mitchell of the Wall Street Journal, Who Gets More Mosquito Bites – Why some people are itching and scratching while others seem unaffected, reviews a basic primer on the bloodsucker. Heidi reminds us that mosquitoes are attracted to heat, carbon dioxide, and our body odor.
Any creature that pumps warm blood can be a filling station for mozzies, but those who feel their body is an aircraft carrier in a conflict zone, it isn’t because you’re blood is any better tasting than the next guy. It’s our human funk wafting in the breeze, our skin an incubus of bacteria and microscopic flora swimming in perspiration rapids. Humans just happen to offer greater surface area by not having fur.
Caught in rousing game of slap and scratch, my intrepid hero in the story, Ryan, became an odoriferous flare the minute he walked into the woods, advertising an all you can eat buffet with a body odor redolent of stinky cheese. If he’s lucky, his parasitical patron won’t leave a generous tip by injecting one of many diseases as thanks.
“At the height of environmental excess, a virus plague hiding inside the human genome for millions of years, threw a flag on mankind’s existence with an express lane to the edge of self-induced extinction. It was nature’s way of saying we had our chance, you blew it, now it’s time to join your Jurassic brothers and contribute to the future’s energy needs.”
Ryan is more concerned with the impending end of earth’s anthropogenic era. As for the mosquito, it’ll get a hall pass to man’s extinction, and will be right there when it happens, waving goodbye as it heads out to feast on the increased animal population.