Naked beneath the blanket upon his stained and sagging mattress, John passed the late afternoon hours in sleep. He dreamt of violated flesh and shattered bone in a backdrop of human skulls drenched in blood and bile.
Outside, night began to fall. He sensed it coming down, a great black drape that gave the world a preview of death as it ended the bright day.
John dressed in black, pocketed his switchblade, slipped out through the back alley, and crept onto the street. He felt good, excited, and the night was waiting.
A nearby sodium-vapor streetlamp cast a urine-yellow glare. John didn’t see the mosquito that zigzagged within the glow, weaving heavily with contaminated blood. It settled upon the back of his neck, probed John’s skin for an easy entry with its proboscis, then pierced him with its feeding stylets and searched for a capillary blood vessel. Once found, it secreted its saliva in return for John’s blood.
About an hour later, John ached all over, his stomach hurt and his testicles throbbed, mucus dripped from his mouth and nose. Already damp with perspiration, he began to gush sweat. His bladder felt suddenly full. It had blown up like a balloon all in an instant. He’d pay any amount of money to find some sort of relief.
Bolting into a nearby breakfast joint, and coughing raggedly upon a young waitress, he ran straight for the restroom.
Staggering into a stall, John collapsed and died in his own piss and vomit before he was able to even close the door.
Trudy, the waitress, worked the graveyard shift when some asshole came running in from outside and coughed all over her. Within an hour her body began to ache. Nevertheless, the restaurant was crowded, and she had customers waiting to be served.