They’re a curious couple these two. He, flat on his back, his enormous belly inflating and deflating, toxic clouds billowing out of his mouth, which I must take care to avoid. He, I recognise, is dormant. But the female is furtive. I can tell by those two fleshy orbs pointing at him, rarely snapping shut, and spindly fingers running tracks across his gullet. Gosh, what a gush that would be, opened up. Enough to drown a little thing like me.

I am growing restless in anticipation of the taste, the taste in the blood beneath a billion beads of sweat. My spine comes alive. I am pregnant and I must feed. But I too must be cautious and bide my time. These are a more difficult prey than the one that squalled here another day. That little thing grew from fat to thin, and the white river did nothing to sustain him. Honestly, these mammals.

It is no survival strategy to be skittish. I have seen too many comrades unfurled on flat walls, their legs hanging loosely off glossy magazines. She will not do so to me. I am too quick, too quick, you see.

The usual obstacles stand in my way. The swinging disk flinging wind into being, thick with their various musks, some sick-making and severe, some so enticing. They are wrapped in silvery sails. I have heard them called a “fortress” and a “prison”. But nothing is impossible.

Wheeee. I dive. No flat hands or flicking tongues will get me. I timed it just right. The breeze carries little me just where I wanted to go. I am a mosquito, and I know how to flow. The hole in the shimmering silver is just a little bigger than me. I slip through easily.

But now I am in, and it’s all quite changed. Their bodies are not still, but whirl. The regular dim vibrations from him are now roars. I am caught in a war. And… there is so much blood in here now. Far too much, enough to make me sick. Something has been ripped off. An organ? I fling myself against the silver and get caught. It is shaking and I can’t get out. I am pregnant and I carry poison wherever I go. But it is in the still that I grow. Not in the midst of this show.

She is on top of he. Her orbs are bulging bigger and I can taste the blood pumping in the strained veins. Her hands curl around his throat and I fear his head will pop. Would I survive the onslaught? Being only little me, I cannot be seen. But i’ll do what I can. I jump and land deftly on the bone on her shoulder. My instinct is to taste but I must control my haste. I hop up to her ear and crawl in. The beating bodies of both of them are throbbing through my own. This could be a bloodbath. I begin to scream and scream.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.