|This article, DT 2020: The Worms, was written by Distant Tide. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
“For a moment, Kev thought he felt chills running through his body. Up to his spine, his ribs, his muscles. He looked down at his arms. In the light of his headlamp, he saw how they shook. But it wasn’t his arms shaking, no, little veins contracted in and out like hearts – slowly getting bigger with seconds. He felt his gut twist and crimp like a knot, twisting-twisting until he felt like his stomach would explode.”
Zach gestured with wide arms to his audience gathered around the charcoal-wood fire. He couldn't remember the last time he told a campfire story...
“He fell to his knees and grabbed his shirt, struggling to pull it up as his muscles – its muscles fought against him. There in his stomach, the skin turned an inky dark gray, but not swollen, bleeding, or bruised.”
Nicole, particularly intrigued by the tale, leaned in and closer towards Zach, on the edge of his peripheral. He subtlety brought his left hand down, hovering over her back.
“Transparent; his skin turned transparent, and within, little foot-long eels piled up and squirming around.”
Zach reached out with his right hand and exaggeratedly waved his fingers, leaving his left in shadow.
“They poked out like fingers, hands trying to get out. As he opened his mouth, he tried to scream but the only sound that came out was a hiss – a low, group hiss like a symphony of snakes. Hiss...”
Nicole leaned further forward as did Zach, he hooked them all. He noted Merlin off in the shadows, an ear now directed towards the campfire gathering.
“He felt his throat clench up and little-by-little a long black tendril rose from his open mouth, slouching out and into the air. Its sucker mouth turned towards his wide eyes, bore its teeth... Just to jump out and SUCK OUT HIS RIGHT EYEBALL!”
Zach leaped forward from the log bench, acutely running a pair of fingers across Nicole’s back bottom-to-top. She promptly went with him, a sharp shriek escaping her lips as she jumped, lost balance and planted her butt on the grass below. Other students from the training unit jolted as well at the punchline and sudden scream.
Nicole grabbed onto Zach’s wrist and violently pulled herself up, failing to set him off balance. She punched him in the shoulder but immediately regretted it feeling her knuckles contact muscle and bone built like iron. “Ow! Fucking heck Zach! Why did you do that?”
The undercover-Spartan-student grinned sheepishly but raised his hands in surrender.
“Sorry, sorry. It was for the sake of the story. You freaked, didn’t you? Anyway, I got what I needed. Everyone jumped, well except Andra,” Zach explained. “I saw you over there, Merlin!”
“I did not!”
Andra butted in, tapping Merlin over the head and pointing him back to his spotter scope. “I felt it through your leg, idiot.”
“Aw come on...”
Zach chuckled to himself but turned grim – remembering the woman devoured inside-out by Lekegolo worms on Tribute. The day his home was destroyed.