Airborne at last, Quintessa stretched her neck to view the panorama below.
“Bloody business, this,” she mumbled. “Can’t say I’m particularly enchanted to be a mosquito, but it sure beats the larval stage.”
Dare she admit how much she loathed the idea of seeing, let alone sucking blood? Eventually, she knew she would probably have to concede to nature, but for now she would play the role of the royal aviator and set her inner monarch free. Focusing on her flying after all those long days wriggling in a scummy birdbath felt like heaven, even though her peers already seemed to be zeroing in on warm-blooded targets. Gluttony and greed might be appropriate for the lower classes, but not for this little princess. Her goals were loftier and far more glamorous than those of the riffraff surrounding her.
“I’d much rather become a flight expert than merely go on a feeding frenzy,” she told herself. Just because she was a Culex didn’t mean she must settle for the life of a savage. “Keep your blood, you ugly vertebrates! Let me fly!”
Mosquitoes around her swarmed toward what appeared to be a farm, where horses, cattle, and pigs created an all-you-can-eat buffet, but Quintessa buzzed past the uncivilized offering, her proboscis high in the air. Not for her, these barbarian habits, these boorish customs, these beastly obsessions and brutish dependencies. Only the crème de la crème was good enough for Quintessa.
Pressing past the horde, she felt chagrined to find herself inexplicably drawn to the heat and smells emanating from the farm. Quintessa, however, remained as strong as her wilting wings allowed, convinced only the weakest of her species would dive for the nearest available food without first enjoying the freedom of flight and fancy.
Resting for a moment on a low tree branch, the little mosquito panted and tried to calculate how much longer she could fly without ingesting blood. She knew she could live on nectar and plant juices like her male counterparts, but if she were ever to reproduce, imbibing remained her only alternative.
“Tasteless, absolutely degrading,” she muttered. Unless she chose to abandon the ultimate goal for which she was hatched—to lay eggs—she knew she must submit to protocol. Vampirism seemed the only means to succession of her self-appointed crown.
Weakening rapidly now, Quintessa’s attention was drawn to the raucous cawing of a crow above and she immediately sensed a possible solution to her predicament. X-ray vision might have come in handy to help her home in on the bird’s body, but she relied on her heat sensors until she found a tender spot to latch onto, beneath a wing. Yellow feet suddenly dangled in mid-air as the crow took off, and Quintessa felt electrified to find herself once again airborne, without draining an ounce of her own energy.
Zoonotic arboviruses such as West Nile lay dormant while the Princess Quintessa reigned supreme on her private aircraft, feeding and flying and fulfilling her life’s destiny all in one glorious jaunt from the loftiest of heights—at least for now.
Did you notice? The story above uses 26 letters, each beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. Hope you liked it!