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The bug made me do it

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

On my drive to drop my children off at school today, I was singing along to our "school hype playlist" When I notice the preditor on my windshield. Sitting on the outside of the window you ask? Nope. On the inside. Close enough to touch me. To prick my skin and draw blood with its evil fang.

A mosquito the size of a bird.

As I swiped at it, I realized that with every powerful lurch my fist made towards the bare glass, the more my car dipped on the road. Dangerously close to the divider line or the ditch.

I let the mosquito live, only out of self-preservation.

That got me thinking. How many vehicle deaths per year were mislabeled? How many people became statistics of reckless driving, when really, it was at the hand of a kamikaze insect?

I played it out as though a movie in my head.

First, a high-speed interstate. Cars swooping in from all parts of the world. We zoom in on a young woman in a car nursing an iced beverage and pleasantly humming along to a sweet diddy on the radio.

Then, the attack. She didn't see it coming. It swoops in and takes a bite out of her. She panics and shrieks, but miraculously keeps her hands steady on the wheel.

The predator attacks again. She reaches out to try and stop it. To protect herself. To try and take it out before it can run her off the road. Keeping one hand on the wheel and trying to merge into oncoming traffic she swats and misses. The mosquito teleports behind her and lands a strike on her neck. She slaps herself and staggers a moment from the blow. Seeing spots in her vision she strikes out again blindly.

The welts on her skin and her face react as the poison begins the phase of itching. She looks up, seeing a semi-truck rear taillights glowing red. She slows but is distracted once again.

Looking her dead in the face, hovering in the air, the insect swarms her, going for a strike against her forehead and eyeballs.

There is one way one for this to end, she thinks. She takes a deep breath.

"It's either you or me" She sighs out loud. "If I am going down, you are coming with me"

And with that, she yanks on the steering wheel and careens off the side of the interstate into a row of tall pines. Her breaks never squeak. Her face, a blotchy scabbed thing is set in a hard grimace as she takes her, the car, and the mosquito down in one crash of glass and a spark of flames.

The cops arrive, the coroner pronounce the victim dead. Flies gather around the carnage. The firemen put the flames out. The reports stumble out of the bushes. A statement is given. Headlines explode.

"Another victim of the mobile phone generation. Siri strikes again. Texting and driving is deadly. Buckle up."

Somewhere, reading the news app over the shoulder of millions of humans, a wasp, fly, mosquito, and bee quietly laugh a hard, cold, insane sort of chuckle. Insects win today.

Fade to black, cut to credits.

Statistics are what the news makes of them. What will you believe?

I unbuckle the children from their car seats. I walk them into school with kisses and goodbye hugs. I seat myself back in the car, not taking my eyes off of the new fly that has joined the party. The mosquito has vanished. It's probably settled on my headrest. I take one look at the fly again and shout "NOT TODAY!" as I rage and pound and slap the guts out of the unsuspecting life form.

My hand drips with innards. I sanitize, place my sunglasses over my hardened pupils, sip my beverage, and silently begin to laugh as I merge onto the interstate for my long commute.

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