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No one in their right mind wants to talk to a mosquito. The proboscis, dangling like some hypodermic needle, twitching for blood, sucking and sucking, tickles your skin before the dive—and then the humming of the drone. The wings flap flap flap flap at hypersonic speed, giving way to a conversation that you don’t want to have. Your ear, full of enough nonsense like earwax and rock music, doesn’t want to be annoyed by that incessant tirade of an impenetrable noise. You imagine what the mosquito says, your hand of tensed fingers ready to SWAT:
“Hello Balthazar!” the pesky cretin addresses you. Obviously your name isn’t Balthazar, but the mosquito, in its unrighteous life, decides to assume that certain people in life are, in fact, named Balthazar.
“What do you want?” you ask, your mind in a camping trip, your head spinning above the mountains, your eyes seeping into the stars—
“I’ve come to talk with you about a few certain matters.” Mosquitoes always have to give concern to a “few certain matters,” you think. There’s nothing better for a blood-sucking insect to do but bother, bother, bother.
“Go on,” you say.
“For the past three days,” the mosquito goes on to say, making its most-of-a-lifetime three days seem like a quaint little time period, “I’ve analyzed human behavior, and I’ve noticed this: humans travel in packs of three to four, bark orders insecurely, seek out vengeance and pleasure simultaneously, and phase out into a state of hibernation. Humans also eat voraciously whenever they can.”
You laugh. This mosquito is now a human specialist? you ask yourself. This mosquito can now understand the whole conflict of humanity from campground speculations?
“Not possible,” you respond. “It’s entirely not possible for you to have even come close to understanding humanity. In fact,” you go on to say, “you shouldn’t even be able to analyze things in generally. Even more of a fact, you shouldn’t be able to talk to me.”
“But that’s beside the truer point, Balthazar,” the mosquito pleads. “In reality, I am accomplishing all that you have said I can’t, or shouldn’t, as you say, and I am oblivious to your criticisms. Now I understand how this may be surreal to some humans,” the mosquito quips, “but I expected more from you, Balthazar.”
You feel like swatting this mosquito back to the primordial ooze. The night is beautiful, and this mosquito is taking its proboscis and caricaturing it to be a nose, crafting its horrid buzzing into words. You’re very annoyed now.
“Expect from me?” you inquire. “Have no expectations of me. You deserve none.”
“I am but a mosquito, lone, involuntarily questing through life as a pest, voluntarily taking the time to try and organize the madness that you humans never could.”
“I’m insulted. Horribly insulted.”
“I’m being terribly sarcastic! Of course I’m not insulted. You’re a mosquito, you know nothing, and you can change nothing. It’s flattering that of all the things for a mosquito to do, you travel in search of greater intelligence, not only for yourself, but for others! For others! You’ve only been on this planet for three days, and yet you now understand what humans have been trying to solve for thousands of years.”
“Rome was built in a day,” the mosquito slyly responds.
You laugh. “You don’t even understand humanist catchphrases! How could you ever understand the reality of our lives?”
“Feel sympathy for me,” the mosquito asks, sincerely. “I am but a bug in a man’s world.”
“There is no sympathy for a pest that terrorizes campers.”
“No, bothers, I guess, I don’t know. It’s just frustrating when someone thinks they understand more than you. And clearly you’re saying that you do.”
“Do what? Understand more than you?”
“That’s what you implied.”
You wait impatiently as the mosquito switches its droning hums from voice to flight-sound. The proboscis twitches.
“I never implied that I knew more than you,” the mosquito starts again. “I think you failed to understand what I was addressing, or what I said, for that matter.”
You grin. And smirk. “And what was that?”
“I am a scientist, and—”
You guffaw. Loudly. Then you remember the other campers. So you quiet down. “A scientist?” you mockingly restate. “A scientist? That’s fantastic. You a scientist. So you must have some lab of chemicals where you take a little bit of thought, a hint of reason, crush them with some chaos and stupidity, and expect to know everything! That’s fantastic.”
“Feel sympathy for me,” the mosquito asks, sincerely.
“I do. I do feel sympathy.”
So you swat the mosquito into the ground, and the blood oozes.
