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The Warfly

Diptera Tipulidae - the name of the enemy - DipTip - the name of the common Mayfly. DipTip have been infiltrating our perimeters since early spring. They've been biding their time since their previous offensive last summer. Every generation teaches their young the aspects of war and from March to September, they attack. During this time they enter our homes uninvited and scare our children to death. They buzz around our bedrooms for all hours of the night and are virtually unstoppable. I call them the insect ninjas.

A battle occured last night. DipTip snuck into my home, most probably as I was coming in from the outside, and began flying around my bedroom. I was lying down listening to music before falling into my nightly slumber when I caught sight of him. He was crippled with a piece of lint stuck to his leg and was flying up my wall but being dragged back down inch by inch by the lint. I at first felt sorry for DipTip but then remembered that there was a war in progress and that this was probably a feign.

The fly was hovering at one spot on my wall when I enacted a plan. I couldn't use the heavy artillery to attack because a shoe smacking against the wall would wake not only my family, but all the other flies in the area. And I knew I couldn't let DipTip fly around my bedroom all night for fear he would land on me or inside my mouth as I slept. Therefore, I reached for a less effective, yet quieter, weapon: a towel. I crept, very silently, toward the fly. At one point I thought the enemy heard my approach because he flew a bit higher up the wall. But no worries, no worries: I dropped to my stomach and threw the towel over my head. DipTip saw nothing and resumed his hovering on my wall.

I lied with the towel over me for about ten minutes preparing myself for the attack. A minute later I jumped up, swung the towel around, and smacked the wall just underneath where the enemy hovered. The fly flew behind my television set that forms a gap against the wall. I knew the cripple was a feign because the lint fell off as DipTip flew to safety behind my television. Now I didn't feel sorry for him one bit. I was angry.

The gap behind my televesion set is narrow and dark, so I couldn't see a thing. With no idea where the enemy was or what he was planning, I realized I needed a light. I searched the camp for a light I didn't have to hold. The one I found could attach to my head and this I did. I strapped it to my head and pushed the button; the light was very bright. DipTip was lying very still at the edge of the border between television set and wall. I needed to get him out... but how?

What I needed was something long and stiff: I didn't want to get too close to the enemy in case he attacked. I searched my room and found a belt that seemed as if it had been soaked in starch. Returning to the spot at which the enemy lie, I pushed the belt into the small crevice between wall and television and scooped the fly out. I backed out as fast as I could and sat down on my bed. The fly was now on a spot at which the heavy artillery would not wake my family nor the rest of DipTip.

I reached very slowly for my shoe and kept the towel nearby. Now, DipTip still had a bit of an advantage in regards to position: he had the cover of a power strip. It would be difficult - but not impossible - to take him out from that position. I decided to take that chance. With the towel in my right hand and the shoe in my left, I crawled toward the target. DipTip lay perfectly still behind the strip. This was my chance. I had one good crush and if I missed there no telling what could happen. I took a deep breath, mustered all my self-control, and lunged forward onto DipTip.

I couldn't tell whether he was dead or if I had just crippled him. I dug the shoe deeper into the carpet in an attempt to crush him more. Finally, after a solid minute of holding the shoe down on top of him, I took it off. For a moment, I thought DipTip was dead... but this, like the lint, was also a feign. He lay still for a few seconds but as soon as I let my guard down he pounced! The enemy sprung up and flew directly toward my face. I could see the hatred in his eyes, heard the contempt in his wings. I backed up and as DipTip was inches from my face, I swung the towel around toward him with my eyes closed and waited for the bright light and the tunnel...

But there was silence - and blackness still! Surely if DipTip had taken me I would've known by then. I opened one eye and then another to the mundane image of my bedroom. I didn't see the enemy anywhere. I had won! I had won!

These thoughts came a moment too soon... For I realized I needed to see his body to know for sure. I went on a recon mission of the camp in search of his body. None was found after a full 10 minutes of searching. Finally I was forced to retire and pray that he was dead and nowhere near my camp.

Lying in bed I could have sworn I heard the hum of wings flapping through the air...





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