January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Scrounge

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Scrounge

The Submission:
The rats had always been a problem. Everyone knew that. Entire administrations had been brought down due to their inability to keep them from scrounging food or spreading disease, and Mayor Zachary wasn’t going to let that happen to him.

When the solution to this ongoing problem was presented to him, he was overwhelmed by the chemical formulas and scientific terminology and simply asked for a summary.

A pathogen would be introduced into the water supply. Though nonlethal to the voters citizens, the rat population would be put down within six weeks and he would be heralded as a saviour.

That was the plan, anyway.

Then people started getting sick. The emergency wards filled up. The infection rate skyrocketed, and the death toll was so great that Mayor Zachary found himself signing off on death pits.

Then the rats changed. At first, they grew bigger. Then, more vicious and brazen, scurrying up toilet pipes and from sewer grates to attack small dogs and nip at your heels.

This did little to help with the infection rate but, soon, that didn’t matter.

Not when those mewling, grotesque variations appeared. They favoured clawing the face, the eyes, of their victims and nesting in the remains, spawning devilish offspring more mutant than rodent.  

It was only after he’d found his beloved Marjorie laying disembowelled on the bathroom floor, her shredded stomach writhing as screeching rat-babies festered in her corpse, that Mayor Zachary began to wish he’d read the document more thoroughly…


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

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