He woke to the itching at first;
then it became a burning, throbbing sensation…
first between his toes then moving slowly,
but deliberately, up his leg.
At first he thought “I shouldn’t have taken that hike after all”;
but then he remembered he had not only showered,
but he had used very strong repellant–
and taken his chlorydall for allegries before the hike.
In Peru, it was always seemingly hot
at the time he went on his little excusrions
and this year had been no diffferent.
Except for the insects…
they had been oddly larger than usual
and more aggressive this year he had noticed.
“Must be the climate change”, he had told his guide of many years.
But, in any case, he should not be having this reaction.
It was a bother too…
A REAL bother.
The sensation felt like it had PURPOSE,
like it knew where it was going…what it was seeking…
He pulled the sheets back and his mouth fell open.
There, attached to his leg,
was a long, hard-scaled, winged pest
the like of which he had never seen before..
it shone in the reflection of the oil lamp
like a scarab in a tomb;
and it was FEEDING.
It looked at him, and very quickly,
in a perfect British accent said,
“No offense or intent to annoy you sir..but your bed was warm
and it’s been ever so long since I had some decent blood–I shant be long…”
He screamed and swatted at the massive insect
but instead of flying away or even raising itself up to block the swat,
it said, again with a perfect British dialect
“If you please Sir, …I’ll only be a moment I assure you;
then you wont’ mind anything…anymore…..”
And it’s mandibles bent upwards into a sort of..smile…
And, as his blood became as thin as his pale lips,
the room and his vision swam away.