Welcome to another Monday One-Word Writing! In case you don’t know what this is all about, I take one word, usually suggested by one of you guys in the previous week’s comments, and develop it into a full short story. This week’s word, as you may be able to tell by the title above, is the word carnivore. I now leave you with the story!
Nina wandered by a large flowering plant. She couldn’t quite remember the name of it, which irked her greatly; as a botanist going for her doctorate in the field, she should be able to recognize every one of these plants. Except, of course, the one she was looking for. That plant should look completely foreign.
She wondered for a moment if she would even be able to discern if the plant was different from a known species. She had found out about it from a rather peculiar source – an Amazonian tribe that had only recently made contact with the civilized world.
Well, Nina hadn’t directly talked to the tribesmen, but rather her old professor and friend at Cambridge, a man who had spent six months with the tribe. He had learned of a powerful neurotoxin the men of the tribe used on the tips of their blow darts, and had suggested to Nina that she find the plant it came from.
And so here Nina was, in the middle of the jungle, hunting for a plant she might not even be able to find. The locals called it kanu-takadu in their language, which literally translated to “man-killer”. A fitting name for a plant with a deadly neurotoxin, Nina thought.
Her jungle guide was with the parked Jeep a half kilometer back, upon her request. He might know the jungle, but he didn’t know the plant, so he was useless to her. She pushed past a large fern leaf and came to a clearing. It was quite odd for such a clearing to occur in the middle of the river basin – usually the ground was always covered in gnarled tree roots or small plants. But this clearing had a pool of water in the center, surrounded by bare dirt.
Nina walked up to the pool and examined the water. There was no sign of any plant life in there, so she turned to move on, only to find her right foot had sank into the mud. She tried to pull it out, but her hiking boot came off and mud covered her sock. It felt cool, so she left her dirty sock on, figuring there would be more dirt to come.
She reached over and pried her boot from the mud. The mud felt cool to her fingers as well, but even stranger, it felt cool inside her fingers. She looked at her hand and realized her hand was slowly going numb. She tried to wiggle her fingers, but couldn’t control them.
With a start, she realized she couldn’t feel her entire right leg. Everything had gone numb, starting from her foot and moving up her body. With her good leg she could feel the mud slowly sucking her down. Quicksand, she thought, but not some normal kind of quicksand.
Neurotoxin. The word crossed her mind. But there was no time to think on it. She tried to crawl towards the solid ground of the jungle, but with her right leg completely limp and her arm slowly becoming useless, she made little progress, and smeared herself with more mud in the process.
When she saw she wasn’t going to get out, she cried out, “Help me!” She called three more times before her lower jaw began to go numb and the words became a soft slur of “Herp!” She sank deeper into the mud, until she was finally submerged. The last sensation she had before she died of asphyxiation was what felt like a leaf close over her face.
I hope you liked it! The word suggestion came from a reader who posted a comment on last week’s story, so if you have a word you’d like to see me try, please post a comment below! See you next week!