Monday, November 1, 2010

Twitch by Curcio

By Curcio

For the Good Doctor, forty seven years of obsession end tonight.

     Who would have thought that history could be made in such a disagreeable place?  Amidst scattered beekers and haphazardly stacked reference materials, innumerable tubes and wires, endless scribblings and abandoned theories in the form of crumpled balls of paper?  Yet the time was drawing near that it would be so.  In the dusty confines of his lab, Julius Rittenour was a man obsessed; the burgeoning fruit of his labors a culmination of squandered fortune, neglected relationships, yawning ambition and an abandoned career as a prominent entymologist.

    Years before, while participating in a study of ants in the indonesian rainforest, he had learned that his passion had a name:  Cordyceps.  A parasitic fungus with the peculiar habit of infecting a very specific species of ant.  Interesting enough in and of itself, only there existed a strain which went to macabre and even insidious extremes.


    After becoming embedded in the joints of a victim's exoskeleton, the spores would sprout mycelium, or tendrils, that coursed through the insect's innards, quite purposefully seeking the brain.  Once there, they synthesized proteins mimicking those present in the host's nervous system and, here was the hook, assumed control of the victim's motor skills.

    Mind control.  Boorish and primitive, but mind control all the same.

    The implications were staggering to a young Dr. Rittenour and his life from that moment forward had been dedicated to isolating and controlling this phenomenon.  Forty seven years of tortured inquisitiveness had passed.

    A fresh cadaver purchased from a seedy mortician in Ambe Wadi-- a beggar no doubt, or a convict-- served as his subject, and the good doctor performed a transfusion of it's blood after innoculating it with a cordyceps militaris derivative.  It would be a crude display of potential at best, probably not more than...there it was...

    A twitch.

© Copyright 2010 Curcio. All rights reserved.
 Curcio has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.


  1. Very fresh and intriguing. Great tale, Curcio.

  2. I agree with you Mary. I like Curcio's style.