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    Verre

    Worms (NLD)

    by , 01-13-2015 at 04:06 PM (459 Views)
    I blew my nose, and noticed that something solid had emerged into the tissue. My growing unease ripened into sharp alarm when I inspected the contents. Next to some meatier pieces of phlegm was the unmistakable segmented shape of a short, light grey worm. It was about half an inch long, and completely alive and intact. I'm not sure if it was a true worm or had two hair-like rows of short legs, but it even started to move as I watched. The thought of such a thing living in my body, in my sinuses even, infused me with silent horror quickly ripening to desperation as I saw the front half of another worm, which would have been twice as long as the first if it were intact, in the tissue's contents. On the underside was a distinct mouth with two visible mandibles curved back so that they lay flat against its body like fangs. What were these things doing to me?

    Just after discovering the worms in the tissue, I felt an itch just above the hairline of my forehead and absently scratched it. A soft body crushed under my fingers, getting tangled in my hair, and I brought them back to find the green ooze of yet another worm staining their tips. The horror became even more intense. Were there so many in my body that they were emerging? I needed to do something about this now.

    Mustering all my willpower to stay calm and focused, I brought the unwieldy vehicle I was driving over to the curb, put it in park, and engaged the parking brake. It was a boxy shuttle like those that sometimes ferry people and their luggage around airports; this one had no seats and was specced for military use. I left the engine running, even as I wondered why I was doing so: this was unlikely to be a short stop. As I disembarked, I said something like, "Men, make sure not to move this vehicle," to my company. They were prone to horsing around, and I was afraid someone might bump the parking brake and accidentally disengage it. The vehicle was tricky to operate.

    I disembarked, dodging the idle men lounging on the short flight of steps that led from the strip of grass bordering the curb down to the sidewalk bordering the building. The door was open, and there were more men clustered around the steps that led down into the building. I knew they were here because I had left for the last mission in such a hurry that they had been left behind. I had already sensed that something was wrong at the time, but it had still been too vague to articulate, a vague but crushing sense of oppression rather than any physical symptoms I could describe.

    I was looking for someone in particular. Not the young doctor, but the old one, who I had known for a long time and trusted completely. After passing a row of men leaning against the bar to the right of the entryway, I turned left and was relieved to discover him standing next to a table. He had grey hair and a lined, weathered face, with a serious but not unkindly expression. I addressed him in a tone that was urgent but still tightly focused, doing everything I could to remain cogent and not lose myself to the mounting hysteria I was feeling.

    "Richard, I think there's something wrong with me."

    He looked up, and I saw that he could tell from my face that the matter was dire, but when he spoke his tone was relaxed, the practiced ease of an experienced combat physician. "Okay, tell me all about it."

    "It started about a week before this mission," I began.

    It was here that I woke up. The dream was a patchwork of distinct day residue. The worms were inspired by Jimmy Carter's appearance on the
    Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where they briefly discussed his efforts to eradicate guinea worms in Africa. The doctor's face was a combination of Lance Hendrickson, who I saw the night before last when Aliens (1986) came on TV, and another old guy from another film of which my husband made an approving remark when he appeared. The film might have been The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), which we caught much of on cable last night, in which case the guy must have been Philip Baker Hall (b.1931)I had to look up his name, but the face looks right. My role as a female leader of a military company comes directly from Mass Effect 3 (2012), which I was playing last night. I think there was a lot more to the dream, because it actually started with the scene prior to the mission when I first felt a foreboding uneasiness. I reported it in retrospect because I couldn't remember most of what happened before that last scene; the mission itself remains a blur in memory. There was physical input as well: when I woke up I still had a slight itch on my head where I had scratched in the dream and discovered the third worm.
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    Comments

    1. AnotherDreamer's Avatar
      That was a great read, you're a really good writer!
      Do you write professionally?

      Aliens, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Mass Effect 3, I like your style
      Verre likes this.
    2. Verre's Avatar
      I would love to find a way to write dream-inspired fiction but I'm not good at thinking up plots, and the dreams rarely have all the necessary moving parts (like beginning, middle, end) of a proper story!