I was in the shower, and noticed a mosquito had come in with me.

My first thought was “Aw, hell, I’m gonna get bit in all kinda scary places.”

My second was “Gee, I wonder what it’s like to be a mosquito in the shower?”

You gotta figure the water droplets are as big or bigger than the mosquito, and they’re in a deadly stream that’s more or less stable, but with erratic gouts and sprays. And among these liquid missiles, a tiny fighter navigating a soggy meteor storm, the M-wing zigzags, banking, looping, rolling wildly to avoid eruptions ricocheting off the rather pasty planetoid ahead.

Port! Hard to starboard! Up! Up! OH MY GOD, THE LOOFAH! Abort! Our tiny, intrepid pilot circles, calculating her best angle of attack, diving to avoid a careless swing of the shampoo bottle. Her wings are getting sodden. The planetoid’s lurching doesn’t help, nor does the planetoid’s tendency to sing “Did Your Mother Come From Ireland” in a voice that makes the M-wing’s chitin rattle.

A droplet wings her! Calamity! She drops sideways, stalls, and plummets towards the ground, a deathtrap of wet tile and swirling water, sucked at high speed towards the wormhole of The Drain. At the last possible instant, she pulls up, skimming the rushing water with her landing gear, nearly dragged down, down, into oblivion. “Turbo!” she screams, pounding on the controls with a tiny claw. “I NEED TURBO!”

She gets it. The M-wing’s engine coughs, splutters, and engages. The pilot stares directly into the gaping maw of the Drain, and then the ship bucks and she shoots between the wrinkly pillars of the planetoid’s ankles.

And then she sees it. Damp, but not currently underwater, shielded from the deadly wetstorm by the bulk of the planetoid, the right knee provides a landing space. But whoa! The planetoid is holding the soap! It’s a race against time to deploy the proboscis and fuel up before deadly suds come careening down the leg and wash the M-wing into oblivion.

“Hurry, hurry, hurry…” she pleads with the craft, watching the fuel tank fill with terrible slowness. “Come on, baby, hurry…” The planetoid has moved on to “The Old Apple Tree,” a sort of greatest off-key family hits. She can see the suds now, a blinding wall of white, like a glacier, sweeping down on the M-wing in slow motion. The tank is three-quarters full. “Stupid machine!” she screams, pounding on the dashboard again, and then immediately, “Sorry, baby, I didn’t mean it, just hurry, or we’re all gonna die…”

The suds loom overhead. She can see the M-wing’s reflection in a thousand tiny bubbles. She commends her soul to the Sucker-of-Stars, goddess of mosquito pilots everywhere.

The fuel tank chimes full.

She wrenches the probascis loose, ignoring the screams of safety klaxons and a stern mechanical voice informing her that she, as owner of a brand new M-wing 749 fighter, has just voided her warranty. The landing gear pulls up and the M-wing hurls itself from the planetoid’s surface, and upward, over the shower door, to safety.

Behind her, the wall of suds crashes down.

And they wonder where I get my ideas…

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