Second and last part
A bird chirp brought a new dawn.
Milk Monster was delighted to find that he had grown a little bit bigger.
He flapped his wings and felt light on his feet.
But he didn’t fly in the end and instead fell clumsily onto the leaf.
And it woke Watermelon.
“Hubbub, what are you doing?” he asked with sleepy eyes.
“I’m not Hubbub….I’m a mosquito.”
“Okay. Okay. Birdbrain, what are you doing?”
Milk Monster continued to sit on the leaf, depressed.
“What’s the matter?”
“I can’t fly…”
Milk Monster was becoming desperate.
Oh no, this kid had better not be disabled, Watermelon thought.
But he cracked a smile and said, “That’s no problem.”
Then he flew in a circle twice, landed, grabbed Milk Monster and took off again.
They flew together for the first time.
The sun watched this strange scene from high up in the sky.
It was the first time Watermelon stayed this close to him on his own accord. With his body so tightly pressed against him, Milk Monster suddenly had a strange feeling.
“Where are we going?”
Only then did Milk Monster realize he had not eaten for days.
“Yeah!” He gave a forceful nod, so excited he felt a bit lightheaded.
Why was he excited? Clearly, it was because of the hunger….
By the time they reached the flowerbed, Watermelon was a bit tired.
They stopped on a rose petal, rich in colour like a beauty’s lips or like blood.
“What are we eating?”
Milk Monster asked, sitting on the petal.
Before the question ended, Watermelon had dove into the centre of the flower.
When Watermelon reappeared, Milk Monster was zoning out.
When he saw Watermelon, he asked, “Where’s the food?”
Watermelon didn’t speak. He approached, stuck their mouths together and passed the honey to Milk Monster.
“Mom, what are they doing?” asked a bee.
“They’re kissing, my child.”
Yes, they kissed. Their first kiss.
The first kiss of two mosquitoes.
Dumbly, Milk Monster accepted the food, but he felt hot like he was burning all over.
He moved his head back and said, “So hot.”
Watermelon asked, “Where?”
“I…I don’t know…What the heck was that?!”
“I was feeding you.”
“I can eat by myself!”
“Fine, then show me your flying.”
Watermelon was maybe just a little bit angry.
You ungrateful boy.
You ungrateful birdbrain, how dare you giggle like that.
That afternoon, the air was a bit heavy.
The dark clouds hugged the blue sky and made it disappear. The sun disappeared, too.
“Watermelon, hear me out, okay?” Milk Monster said earnestly, “I think butterflies are really pre…”
“It’s about to rain,” Watermelon interrupted.
Milk Monster had barely processed the words when – wham! – he almost fainted from being hit by a raindrop.
Mosquitoes were too small and weak, not to mention he was a malformed mosquito.
Watermelon immediately took Milk Monster into his embrace and lifted off into the air in search of a hideout.
He had a hard time carrying his and Milk Monster’s weight while taking a beating from the rain drops.
But he gripped the little fellow tightly and flew like he had never flown before.
When Milk Monster woke, he was mostly dried.
He saw Watermelon sitting to the side appearing doleful.
He called hesitantly, “Watermelon?”
Then, he saw for the first time Watermelon looking so helpless.
“What do I do…” he wondered dumbly. “I think I like you, Birdbrain.”
“Eh?” Milk Monster was confused. “Like me?”
Then Milk Monster, as always, ruined the mood.
He asked seriously, “What’s that? Can you eat it?”
“Eat your ass!” Watermelon barked, his usual self again.
Then, enraged, he took off into the air.
“But I really don’t know…Watermelon!”
Milk Monster wanted to go after him, but he could not.
He plopped down, helpless, and began counting his legs.
He counted from dusk to midnight, from midnight to dawn, but Watermelon still did not come back.
Milk Monster had never felt so terrible. It was worse than his fight to be hatched, worse than being trapped in the chrysalis, even worse than being beat by rain.
Where did Watermelon go?
Why, why did he leave me behind?
Around noon, Watermelon flew back.
