The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Nina D’Arcangela
Growing in clusters and well cocooned in a thistle-like brush, this non-indigenous species has begun to bud on the south-western side of Pular. The stratovolcano has been active for some time now, emitting noxious fumes that have kept researchers and volcanologist rife with both anticipation and abundant caution. As the area is unstable, we are unsure if the flora emit carbon dioxide or not, though other plant species in the area seem to be dwindling which would indicate a rise of gaseous fumes that smother what sparse life is able to grow there in the first place.
Recent reports seem to indicate that when the bud has reached maturity, it will detach from the stem allowing for a new bud to form. This naturally occurring ‘dead-head’ process releases the buds in what might be referred to as a rhythmic pulse. Once the buds separate from the mother plant, they begin gathering in small clusters, making their way toward the western shoreline of Chile along the Pacific coast. There is a sense of waiting, a pregnant pause if you will, in the tension forming in the seemingly endless row of invaders.
One can only deduce that a sufficient number have gathered as the thousands of buds lining the shore have begun to mobilize. Waves of what look like gray sleigh bells have entered the water, and appear to be moving with intent toward the continental shelf.
Two weeks have passed, and what we initially believed to be floral pods are clearly presenting as small aquatic beings. Unlike the naturally occurring creatures in the depths of the ocean, these lifeforms appear to be toxic to any fish, crustacean, or invertebrates they manage to hunt down or infiltrate. At this rate, predictive algorithms suggest all life in our oceans will be consumed within a matter of six to eight months, though I would posit that figure to be shy of the actual impending depletion. As more buds bloom, detach, and make their way to the water, I would suggest that six months of life left on planet Earth is a generous estimate.
Fiction © Copyright Nina D’Arcangela
Image courtesy of Pixabay
More from Nina D’Arcangela:
Mental Ward: EXPERIMENTS
A dank basement, shadow filled hallways, the deep echo of a metal latch being thrown while faint screams are heard… These are the things you might experience in a place where the unspeakable happens, where conscientious action and moral turpitude turn a blind eye in the interest of advancing one’s own personal pursuits in the most deranged and unjustifiable manner. The type of place where power corrupts, and depravity runs rampant among those imbued with it. A place where the unfortunate are abandoned to the devices of those who convince themselves their actions are in the best interest of science.
Mental Ward: Experiments is a collection of ten short stories that demonstrate the worst of humanity’s ambition in the interest of ‘civilized’ advancement. Step into a world where sanity is left behind, and horror is what the doctor ordered!