Writing Prompt: Sentient Parasites

Parasitism: “a non-mutual relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host” (I love Wikipedia). We all know what these are, right? Tapeworms, tree aphids, fungal or viral infections. Parasites are pretty bizarre, specialized creatures that depend on their hosts for parts of their life cycle.

Writing Prompt: Sentient Parasites (M)

Suppose you came across a sentient alien race that required parasitizing other organisms on their planet–sentient or non-sentient–to grow as part of they life cycle. Try making this species peaceful and non-human-parasitizing, but come up with a problem that throws the parasitizing needs of this species into conflict with some other moral, economic, or environmental issue. Perhaps the trees or the alien cow-like creatures this species parasitizes are going extinct from overpopulation, climate change, or outsiders harvesting; or perhaps the other species they parasitize is also sentient and tired of being slaughtered.

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology and loves exploring the science of human origins.

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