Milk Monster ran circles around him, apologizing and expressing how much he had missed him.
Paying no attention, Watermelon fed him some tree sap and complained, “You’re too small, Birdbrain. I almost couldn’t find you.”
“But that’s what I am, a tiny mosquito…”
Milk Monster thought that mosquitoes were the smallest organisms on earth, and he was the smallest among the mosquitoes…
That leisurely afternoon, they lay on a dark green parasol tree leaf.
“What exactly is…like? I…”
“Well, you can’t eat it, all right?”
“It’s like…feeling like you miss somesquito.”
Then followed dead silence.
“Liking a birdbrain,” Watermelon started suddenly. “You worry if he’s hungry or sleepy, you worry he’ll get blown away by the wind, you think about him so much that you can’t sleep if you’re not by his side, that you suddenly come to love the sun and hate the rain and enjoy the breeze.”
“You want to fly to the Arctic with him.” Watermelon felt devastated, his head drooping. “And fly forever.”
“Hee hee, that’s perfect. I like you a lot!” Milk Monster giggled. “I like you the most!”
The low-hanging sun was spectacular so long as it didn’t set.
“What’s even more than like?”
“Even more than like?”
“Then do you love me?”
“I think…” But before Watermelon could finish, Milk Monster blurted, “I love you!”
Then he rolled over and began snoring.
“Good morning!” Milk Monster was extremely excited. “It’s the 17th!”
“Five more days, five more days until constant daylight at the Arctic!”
“The Arctic is really big…there is a North Pole where it’s constant daylight for half a year.”
“What? Then why did you say the 22nd?”
“That spot is too far, you idiot,” Watermelon explained. “I said the 22nd because that’s when the place where constant daylight occurs is closest to us.”
“Yay! Yay!” Milk Monster clapped. “Then let’s go! C’mon!”
Watermelon sighed. Why did he have to tell this dumdum about this in the first place?
“Take me there, pleaaaase.”
“Take me theeeerrrreeee.” Milk Monster began wiggling around.
“The Arctic is really cold!” Watermelon let out a truly angry burst. “You retard!”
“No buts, you knucklehead. Go to sleep!”
“But it’s still bright!”
“Go to sleep!”
“You bird –”
“Birdbrain! I know! Hmmph!”
Milk Monster was mad, or better yet, he was heartbroken.
He felt cheated.
Thus, for that entire morning, they both ignored each other.
They didn’t realize that this was a foolish act, one that was wasteful.
Noontime, the sticky honey made the two mosquitoes go back to normal.
“Let’s go to the Arctic!” said Watermelon out of nowhere.
“Yes, right now.”
“Oh yay!” Milk Monster was elated, no, he was elevated!
“Oh my Mosquito!”
Milk Monster was surprised to find himself hovering. “I can fly! Watermelon, I can fly!”
“Yeah.” Watermelon pulled a tiny smile. He had a lot on his mind.
Thus, in the afternoon, they embarked heading north.
“Then let’s take a rest.”
When the sun was about to set, they landed on a small tree branch.
Milk Monster saw many of their kind locked together in pairs.
“What are they doing?”
“To have babies.”
“Oh. Let me say hi!”
The fact he could fly now made him unusually lively. He flew towards the pairs of mosquitoes.
“Hi, bug!” Milk Monster was always kind of stupid.
“Hubbub yourself,” one of the mosquitoes said.
“Hee hee, sorry. Are you copulating?”
“Yuh-huh,” another mosquito replied.
He looked at the mosquito by his side and displayed a smile of happiness. “We like each other.”
“You like each other?!” Hearing that word again, Milk Monster was riled up again. “That’s why you copulate?”
“Not to have babies?!”
“That’s just another…”
“Wow, thank you! I’m leaving now, bye!”
Milk Monster didn’t know why he was so excited, but he was.
Rejuvenated, he flew back to Watermelon amid the twilight.
He was panting wildly when he landed.
“What happened to you?” asked Watermelon.
“What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” Watermelon became concerned. The little fellow didn’t look too good.
