where do mossies go when you miss?

I want to know where mossies go when you swat them.

This isn’t some deep theosophical concern with mossie afterlife. I do not want to know what mossie heaven looks like. The blood-sucking little sods could only be happy somewhere resembling a Hannibal Lecter movie. I don’t want to go there.

Nor am I concerned with the mossies you actually hit. I know where they go.

They’re spread all over my bedroom walls. The place looks like it’s inhabited by a couple with a blackcurrant fetish.

But where do the ones go that you miss?

It’s a miracle — they just vanish!

One second they’re an easy target under the shadow of a folded copy of the Australian (the secret is to fold it not too many times. Once is enough. It gives you an area about the size of a tennis racquet, but with fewer holes).

You swat — and suddenly they don’t exist.

They haven’t just moved, like flies do; they’ve disappeared, like a rabbit jumping back into the hate, except there is no hat.

Beamed up to some interplanetary galactic mossieship eight planets away where the crew has wings, spindly legs and a proboscis that would make Jimmy Durante’s hooter look like the kind of facial blemish caused by… well, a mossie bite.

Someone told me they just fold their little wings and drop to the floor.

Been there. It’s not true.

We have white tiles. They’d be easy to spot. Just to be on the safe side I’ve even gone through the ritual, after unsuccessfully swatting at a mossie, of leaping upon the tiles in a frenzy of uncontrolled, scatter-gun battering. All I’ve done is frighten the dust and drawn some strange looks from my wife who has stumbled on this little melodrama without benefit of explanation.

“It’s gone,” I blurt, close to tears.

“What’s gone?”

“The mossie. It was here — just here.” I indicate the bit of air next to my ear. “I saw it.” I gesture feebly at the floor. “Now it’s gone,”

“I’m not surprised,” she says. “I’m thinking of joining it.”

And that’s the other thing — the whine in your ear.

I live in the city. I can sleep through the sirens of ambulances in the deep night, even the confounded garbage truck at 5.30am emptying the bins. But a mossie will have me bolt upright ina  nano-second.

I even let them have a nibble. The theory is they are easier to hit while they’re eating (you saw The Godfather) but all you do is bludgeon your ear into a cabbage and give the bastards practice in evasion techniques.

At the end of the world, when the last trump sounds, that won’t be what wakes the dead.

It’ll be a mossie whining in their ears.