Friday, 10 June 2011


“He's still movin'”

We stood a few feet away from Geoff's body, the slug from my .45 had drilled a hole through his forehead, probably gone straight through and into the ground too.

“He's dead.” I told him, matter of factly. “Now pour the petrol an' burn him before the damn thing comes out.”

“He ain't dead,” Said Paul, his voice rising in panic. “Look... LOOK... He's still movin'!”

Geoff's stomach was twitching slightly, small movements, tiny squiggles under the skin.
As we watched, the movements began to increase in intensity, and to slowly edge upwards towards his chest.

I put two more slugs into him, both directly into the twitchy bit, the body danced slightly with the impacts but the movements continued upwards, the ribcage started to thrum, as though a silent jackhammer was being used on the inside.

Paul stared, bulge-eyed with fear and horror.

“Paul... PAUL... Use the goddam petrol, for crissakes will ya?”

He just stood, rooted, useless in his terror.

I made a start to grab the fuel can from his hand when a slight crackling sound came from Geoff's mouth...

I felt the freezing tendrils of paralysing terror crawl up my spine, I turned my head in Geoff's direction...

Geoff's throat was a writhing distended lump. A translucent, ghastly pale, inch-thick head appeared from his mouth, small antenna flickered around as if tasting the air...

Paul snapped, he started screaming... he just stood... and stared... and screamed...

I watched with absolute horror as more of the creature slithered out, like a ghostly segmented viper. The eyeless head turned in Paul's direction, attracted by the sweet sound of his screams...

The hellish creature slowly drew itself back, away from us, then, almost faster than the eye could follow, whiplashed its body through the air, I spun around just in time to see the last few inches of it slither rapidly into Paul's open mouth.

I backed off several yards whilst Paul was gagging and coughing, eventually he seemed to recover, and straightened up, his eyes glazed with something that wasn't there a few moments ago.

We stood and looked at each other, both of us knowing what I would have to do.

Me and Paul had known each other since we were kids, best buddies all the way, it was hard to believe it would end like this.

I walked forward raising the gun, tears blurring my vision as I pressed the barrel to his forehead...

“Do it!” he said, his voice calm, steady.

“Goodbye my friend.” I said, then squeezed the trigger.

Paul's body flew back, landing spread-eagled in the dust, almost immediately the writhing began beneath the skin on his stomach. His unwanted house-guest already packing to leave, these creatures needed live flesh to feed off.

I grabbed the fuel can, flipping the top open and began to pour, liberally dousing his head, filling his mouth until it overflowed, then along the length of his body. Salt water dripping from my cheeks and mixing with the petrol.

I stood back a few paces, struck the match and threw it onto Paul just as his throat started to bloat...

Within seconds the head appeared from the flame-filled mouth...

The creature thrashed around as it tried to escape the flames, writhing, burning, screeching... dying.

As I watched while the worm slumped, and blackened, I pondered my next move.

This had certainly turned out to be some day, I had just wasted two more members of a rapidly dwindling population.

Could we actually win this war? Or even survive it?

Well, whatever happened, I would go down fighting.

A short distance away the road forked left and right, which way to go?

I was unlikely to find good news whichever direction I chose. Good news was extremely hard to come by these days.

The goddam worms were everywhere, every town and city were infested with them.

Decision time...

I fished a coin from my pocket...

And flipped...

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. Maybe good news came up on the right side of that coin. He is telling us the story in the present after all, right?

  2. Oooo scary stuff! Echoes of the body snatchers and aliens all in one. I wonder what he'll find wherever he next goes....

    Enjoyed reading this even if it did make me go ewww. :)

  3. The descriptions were fantastic, Steve. And the story, along with the writhing movement inside the bodies, put the reader in a uncomfortable moment--watching, knowing what will happen, and yet unable to do anything about it. It's a cool feeling for a writer when he can put the reader through that kind of emotional trip, isn't it?

    I applaud you. A nice job, indeed.

  4. I've heard the urban legend about a type of tapeworm that has to be lured out of the mouth. Nice icky stuff and a nice twist on the old tale.

  5. @John – Let's hope it was good news John. Yes it is set in the present, did I make a “tense” error? I know I sometimes do.

    @Helen – Thanks Helen, and you've just mentioned two of my most favourite films there. As for what he will find? I have a sneaky suspicion it may be more.... WORMS!!! :-D

    @Stephen – Thank you so much for the very kind words, feedback like this is a great confidence boost.

    @Tim – Those tapeworms actually exist Tim, although they are seldom heard of now in first world countries.

    I like the word “Icky” it says a lot doesn't it? :)

  6. Hi there Steve -- Gnarrr... you had me at the title. I hate the concept of tapeworms. Yours are rather super powered (thankfully), but that's all the better for their role in this rather gruesome tale.

    Well written.

    I'm off now to get myself a can of petrol, a face net, and a lighter.

    Thanks for that... :( lol.


  7. creepy! liked how you described the movement of the body and the head coming up.

  8. @Stephen – There is something deeply disturbing at the thought of a creature inside feeding off you, isn't there? I think it may take more than a face net to keep these parasitic slitherers at bay too.

    @Sonia – Thanks, in my imagination I just watched it all happen. :)

  9. Worms massively freak me out at the best of times so this majorly creeped me out! Good work.

  10. This one was creepy. Tapeworms are creepy in their own right, but these kind of turned my stomach a bit. :) Great job conveying the horror.

  11. @Icy - Thanks, earthworms are our friends though, but tapeworms definitely are not!

    @Chuck - Glad you enjoyed the read Chuck, I hope there's no permanent damage to your tummy. :-D

  12. Great job painting a graphic and gruesome picture Steve. Maybe if the flipped for fork leads to the lake he can go fishing.

  13. Thanks Harry, I think a spot of fishing would be very calming for the nerves in times like these, and there'd be no shortage of worms for bait either. :-D