What was to come was inevitable, but Watermelon was still taken aback.
He had not prepared an explanation.
“We…We can’t copulate.”
“But why?!” For the third time, Milk Monster felt depressed.
“Because…because we don’t need babies.”
“You liar! They said they copulate because they like each other! You liar!” Milk Monster said everything in one breath and then began turning in circles – this was his way of venting.
“Don’t…” Seeing this, Watermelon’s heart ached. Although he was willing to copulate with Milk Monster, there was nothing he could do.
They were both male.
“Those two mosquitoes you saw, one had hair, the other didn’t, right?”
Milk Monster didn’t reply.
“One had a scary looking mouthpiece, and the other didn’t, right?”
Not wanting to speak, Milk Monster merely nodded.
“One is male, the other is female…” Watermelon looked up mournfully at the darkening sky. “They are right. We…we are wrong.”
“Why are we wrong? What did we do?”
“We’re both male…”
“But there’s nothing wrong with that!”
“But we like each other…”
We like each other. That’s why it’s wrong.
Watermelon thought to himself.
Milk Monster didn’t speak anymore because he didn’t know what to say.
They each harboured their own distinct, tiny piece of sorrow, but they were both just as helpless.
Only the heavens knew how they made it through that uncanny night.
When Venus appeared in the sky, Milk Monster murmured, “Watermelon…” His thin, soft leg touched the other mosquito. “We’re both male mosquitoes…there’s nothing wrong with that.”
The world seemed to have gone silent to listen, tranquil and melancholy.
Watermelon didn’t respond.
“We like each other…there’s nothing wrong with that, either,” he continued carefully, wanting to express all of his thoughts. “Those are two different matters, no? So…so we are not wrong…” What silly Milk Monster didn’t say was that this was the most precious epiphany he had in his mosquito life – regarding the two of them.
“The sun’s up. We should hit the road,” Watermelon said.
Milk Monster’s head and wings were drooping low.
“What’s wrong?” Watermelon noticed now that Milk Monster was wet all over as though he was wearing a light veil.
“Were you crying?” Watermelon didn’t know why he thought so, since he knew mosquitoes could not shed tears.
But he became stubborn for the first time. “Were you crying?”
Milk Monster ignored him and took to the air.
Watermelon hurried after him.
“I’m sorry…” he said. “I can’t change anything…”
“How much farther until the Arctic?” Milk Monster instead asked.
“Can we get there before dark?”
Milk Monster kept flying, and all seemed peaceful.
How much farther is it? Milk Monster, must you go there? Watermelon thought silently.
For the first time he realized his insignificance – he was nothing but a mosquito.
We are all too insignificant before the adamantine rules of nature.
Afternoon, the wind grew strong.
Under pressure-gradient force, the air moved along the pressure gradient from high pressure systems to low pressure systems. Thus, wind was formed.
Nature was always a force to be reckoned with – Milk Monster was ripped away by the wind.
His head spun and his vision blurred. The wind was like whips on his body.
Then, he fell to the ground, unconscious.
When he woke, he found that he and Watermelon were on a round thing.
It was very big, and it was very fragrant.
“What is this?” Milk Monster began to turn in circles.
“An apple,” answered Watermelon.
Milk Monster studied a black stick-like thing, exclaiming, “So thick…”
“Heh.” Watermelon’s laugh sounded unnatural.
“It looks delicious…” Milk Monster rubbed his thin legs against the apple – slippery. He looked up with an earnest look. “Can we eat it?”
Watermelon smiled. “I’m afraid not.”
“Because there’s no way for you to eat it, and…”
Suddenly the apple tree gave a wild jerk, and they quickly took to the air.
A group of large creatures that looked alike climbed onto the tree and picked some apples, put them in a bamboo basket and left.
“They’re huge…” said Milk Monster.
“They’re humans,” explained Watermelon.
“Humans?” Milk Monster didn’t get it.
Humans…what giant bugs they are! He thought.
Then he flapped his wings and flew towards the humans.
Watermelon did the same and followed him.
