She instinctively awoke in the cramped, moist darkness. The smell was intoxicating. Such a bountiful food source to go to waste, she lamented. Alas, it was her time to go.

She shed her cocoon and wriggled to a place with a softer potential exit. Her sisters followed close behind. Her host was finally aware of their presence. She could hear his muffled, panicked whimpers. He was on the move. Time was short.

She unfolded her mandibles and commenced burrowing. Her host’s cries grew more frantic. She could feel his fist pounding just outside the fleshy prison wall. He was trying to thwart her efforts. They all do, she was told by her instinct. Finally he stopped running, no doubt doubled over in pain.

She continued her efforts until finally, her mandibles met no resistance. Cool air rushed in and enveloped her and her sisters. Her host had grown silent. He lay lifelessly in a secluded alley. Perfect, she reveled. Seclusion was exactly what she needed.

She carefully removed all sets of her legs from the crude hole that she created. When she was out of him, her sisters followed suit. They spread their wings and took flight in separate directions. Freedom at last!

She scanned the cities’ streets. There were so many potential hosts bustling in the sidewalks. Then, finally, in the back lot of a restaurant! A perfect host was removing garbage from his business.

She swooped down and released her noxious gas, temporarily incapacitating him. She worried for her children’s children. They will have a tougher time finding hosts. There are fewer and fewer to go around with every hatching.

When she took flight, he woke, none the wiser. Just a dizzy spell, he assumed. He took a pill for his diabetes and brushed himself off. He does not realize that he is the host to her children. In mere weeks, the cycle will begin anew.

"Fluttering Parasites"
Copyright: © 2009 Brian Barnett

Brian Barnett lives with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Michael, in Frankfort, Kentucky.To date, he has published over forty-five stories since he began publishing in November 2008.

He has been published by, Flashes in the Dark, Static Movement, The New Flesh Blogzine, Midnight Screaming Magazine, The Monsters Next Door, Sonar4 Ezine, Blood Moon Rising, Flashshot, Black Lantern Blogzine, Dark Fire Fiction, Burst Fiction, The Daily Tourniquet, Yellow Mama, The Lesser Flamingo, and The Short Humour Site.

He was co-editor the anthology “Toe Tags: 21 Spine-Tingling Tales from the Best New Authors of Horror” with William Pauley III.

Fluttering Parasites - Originally published by MicroHorror - 6/19/09


  1. Now I have to worry about noxious gas too. Thanks, Brian. ;) Chilling story!

  2. Egad! A skin-crawler, fer sure. Dammit, now I'm itchy. Thanks...