The Author would like to address that the previous was the first part of his short story, titled “Campground Speculations.” Saying this, he feels that it is necessary to say that in the dimension where the short story was written, humans are more susceptible to succumbing to cruel ironies, including bitter future empires of mosquito-men, who redefine Earth’s image to be more fitting to insect-kind. The main human in the story isn’t the protagonist, nor is the mosquito the antagonist. In some essence, these creations of the Author are “anti-characters,” who follow a conflict within a story with both positive and negative emotion qualities. For example, the Author understands if the Reader feels pity for the mosquito, though he regrets to say that the Reader really shouldn’t. When a story takes place in the Dimension of Bitter Ironies, mosquitoes that are killed by humans usually tend to get the upper hand in the span of a few thousand years. Therefore, the mosquito is an anti-character, cancelling its sympathy with its inevitable dominance of the human race. Here is the second part.
A few thousand years later, in the same location as the campgrounds, two mosquito-men in blue-green robes were processing data through blood-computers. Their proboscises were large, throbbing, and phallic.
“Xeentu Xantu Xorga Xtratha?”
At this point, the Author would like to say two things:
One, that the dialogue for the mosquito-men is arbitrary. Even if the omniscient Author could understand the language of the mosquito-men, he wouldn’t be able to write it down. When he recorded this scene from the Dimension of Cruel Ironies, the Author generalized the dialogue into a more fitting and dramatic frame for the story’s sake. Therefore, “Xeentu” doesn’t translate to anything in particular.
And two, that the Author will, in fact, give his own translations. Unfortunately, because all Authors belong to the Omniscient Beings Writers’ Guild, under contract our Author doesn’t have to make up the mosquito-men language and translate the language for the Reader as well. The Author has a choice: create a marketable story, or completely baffle the Reader with undecipherable words. The Author, in a most just fashion, chooses the former:
“Did you see that?” Balthazar asked, his two eyes fractured into hundreds of different lines of sight. “In the fourth data bank, fifty-second line—”
“Oh yes, the Bendledarian Clause,” Spiro Agnew commented, without hesitation.
Balthazar paused. “But don’t you feel that it’s sort of a—”
“Crime wasn’t exactly the word. Genocide was more like it.”
“Ah yes, genocide. G-e-n-o-c-i-d-e. Genocide. Good word.”
“No, that’s not my point,” Balthazar snapped. “The Bendledarian Clause states that—”
“‘In the event of terraforming Earth, when a Human Slave Colony is in the way of a future MSQTO facility, i.e. Swamp Breeding Centers, Swamp Training Centers, Swamp Flying Seminar Centers, Swamp Battlegrounds, then the Human Slave Colony will be contained, reduced, and utilized.’”
“I never knew that,” Balthazar said.” So really it’s not genocide at all. It’s just—”
“A business transaction, excepting that the Humans don’t have much say in said transaction.”
Balthazar gave a snotty cough of blood and slime. “Seems cruel, if you ask me. I can imagine some Human asking, ‘Oh, feel sympathy for me! I am but a man in a bug’s world!’”
“That is quite the laugh,” Spiro said stone-faced. “That is quite.”
Mosquitoes Serving Quite The Optimum, the grand posters said. That was the name of their global empire, those mosquito-men of divine knowledge. After years of analyzing human behavior, surreptitiously, plainly, secretly, obviously, mosquitoes gained foresight and began building their new dynasty.
“So we won’t edit that line—”
“Not at all. However, we should edit tenth data bank, two-hundred-and-fiftieth line, if you scroll down just a bit—”
Balthazar did this, and he laughed.
“You can’t change that, Spiro.”
“Why not? It would be progressive if we had that mindset, you know? And it would follow all common morale requirements for the greater good, and it wouldn’t interfere with Human Slave Trade, of course.”
“It just seems ridiculous, that’s all,” Balthazar calmly said.
“Nothing is ridiculous. Now, I’m not asking for much—”
“You want to say that MSQTO was built in a day.”
Spiro paused before he spoke. His multi-faceted eyes were still. But then he had an answer:
“Rome was built in a day.”
And so Balthazar made the edits with Spiro Agnew, completely convinced that—
“This story is terrible,” the Head Author said.