The sky gradually darkened, but the humans’ houses were as bright as day.
In the middle of the room was a huge table. Two humans were sitting, discussing something.
“We’ve got lots of bugs this year. See?” The man held up two apples with holes.
“This can’t go on. I told you to use the chemicals, didn’t I?” the woman retorted.
“But the government said not to…” The man sounded helpless.
“Why do you care about them?!” The woman was a little vexed now.
“True. Then next year…”
Before he finished – slap – the woman hit something.
“What was that?” the man asked.
The woman clapped her hands together. “Nothing. Just a mosquito.”
Watermelon’s mind went blank. He recalled that mosquito named Milk Monster tell him in giggles, “Watermelon! I’m going to eat the apple!”
Were those his last words?!
Watermelon began a crazed search.
He didn’t believe it. He absolutely couldn’t believe that the birdbrain who was talking and laughing with him just now could well be dead and in a dozen pieces.
Birdbrain…you forgot…we haven’t gone to the Arctic yet…
Night had finally reached the room after the lights went off.
Watermelon flew around and around – he had to at least see the body.
His wings flapped through disappointment. His temperature seemed full of vitality in the icy air, but the deathly hopelessness all around him seemed to glow in the dark. Gradually he grew tired.
But the next moment the hopelessness disappeared. He saw limbs that belonged to his kind, tattered on the ground.
Short, thin legs, and a torn, malformed wing.
Suddenly, the disappointment disappeared.
He thought, he must be dead.
He picked up what belonged to Milk Monster and slowly took flight – he didn’t know where he was headed.
I will take you to the Arctic.
That was the last thing that went through Watermelon’s mind before leaving the place.
Behind the wooden table leg in the dark room was a tiny mosquito’s sigh.
“Watermelon…” he breathed. “Where are you…”
This wasn’t a morning. It was merely a night with light.
Watermelon grew lethargic. He had no destination.
He was leaning against a trunk, looking at the limbs.
Every mosquito must meet death, he thought.
Under the tree, amid the messy leaves were messy piles of bodies – of bugs.
Watermelon looked at them.
Milk Monster didn’t even have a whole corpse… Watermelon regretted it.
The idea suddenly occurred to him that he should find the rest of Milk Monster.
Give him a whole corpse.
Thus, he returned to that disgusting house.
The same two humans were there, eating breakfast.
Disgusting humans, disgusting food, disgusting sounds.
Careful so as not to enter their field of vision, Watermelon began his search for Milk Monster’s corpse.
When he spotted a tiny, broken, curled body by the table leg, he nearly fainted.
He flew forward like a bullet.
“Milk Monster…” His corpse appeared no different than a live mosquito.
“Milk Monster, we’ll go to the Arctic.”
He brought the body into his arms.
Then he heard a tiny moan.
So tiny a mosquito could barely hear it.
It was probably the wildest utterance in Watermelon’s life.
“You’re alive? Milk Monster!”
“Mhm.” It was a sigh but also a joyful response.
Watermelon held him tightly and said to him, “I love you, Birdbrain.”
Although the evening wind was chilly and he had carried Milk Monster for a day, he was physically tired but mentally energetic.
“Are you tired?”
They watched the moon together. The moon was lonely.
“Humans…why did they have to kill me?”
“They’re sick!” Watermelon spat with venom.
But the reality was that a human’s hand was the end of many mosquitoes.
“I didn’t do anything wrong…. I didn’t even eat their apple….”
“They just think we’re dirty.”
“Dirty?” Milk Monster didn’t understand.
“Humans are more bloodthirsty, more filthy, more frightening than mosquitoes. They wear a priest’s robes and think themselves to be holy saints.”
“Maybe…” Milk Monster still didn’t understand. But he knew one thing. He didn’t do anything, but humans wanted him dead.
Fortunately, he was still alive, and their story continues.
He was indeed alive but was extremely weak.
His legs and wing couldn’t possibly grow back.
June 20th, they flew back to their birthpond.
