I inherited from my mum a tendency to react badly to insect bites. A famous family photo shows my mum with her eyes swollen shut and face a puffy mass after a bite from a horsefly. Insanely itchy, raised red welts can materialise from the smallest bite.
I'm in Sydney, where it has been raining; it's warm, and damp, and these are perfectly agreeable conditions for mosquitoes. At night I have to swaddle myself in a sheet, trying not to expose my body to the voracious beasties. The tiny whine of the divebomber still seeks me out and as soon as I'm asleep, and vulnerable, the mosquito fun park is open for business.
I awoke this morning with an absurdly swollen top lip, looking as though my cosmetic surgery had gone wrong: a Paris Pout caused by a kiss from a mosquito. There were bites on my ankles, neck and shoulders too. Stepping from the shower I saw a beastie on the mirror: slow, fat, drunk with success, it made no move to escape as I splattered it on the glass - no quarter given, nor expected - and watched with repulsion as a huge bubble of stolen blood pulsed out from its body.
Now I know how it feels to kill in cold blood - my blood.