THE MOSQUITO COAST (1986) is a film about an eccentric inventor who moves to Honduras’ Mosquito Coast with his family to build a better civilization.
12/08/09 | Film

The Mosquito Coast

by Marcos Soriano

A mosquito danced in front of the screen, only a few inches from his face, or maybe a foot, then bobbed up and away from it, slipping into the darkness of the room. He tried to find it with his eyes, but couldn’t, and it gave him an uncomfortable feeling. With his fingers on the keyboard, his nose aimed toward the center of the screen, his eyes scanning the darkness above and beyond—he could not find the mosquito.

He stood up from his chair and walked to the wall near the door. He flipped on the light switch. He stood there quietly, watching.

Nothing in the room seemed to move.

He walked over to the computer again, and passed his hand over the top of the screen.

The mosquito coasted into view. In its herky-jerky, up-and-down bouncing flight it came toward his face. He pulled his head away, twisting his neck as he did, trying to follow the mosquito’s path. But he lost it again.

Facing away from the computer now, still once more, he scanned the room. He could not see it. He shuffled his feet and watched the carpet. He tracked his eyes along the line where the ceiling met the wall, and saw a black shape, tiny from this distance. It was above the table where he ate his meals.

He walked over to the table, pulled a chair back and stepped up onto the seat. The mosquito still yo-yoed near the wall, up by the ceiling. He reached forward with this hand, and pressed the mosquito against the wall. He pulled his hand away. The mosquito dropped onto the table.

It was big, for a mosquito. It must have measured over a centimeter in length, and its wings were longer and wider than grains of rice. He reached with his fingers, and picked it up by its wings. It did not move in his grasp.

The mosquito’s proboscis was as long and thick as one of its legs. He pressed against the proboscis lightly with his finger, and felt disappointed when the little thing didn’t sink into his flesh. He carried the mosquito over to his fish tank, and dropped it onto the surface of the water. It looked smaller in the tank, buffeted by the surface currents, dwarfed by bubbles passing by. And it couldn’t be seen at all from beneath the surface.

He stood there a moment, then walked back to the computer. He sat down and typed a few more words.