This is December’s offering to Gobblers/Masticadores, a strange story inspired by an infection called Wolbachia which is found amongst anthropods and isopods. When infected, male woodlice can turn into female woodlice who then only produce female offspring. The world is a weirdly wonderful place!
by Rae Cod
“How long has he been infected with the parasite, Mr Kant?” asked Doctor Fenton, keeping her face as neutral as possible. This was the tenth case presenting with intensive acceleration they’d had this week. The patient – the host – was under sedation in isolation; isolation to supposedly protect others from the parasite, sedation to protect the patient’s own sanity: the National Health Service just didn’t have the resources to deal with something like this.
“He was infected in the first wave, so I guess about six months ago, we’ve been really careful since then, followed the guidelines not to touch…except…”
Dr Fenton’s ears pricked up, “except?”
“His birthday, three months ago, it was just the once…it’d been so long since either of us…and his symptoms seemed under control…”
“Did you use protection”
“No,” said the husband – Mr Kant, Doctor Fenton reminded herself. She must remember to…
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