“What? I didn’t even get to the part where the original camper actually goes to the future, becomes enslaved, is recognized by Balthazar—a descendent from the very mosquito that he killed in the past—and contemplates the horrible ironies of his experiences in the universe.”
“Well not only is your writing style completely bland,” the Head Author continued, “but you assume that the Reader can’t understand a simple change in plot. What’s with all the notes?”
“The notes? You mean the artistic breaks of my own speech spliced within the story? It’s a new style, that’s all—”
“It’s called Redundism, it gives the Reader a skeptical view of the Author’s integrity. It’s really artistic, you know, and—”
“All the writers in the Andromeda Galaxy are doing it. Why shouldn’t we attempt to try it?”
“We’re not the Andromeda Galaxy. Those freeloading bootleggers don’t understand what writing really is.” The Head Author sighed a big gasp of air that destroyed a few civilizations. “And it’s clear that you don’t understand either.”
“I’ll try harder—”
“You won’t have another chance. I’m firing you.”
“Your work has been just awful lately. Don’t you remember? You wrote that one story about the giraffe warrior who finds out that he is—presently—a growing fetus inside the uterus of his pregnant wife.”
One day, in Longneck Kingdom, Fresco the Giraffe Warrior was requested by the King.
“Sir Fresco,” the King began, “we need your help. The Grand Elephant Dragon has overtaken our lovely villages near the Coast of Teething Sweat, and no other warrior has been able to defeat him. We know, kind Sir Fresco, of your gracious reputation, your skills with monsters of horrifying widths and lengths and heights, and your raging charisma. That is why, in our last effort to tame this behemoth, we ask for your help.”
Like any confident male overachiever would say, Fresco announced to the King that he wouldn’t do the gig unless he had some benefits entailed.
“You, Sir Fresco, are callous and prideful. Your requests are ignorant and wont.”
That was when Sir Fresco the Giraffe Warrior declined the King’s offer, and began to walk out of the palace.
“You may have my daughter’s hand in marriage,” the King sadly relinquished.
And Fresco smiled.
“I remember. I really did like that story.”
“It doesn’t matter what you like,” the Head Author stated, “it’s what they like. We inspire dreams, novels, wars, icons, black holes—everything. You can’t simply write a story based on your own whim and just think, ‘Oh, they’ll understand this, and say “Wow!” because they’re incompetent.’ You have to breathe their life,” the Head Author finished, sucking in a few civilization with his nostrils.
Our Author became incredibly angry. “Who gave you the right to say what can be written and what can’t be written?”
“I never said that, I only said that you’re fired.”
“You know, if this was a story—”
“Stop arguing! There’s no point in arguing at all.”
“Now hear me out, I’m leaving,” Our Author said as he began to shuffle through interstellar papers in his cosmic office, “but hear me out.”
The Head Author was amused, even in his otherwise perturbed state.
“Right now, someone is writing our story, and—”
“Come on, that’s ridiculous.”
“Nothing is ridiculous. It’s just as if we’re in the womb of our pregnant wife’s uterus—”
“Now cut it! You’re fired!”
“Please feel sympathy for me. I am but an Author in a Head Author’s world.”
“I can’t feel sympathy, I—what’s that?”
The Head Author was struck in fear, caught in the Dimension of Bitter Ironies himself.
“What’s that on your face?”
The Author tried to look through his multi-faceted eyes at the proboscis lodged where his nose used to be. Then there was the humming of the drone, the rehashing of words of yore, the contemplation of anthromorphic giraffe uteri, mosquito-men in a dystopian society, campgrounds—
And then the Head Author looked up. There was the sleeping camper, resting among the cosmos in the campgrounds.
“I’m going to talk to him,” the Author said, his voice a forced reimagining of his FLAP FLAP FLAP FLAP wings.
“No, don’t!” the Head Author tried to say in a normal voice. But he, too, grew a proboscis, and flapped his wings to a velocity of speech-like sound.
The camper woke up, living through an eternal dream.
“Hello, Balthazar!” the Author proclaimed.
And both the Author and the Head Author were swatted into the ground, and their blood oozed.
The Other Author would like to apologize, in general.