Blood Red

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by Randy Mazie. Thank you, Randy!

trespass_randy_mazie-1Blood Red

by Jan Brown

No one noticed when our little office complex died, because no one knew it was there.

When our efforts to develop genetically modified soybeans backfired, farmers were left to battle human-sized, herbicide-resistant weeds. The stalks were so wide, so tough, their combines came screeching to a halt.

We worked 24/7 to modify the mutated weed. But nature is unpredictable, and we discovered too late that humans are violently allergic to the new species.

Now my co-workers are entombed in the office complex. The weeds have travelled outside the brick and stucco, climbing the walls and sprouting flowers. Blood red flowers.



To learn more about the unintended consequences of genetically modifying crops to be resistant to herbicides:

Herbicide Resistant Super Weeds Increasingly Plaguing Farmers – U.S.News article

To learn more about the safety of genetically modified foods, both pro and con:

Are biotech foods safe to eat? – WebMD article


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories:


44 thoughts on “Blood Red

  1. scary , definitely… because it just might happen. i have this huge fear of ingesting GMOs tough it seems that i can’t fully avoid them.

  2. Yeeks, I can see this happening. I love your topical take on the prompt, with a bit of horror thrown in.
    In part 2, the mutated weed spreads, its seeds unwittingly carried across the globe by birds and on people’s feet…

  3. I know you’re probably short on words, but I wonder if it would be stronger if it was ‘Now my co-workers and me…’ or perhaps just ‘now we’re…’ Great idea for a story though.

  4. Excellent idea and well-executed, Jan. I wonder how the narrator escaped. But hopefully s/he can come up wit a solution before we’re inundated by killer weeds. I’m not normally anti-big business, but I detest Monsanto!! And GMO corn is almost impossible to find these days.


  5. I hope she can save us, too!

    I like to think that the next generation(s) will be smart enough to use science to rectify some of the physical and societal ills that we humans have caused by our misuse of science.

    At least, I hope they can….

  6. Lucky that the narrator was out on some errand or was on leave to escape the same fate and hopefully these GMO can be killed-they seemed to be sucking the blood of those trapped inside-their flowers look too healthy;-)A cool tale of what is just waiting to happen in near future-loved it:-)

  7. Dear Jan,

    Whenever I click on your icon I know I’m going to read a good one. This morning I’m not disappointed. The potential truth of your story sends shivers through me. I believe we are gleefully killing our planet and one day will turn around and say, “What the hell happened?”
    Your story is more frightening than zombies or vampires because I believe it’s happening.

    I could go on but I will stop here. 😉



    • Thanks for the lovely compliment, Rochelle!

      I agree with your sentiments about our careless treatment of the earth. The idea that we need to make our crops resistant to poison, so we can dust them with even more poison, is ridiculous on its face. Then we have the audacity to be surprised when Mother Nature fights back….

  8. The fact your story is based on a grain of truth makes it all the more scary. Short term thinking: starting to tinker with life on a genetic level before the science and implications have been fully understood – never a good idea.

  9. Your story is quite chilling. Unique use of the prompt. I’m allergic to everything, so I’m sure I would be plagued by the weeds. The man in the photo looks like he is standing amongst giant-sized rosemary. I know this is serious, but I chuckled a bit at that thought. I had a rosemary plant growing in my yard that was the size of a small bedroom.

    • Giant rosemary actually sounds nice!

      The weeds in the picture are called horseweeds, which were probably pretty pesky even before they became resistant to herbicide and grew to twice the height of a pro basketball player 😉

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