Mosquito Song: Dreams in Old San Juan, is my new short story now available for downloads in the Kindle store. The story takes place on the last day of summer in 2018. But it was born 14 years ago on a trip to Old San Juan from a strange dream, and then developed during the Zika virus crisis two years ago. At that time I was at Everyday Health, writing the 10 Essential Facts about Zika Virus, my most successful health story. While researching each day to get the facts about Zika virus and the mosquito hosts that transmit the disease, I wondered: What if a mosquito could talk to us, could sing, what would they say? How do they see us? What is the mosquito’s story?
Mosquito Song is set in New York City, where I work as a City Research Scientist now, and the story also takes place in Puerto Rico. I hope to bring the two worlds together in the arc of the main character, a scientist, who changes from being distant from her work and others, to being more present. She starts in the city, objectifying subjects of her research. Yet she ends being totally immersed in it, in an extremely personal way, in Old San Juan.
I bring my memories of the beauty of Puerto Rico into my story, contrasting with the stark realities of a scientist’s life in the city. The photos here, are from my trip. While the new story is fictional, it draws extensively on my experiences and research, to create a virus-hunter’s journey in search of disease causing genes.
Water is a theme in Mosquito Song, as water enables the mosquito to breed and carry many of the previously tropical diseases we now fear, even as far north as New York City.
With the terrible devastation of hurricane Maria, the threat of disease from flooded area waters is even greater. The haunting seaside graveyard and the community beside it, La Perla, is most vulnerable to the dangers water brings. Walking here, the main character in Mosquito Song confronts her fears.
I hope that you will find this new story interesting, and please consider leaving a review for new readers.