Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Parasite Hilton - the ovipositor 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWhile performing my zombie research I came across this horrid victim of adaptation in the animal kingdom, the zombie roach. I have long been enthralled by parasites but this one is even too much for me. I’ve now decided that the scariest word in the English language is ovipositor. This nasty example of parasitism reminds me of a scary story I read year ago called "Love me Tender" by Bob Shaw. Here’s the outline of the plot.

While fleeing on foot through the Florida Everglades, an escaped prisoner comes across a shack. He bangs on the door and an old man reluctantly allows him in. The escapee, a real lowlife, demands hospitality. He can tell the old man is a drinker and demands liquor. He notices that the shack is mostly bare except for shelves and shelves of jarred specimens. He and the old man get drunk together, and the old man warms up to him and begins to show him some of the specimens, mostly insects. He tells his uninvited guest that he is a lepidopterist who specializes in the study of mimicry, and that the jars hold different species that employ mimicry. He shows him some of his most prized specimens, but the escapee is hardly interested. The old man gets drunker and begins to brag about how he has found a new mimic species that will stun the scientific community and finally grant him the recognition he deserves. The escapee grows bored with the old man’s rambling, especially when he starts in about some terrible Seminole legend, and notices a locked door. The old man panics and tells him not to go in there, that there’s nothing but a bed in there. The escapee, intrigued, goes toward the door. The old man tries to stop him and the escapee savagely knocks him to the ground. The old man hits his head on the side of the table and dies. The escapee decides to see what is behind the door and he breaks the lock and opens the door. Through the gloom he sees a beautiful Indian maiden lying on the bed, her lower body covered by a sheet. He approaches her and she smiles. She seems mute and he sits down on the bed next to her and begins to force himself on her. Instead of screaming for help, though, the woman eagerly kisses him. They embrace and he rips the sheet away from her and then…

The ovipositor projecting from the she-creature’s groin was a tapering, horny spike. Transparent eggs were already flowing from the aperture at its tip, bubbling and winking, sliming its sides, adding to the jellied mass of spawn which had gathered on her distended abdomen. Massick had time for a single whimper of despair, then the she-creature was on him, bearing down with an inhuman strength which was scarcely necessary. The first probing stab from the ovipositor had hurt for only an instant, then ancient and merciful chemistries had taken over, obliterating all pain, inducing a flaccid paralysis which gripped his entire frame. He lay perfectly still, hushed and bemused, as his lover worked on him, stabbing again and again, skillfully avoiding vital organs, filling his body cavities with the eggs which would soon produce a thousand hungry larvae….

The story ends with him in a drowsy, languid, oddly peaceful state, unable to move, while she watches over him, attending to his every need, waiting…

Brrr, scary! But who needs horror stories when you've got things like this courtesy of Mother Nature?

very descriptive and creepy...i like it.
yuck! i like bugs and all, but somehow, roaches just cross over that line.

on the other hand, the singing group The Roaches sings my very favorite rendition of Walking In a Winter Wonderland...

okay, ew. Creepy creepy creepy for my Friday. Even though that story really makes my skin crawl, I will have to remember it next time I am around a campfire with the nephew.
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