The Siege

I got very little sleep that night, thanks to an air assault to rival the Battle of Britain.

At first, I accepted the invasion as the inevitable side effect of reading in bed.  With the rest of the cottage in darkness, it made sense that the mosquitos would be attracted to my little island of light. Besides, the odd nighttime drone of an incoming mosquito is the price you pay for the opportunity to get up close and personal with the natural world. I reasoned that, now that we were done opening doors for the night, there had to be a finite number of mosquitos in the cottage, and if I sat and read long enough eventually I would have swatted them all.

As the tiny carcasses piled up on my quilt, I began to question my logic.

There did not appear to be a finite number of mosquitos in the cottage. In fact, they seemed to be regenerating their forces as quickly as I could fend them off.

My theory that I could read until they were all dispatched broke down further as it became increasing difficult to concentrate on reading in between slaps. I decided to give up, hoping that if I turned off the light I would not be quite such an obvious target.

I employed the standard pulling-the-sheet-over-your-head technique independently discovered by generations of mosquito-plagued children. There are, however, two problems with this strategy. One is that, since mosquito attacks never happen in the winter, eventually it gets too hot that far under the covers. The second problem is the need for the occasional infusion of new air. Nonetheless, I did manage to lose consciousness for a while, despite my conviction that if I did sleep I would surely be exsanguinated by morning.

I woke around 3:00 to the high pitched zzzzzzzzzzzzEEEEEEEEEEEEE of my assailants, who appeared to have called in reinforcements while I was dozing. Another hour of frantic swatting later, I got desperate.  In spite of my deep aversion to applying anything to my skin that is specifically designed to KILL something, I found myself spraying insect repellant on my arms in the hope that it would buy me another few nanoseconds of sleep.

It didn’t. They mostly just avoided my arms and attacked my face.  So I read for a while. I balanced my bank account. I played FreeCell until my laptop battery died.  And I continued swatting until 7:00, when it seemed like an acceptable time to get up and make some serious coffee.

Rolling out the welcome mat

Rolling out the welcome mat…

As I leaned across the bed to straighten the covers and brush away the bodies of the slain, an oddly placed beam of light caught my eye. The light was coming from the opening at the base of the screen that resulted from a tiny bend in the metal frame. An opening, directly over my bed, that from the perspective of a mosquito was a clear invitation to enter and feast on the riches within.

I might as well have slept on the dock.

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About Muddy River Muse

Writer. Reader Educator. Manager. Mother. Dreamer. And dedicated riverbank walker.
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11 Responses to The Siege

  1. alienorajt says:

    Hilarious, Anna – but, by God, I sympathise too, having been afflicted by the little sods myself on many an occasion! xxx

  2. Oh my, you must be exhausted. Hope there’s some duct tape in the cottage!

  3. Gloria says:

    They are annoying enough outside, but inside intolerable. I had one the other night buzzing around me while trying to read. Every time I found my place in the book again, there he’d be back again, buzzing at my face. I hate the repellents, too, but they are the lesser of two evils.

  4. So nicely written and so funny:) thanks for the smile!

  5. goldfish says:

    I love this post. I’m allergic to mosquito bites (my body can’t break down their vile poison), so it made my skin twitch.

  6. You might be interested to know that there are some natural repellants that ward off the pesky creatures, without killing them or causing harm to your skin. Some of these are easily made in your own kitchen. You might want to google that information before your next trip to the cottage.

  7. Lenore says:

    Enjoying a “sip” in the cool of the evening on the back porch—nary a mosquito.

  8. Elyse says:

    Having just retreated inside from the lovely back yard, I feel your pain. Errrr, itch.

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