Categorized | Fiction

Halloween Horror: Corpse Bug

Posted on October 20, 2008 by Flames

Freelance writer John D. Kennedy (Shadow Nations) and artist Jeff Preston have a new monster for the Halloween Horror series today.

When fighting the undead, be extra careful around the zombies making buzzing noises…

Corpse Bug

Created by John D. Kennedy
With art by Jeff Preston

“I seen a bug that’ll sting a man. Seen plenty that’ll eat one…first time I ever seen one live in a man though.” – Jerry Bowell, exterminator.

Resembling a cross between a centipede and a beetle, the Corpse Bug is a creature often found living at the edge of towns and cities. A dark brown color, the bug is between two to three inches in length and possesses two pincers on it’s body, one at the mouth with the other at the end of the thorax. These pincers aid in chewing through muscles and skin, while it’s eight legs end in small hooks to aid in climbing and gathering materials.

The corpse bug has developed a parasitic nature different from most insects which feed off the human body. Only encountered around corpses, corpse bugs burrow into the body and lay eggs within the stomach lining. When the eggs hatch, rather than leaving the body the bugs set about building a colony within it. One bug mutates into the new queen while the others begin eating other bugs which may have taken root within the body and they begin working on the body itself. Body fat and intestines are converted into a network of hive tunnels spreading throughout the torso, focusing in on the spinal column where the queen merges with the nervous system.

Another feature that that the corpse bug exhibits is its ability to make the host body move. The linings of the hive intertwine with the muscular system and nervous system of the corpse, and when threatened or when the need arises, the queen is able to move these tissues. The queen in a sense controls the body, and manipulates it’s actions almost instinctively. Corpses abandoned in the wild or murder victims killed in filthy slums may be found walking about in a disheveled manner, with strange chittering noises coming from it and a lack of emotion on it’s face.

When threatened, the colony reacts to hostility with the precision of a bee hive. Spilling out of every orifice, the bugs swarm at their attackers while the colony attempts to stay away from danger. While not poisonous, their pincers are capable of stripping a victim of its flesh within minutes and their bites carry bacteria along with them, infecting the victim with diseases often found in corpses. If the attacker is incapacitated or killed, the bugs then move in and start making a new hive.

What makes a corpse bug so insidious is how inhuman it is. It is not taking over human bodies for some clandestine agenda, nor does it kill maliciously or for joy. It sees humans as nothing more than new homes, something that can be used for the good of the colony in order to spread itself. An average human being is just a shell full of raw materials for consumption.

About John D. Kennedy
John D. Kennedy is a writer living in Indianapolis, In. A fan of comics and roleplaying games since he was young, he now works on them and is creates his own for a living. His credits include the Shadow Nations core book for Apophis Consortium, Crystal Fractals Publishing, and reviews for He regularly posts on his blog at

About Jeff Preston
Jeff Preston is a Freelance Illustrator who has been doing concept art and quality interior art and a few covers since the early 21st century. Jeff has been producing art under deadlines consistently, building a reputation as the go-to guy for artwork to order, with no guff, and always on-time! Visit for a look at his gallery and upcoming projects.

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