Watermelon didn’t tell Milk Monster that they had only been flying in circles all this time and had returned to their birthpond which was nearby.
He never planned to take Milk Monster to the Arctic. He knew very well how ridiculous a fantasy that was.
They stopped on a leaf floating on water. The veins spread wildly out in all directions, but the leaf was weak because it had lost life.
“We’ve returned,” announced Watermelon.
“Ha. Ha.” Milk Monster laughed awkwardly as he scanned the strange yet familiar surroundings.
“We’re not going to the Arctic?” asked Milk Monster.
“You need rest.”
“Yes, so tired.” Milk Monster looked at the sun. It was filled with light and heat but was so incredibly far.
“Why are you…so stubborn…about the sun?” Watermelon had never understood.
Milk Monster gazed at the round globe. “I don’t like the cold.”
“Oh…” Watermelon didn’t know what to say.
I’m here. Why would you be cold?
He hugged Milk Monster and said, “Milk Monster.”
“I forgot to tell you.” Watermelon smiled warmly. “Your sun is actually me.”
Milk Monster’s eyes widened a little.
Perhaps he understood nothing.
But he said, “Then I’m not going to the Arctic.”
Watermelon merely kept smiling. He knew, Milk Monster couldn’t go anywhere.
“How much longer do I have?” On this desolate, icy night, Milk Monster began to feel death approaching.
“A long, long time.” Watermelon caressed Milk Monster.
“Perfect. I can bathe in the sun for a long time.”
Watermelon smiled ruefully. They didn’t have much longer.
“I still have so many things I don’t understand…” It sounded like Milk Monster was leaving his will. “I mean, we should be able to copulate…”
“Yeah, of course we can. Let’s copulate after your body recovers,” said Watermelon.
“Hee hee…” Milk Monster knew it was a lie, but he still uttered it. “We’ll have lots and lots of baby mosquitoes…”
“Yup, that’s right!”
“Take them to the Arctic…”
“Of course, I will.”
“What about me?”
“You’re coming with!”
The sun rose very early.
Its light was a little too bright.
“The sun’s up, Milk Monster,” said Watermelon. “Don’t let it go to waste, all right.”
“Get up, now. The sunshine’s wonderful today.”
“Hey, Birdbrain. I’m going to get mad if you don’t get up.”
Watermelon leaned in close and stuck his face against Milk Monster’s face.
“Are you cold?” he asked.
Then came quietude. The whole world went silent.
“You’re cold.” Watermelon picked him up. “I guess we still have to go to the Arctic…”
Thus, he took flight.
The noon sun was stinging. Watermelon lay lazily on a tree holding the speechless Milk Monster.
“When are you waking up, Birdbrain?” asked Watermelon. “I’m bored to death…”
“Mosquito, what is the matter?” the pine tree asked.
“What’s the matter, you ask? I fell in love with a male mosquito.”
Then Pine Tree guffawed until he shed tears.
The aroma of pine enveloped the two mosquitoes.
And fell to the ground.
This is the ending of the story.
The two mosquitoes wrapped in amber grew tired, and instead of flying, went into slumber.
Milk Monster had always felt cold in this lifetime and wanted to fly to the Arctic where the sun never set.
But the place he wanted to go was one where the sun was not warm and where the heat succumbed to the cold.
Perhaps what he needed was not the sun.
He yearned for the diminishing temperature that the blazing sun bestowed across a vast distance while forgetting that the thing that made him fall in love with warmth in the first place was right beside him.
When ideals falsely conceal love and other necessities, one sees a path with no end and believes that to be life.
Watermelon knew all along they could not go to the Arctic.
What was extremely distant was not just the distance.
A male mosquito’s life is merely twenty days.
Whether a lonesome reincarnation or a repeated tragedy in the next life, he doesn’t understand love while he doesn’t dare to love – they cannot love, so what does it matter whether they meet again or not?
Water and fire meet and instantly become memories.
Nobody would ever feel pity or regret.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
ayszhang: Now...what do you think :')
The Story of Two Male Mosquitoes - English Translation by ayszhang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.