Story :: Cordyceps

Not quite managed what I wanted with this but I ran out of time. I might have to come back and write more of it later! It’s a little ripped off The Last of Us, but I haven’t actually played that yet! So I guess it’s more ripped off The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, who did cordycep-infested-humans first and did it well. If you don’t know what cordyceps are, do go here and read about them, but prepared to be horrified!

Cordyceps (187 words)

The spore, once inhaled, was a death sentence.

Lucil had watched her brother slip from sensibility; he had been strong, and the change had not come quick enough. Her neighbours she had beaten to death, her face wrapped in layers of gauze and cling film to keep out the particles, so that even walking made her light-headed, and fighting had made her weak for hours after.

She lashed on her government-issued gas mask and headed city-side. She had long since learned to slip the eye of patrols. Others ran for food or guns, or took petty retrieval missions from those who had enough spare rations to get back lost belongings. Once a telemarketer by day and barmaid by night, Lucil’s new role gave her the kind of purpose she’d never had.

It was amazing what people would pay, even if they had barely enough to survive on. Nobody liked to think of their loved ones out there, gone mad with strange, implanted hormones. Lucil thought of the twisted left side of her brother’s face, cragged into nothingness. It was worth it for a little peace of mind.


Written for the CAKE.shortandsweet Wednesday Write-in.  Read my other free stories here.



About sarahgracelogan

Sarah Grace is an itinerant scribbler and general layabout. She runs a writing group called CAKE.shortandsweet, because any form of procrastination from actual writing is always attractive to the serious author of refined taste. When not distracted by laser pens, Sarah Grace writes novels, short stories and flash fiction, poetry, stage scripts and screenplays. She has performed her work at Stirred Poetry, Bad Language and Tongue in Cheek Manchester. Her first publication, Humping the Boonies is a self-published chapbook available directly from the author, or from Travelling Man, Manchester. You can find more details about her ongoing projects, not to mention a selection of free stories up for grabs right here on her blog. She also likes to talk about theatre, film, books, photography, and especially games and other things that involve collaborative storytelling. Sarah Grace likes feedback, in whatever form it comes.


  1. Pretty damn grim! She’s obviously a tough one! (A mangled sentence in second para calling for your attention.)

  2. That was awesome – what an amazing opening for a novel that would be!

  3. Tessa Sheppard

    I loved how she felt a sense of real purpose. Emotional and gripping. Well done!

  4. A great idea. You manage to say so much with such economy.
    That sentence is still a bit weird ‘Her neighbours her had beaten to death’. It’s confusing me right now. Not sure who’s beaten who.

    • Oops, didn’t catch that one, thank you 🙂 Perhaps it’s a habit of writing poetry but I seem to be struggling to write extended pieces at the moment, so I’m trying to go the other way and write as few words as possible to get a story across!

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