War has been raging. Cool air settles back into morning and evening and marks the final days of summer. Knowing their end is nigh, the evil forces have reunited for one last offensive against me. 

 Last night alternated between sleeplessness and strange dreams. I awoke with new bites. Too many new bites to be the work of just one blood sucking enemy – no, as if they had calculated their dead from the summer classroom battles and marked me for revenge, they came hunting. 

 But they don’t call me Doff the Destroyer for nothing, and like that film I haven’t seen yet, I’ve flipped the hunting game right over.  Three I’ve killed since arriving home. One I scared out from under the bed with a strobing torch and the last was a show down in the tiny kitchen – I saw it by the olive oil, whacked on the big light and closed the door.  “Just me and you sucker, and one of us is going to die.” Ten minutes later, die it did: on the black bowl of the washing machine with a smear of my own blood. A bittersweet victory.

 This war has left me weary, paranoid and taut, seeing drifting blackness out of eye corners and hearing that faint buzz round the edges of my ears. Yet there is one left, somewhere in here, I can sense it. I know you too well now. And I’ll get you, I will.  I’m going to brush my teeth, cover myself in tea tree oil, lay in bed and wait, like a blood-filled Trojan horse, to deliver the death that will lead, finally, to peace.