Bad shrooms

Reads: 281  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Something went awfully wrong deep within a newly discovered cave.

Submission for the Review chain contest using the prompt: There’s a sunrise in the air, that seems more like a sunset.

Red liquid seeped through his fingers down his side as John pressed his hand tightly against the gaping wound. Stumbling and barely awake he finally saw the mouth of the cave ahead. He’d made it, finally. He tried not to think about the rest of his team that he had lost, deep down in the cave. He tried not to think what happened down there, what he himself had done. With heavy, raspy breath he halted, almost falling over as he did. How badly he wanted to sit down, to no longer struggle against the tilting and tumbling of the world around him. But he knew that if he did that he would likely never rise again.

‘Is anyone there?’ he yelled out, his voice echoing on the walls surrounding him. The act seeping far more energy from him then he’d expected. There was no response.

‘Hello!?’ he tried again. Again no one answered.

‘Anyone hear me!?’

It remained quiet. And with a sinking feeling John knew that meant bad news. With considerable effort he took the last steps forward, stepping outside into the warm red glow of a rising sun climbing the horizon.

 

With tired eyes he stared at the red orb in the distance as it ascended. It was a beautiful sunrise, coloring the sky red and orange with pink clouds streaking it like lines of paint on an artist’s canvas. Its beauty a stark contrast to the scene on the ground before him where torn tents, broken and smashed equipment, and dead bodies littered the ground. He felt himself sink even further as he knew he was too late. The things had escaped, killed everyone within this outpost, and their spores were now likely drifting the winds, looking for new hosts to infect.

He had to warn the world, it was the all he could do now. With leaden legs he trudged on, making his way to the communications tent, hoping grimly to encounter no one alive. He tried his best not to look at the bodies that were strewn about as he went, but from the corner of his eyes he saw those dreaded mushrooms already growing on several of them. He was way too late.

 

He found the communications tent. Pulling the tarp away and peering inside he was relieved to find the gear within still intact. With the last of his energy he moved to the station and turned the knobs, trying to find a signal as he repeated in between his coughing fits into the microphone,

‘This is John Smith broadcasting from expedition outpost Nano, does anybody read?’

He kept repeating this phrase, turning the knob as he did. But all he heard was static. Only a few frequencies seemed to pick up some sounds, but what he heard on those he didn’t like at all. Frenzied yelling, gunfire, screams, and none of them replied to his message. He had been too late, far too late.

He felt his breathing becoming more laboured, his eyelids trying to shut. Knowing his time was limited, he recorded a message instead,

‘This is John Smith from expedition outpost Nano, we have had a containment breach concerning a primordial fungus that has been confirmed to be extremely dangerous. It infects its host and makes it hostile against every living thing around it. All lifeforms are at risk. Please, stay inside, stay safe.’

He didn’t add that infected hosts would stay completely aware of their actions as they were infected, remembering all too well how he screamed, cried and apologized profusely as he kept stabbing his coworkers, as they did the same. He was the last survivor of a battle royale down in the caves as a mishap had infected everyone, and had escaped the cave as a result. From what he could tell, the fungus needed only their corpses as some kind of seedbed for them to multiply itself. Their means of infection was solely to provide themselves with corpses as it did little else but control a small part of their brain that was responsible for their hostile behavior.

 

A coughing fit overtook him, spraying blood everywhere. Setting the message on repeat he left it to be transmitted continuously. Hoping that at least someone would hear it. Exhausted he left the tent, and sat with his back against the tarp. The sun was still rising on the horizon, lighting the world with a warm red glow, and John looked at the beautiful sight. But while the rays of the sun warmed his skin, he felt himself only grow colder. Instead of the world around him growing brighter as a new day began, he found his surroundings growing darker and darker. He felt himself drifting, and his breathing slowing down. He thought about his family, his friends. And as the world around him turned to the cold and black of night the last thing he thought was about wanting to tell them how sorry he was.


Submitted: May 14, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Paul Jagar. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Doria sanders

Nice work.

Wed, May 20th, 2020 3:01pm

Author
Reply

Thanks!

Wed, May 20th, 2020 9:31am

Archia

I loved this, I thought it was a very intriguing idea and you carried it off excellently. What I really liked was how this wasn't overly long, you made every idea come off clearly, and I felt like I entirely understood the idea of these shrooms and what they do. It sounds like such a terrible thing, it makes me grimace thinking about it. But that's what made this great and I loved seeing what had happened and what was happening.

Sun, May 31st, 2020 12:26am

Author
Reply

Thanks a lot. I'm glad you liked it!

Sun, May 31st, 2020 10:55am

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