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A Swat In The Dark

Body clocks vary. It's a fact: some people leap out of bed bursting with energy for the new day (or so I'm told....), while for night owls and the like the falling darkness stirs up the blood. And for the early bird there's nothing more annoying than being denied their beauty sleep...

He lay sprawled in bed, on the bed, around and about the bed, grasping at that elusive oblivion of sleep that can remain tantalisingly out of grasp on a hot and sticky night. Outside in the street came the faint chink of glasses and the low murmur of conversation from the lamp-lit little cafes and bars that would stay open until one or two in the morning until the last of the locals disappeared for a few short hours sleep before starting again on their work-siesta-work days so alien to the visitors from cooler climes restlessly trying to follow their own internal rhythms in the few stuffy hotel rooms of the small town.

Of course, while he was 'early to bed, early to rise, makes a man ...insufferably self righteous' she was for preference a night creature, and her attentions on an airless night were especially unwelcome. He grunted in irritation as she brushed against his overheated flesh....brushed her away as she tickled at his ear.

"Noooooooo," he groaned. All he wanted was a good night's sleep. Just one. He was frazzled from the journey and just what on earth had possessed him to think that booking a morning excursion to some distant archeological remains for the first full day there was a good idea, he knew not. And as if that wasn't enough she, far from being asleep was feeling hungry and apparently intent on irritating the heck out of him.

"Gettoff!" he mumbled as she tickled at his ear again. He rubbed it to quell the annoying sensation and then slapped hard in the pitch dark as she teased at his exposed rump, sticking out of the tangled sheet. Unfortunately she was too quick for him and all he succeeded in doing was smacking his own bottom, leaving a generous red hand print to mark his unsuccessful retaliation.

"Right, you asked for it, " muttered half sliding, half falling out on bed in a tangle of sheets on to the tiled floor - which was mercifully cool, tempting him to just curl up there and attempt to sleep again. Instead he groped around for the discarded newspaper sticking out of the waste basket. If he was going to play hide and seek in the dark, the extra armament and reach of a rolled up newspaper would be essential. He listened and swished tentatively but was disinclined to go leaping around an unfamiliar darkened room, however sparsely furnished.

He backed cautiously towards the door or where he thought the door was, feeling for the light switch with his other hand. Although the hotel and its immediate vicinity had been in the grip of one of the periodic short power cuts that plagued the crumbling little town when he'd turned in there was the possibility that power had been restored as demand tailed off.

He snapped the light switch. The 25 watt bulb gloomed on reluctantly and he leapt into action...
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Waiting on the end of the curtain rail, safely concealed by accumulations of fluff and debris the mosquito watched the man flailing at random specks of grime and the walls and furniture in the hope that one might be his tormentor.

To her he was just a pulsating heat map, brimming with rich food. She was hungry. Soon enough, in the quiet of the night, she would feed.

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And yes, it is April 1st again, in case you hadn't noticed.... ..

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