The worm.

The heroes and their pet quested for five more days, into the wild yonderness of the beyond. Here there found a dangerous road, signaled by a post that said:

Beware. For this is the Land of the Worm.

There were three heroes in all… Jennifer a beautiful maiden and archer. David, the swordsnman, and Luke the strategist.

And there was Tom.

So they said to each other in askance, "Who shall go next?"

"I am a needed for my arrows," said Jennifer. "For who's to fell an enemy from a distance other than me?"

"And I am needed for my sword, for who's to combat the enemies once they stand near?"

And the stragegist said, his words already known: "Well that leavus on Tom, the useless worm."

So Tom regarded them with mild indifference, not a trouble in his world.

"No need to tie me up, I will go all in my own."

So he stepped into the glady patch, the full moon above. The sign shook in the wind and their visions blurred.

Screams were heard and Tom levitated upon the soil, convulsing and moving all over the place.

And after a while the scene became clear again.

The heroes saw their pet, his face flattening, his arms shortened, his legs useless stumps.

He was laid like a useless sack of shit on the ground, plain hurt on his face.

With a stick they turned him around, poked him on tender flesh til he bled.

For a few more hours he continued to change, first resembling a pig, then a newborn, then a worm.

His anticlimatic trasmformation complete he tried to stand.

Jenny got a mirror out and pointed it to his face, and the worm saw himself first.

He didn't say anything, then.

"So now we know," said David. "For sure there's a curse."

"Yes," said Luke, and Jenny nodded.

"Come," said Jenny.

He approached, drunkenly trying to come closer, and once he was near enough the heroes their ground stood.

"You know what this means said Luke."

"You know what is to follow," said Jenny.

"For indeed you know it is time—

But David was interupted by the vile worm.

He was still lokking at the thrown mirror and so he spoke.

"This, this is it."

"Yes, worm, you are a now a monster, one of our enemies and as such—"

"I feel—"

"Don't interrupt me, stupid beast," said David and whacked him with his sword.

The worm on the ground lied unmoving, and said.

"I thought, I would feel horror, and I think I do."

"Yes, a lot, but somehow, I also feel something new."

"A desire for revenge?" asked Luke. "You want to throw each of us into the glade of the worm?"

"No," said he surprising them.

"I don't think so. I don't feel anything of the sort at all. I am as empty as I ever was."

"Yet I feel more whole than each momment, no than each and every single moment, put together of my entire life."

"I feel some sick and fucked up peace, like someone making friends with his kidnapper."

"My anxiet, the constant scream of sadness and despair is gone."

"For I," said the worm with a sad and happy smile. "I no longer have to throw myself at life, I now know that I wan't ever up to one of its challenges."

The worm raised above them, towering and covering each of them.

"It wasn't that I was the lowest, or the most inferior."

"Or that I had some sort of anti-talent."

"But rather that I was worthless from the moment I was born."

Here at this height the worm coiled around them, crushing them in its grip.

"Trying to be the intelligent," said the worm looking at Luke.

"Worryning about my talents," said the worm looking at David.

"And as silly as it may sound my appearance and status, said the worm looking at Jenny.

Watching her, squeezing the life out of her.

Oh so close, her sweat on her pallid face, her timid visage relfected on those hard cold and unblinking eyes.

"Yes, quite empty, quite nothing."

"Having Death and failure, and maybe even some unspeakable and dumb horror at your back."

"Imagine that Jenny!"

"Where I to thrown you into the glade you would lose your beauty!"

"Or better yet, said the Wrom wit a wicked smile. You could preerve your beauty, you could turn into another type of worm."

And here the worm showed his teethless mouth and lied ver close to her ear.

"Botflies."

Jenny whimpered.

"Botflies, botflies, botlfies!"

"The transformation takes hours! And it is extremely excruciating."

"Painful," said the worm pausing over each syllable and dragging Jenny closer to the edge."

Jenney screamed and begged help to her friends and trashed. But she never broke to the worm and swore revenge on its guts.

And once the Worm was just about to throw her it paused seemingly to expect for something to happen.

"What! What Jenny! WHAT!" said the Worm shouting in her face.

"Haven't you always felt bad about your lack of strength?"

"How every single male has it easier and always have had it easier. Never knowing true effort?"

Jenny didn't say anything.

"And your beauty Jenny! You have always been proud of it! Even if it disgust you how some men treat you!"

The worm was tearing its throat at this point, descrbing the burrowing worms, screaming loud and clear. It had raised itself to its full length, along with Jenny.

"IF YOU BECOME A BOTFLY, YOU COULD KEEP THAT SKIN OF YOURS JENNY. AFTER THE MAGGOTS ARE DONE EATING THROUGH YOU."

"AFTER THEY ARE DONE DEVOURING YOU FROM THE INSIDE."

"ONCE THEY ARE IN YOUR HEAD."

"YOU CAN EMERGE ANEW AND WHOLE."

"A TINY MAGGOT, QUEEN OF THE COLONY!"

"BEARER OF THAT PRECIOUS SKIN OF YOURS!"

"But think all of you," said the worm pausing its monologue, "maybe after all of you tried really hard, and after you three mighty worms together manage me to crush me. Well maybe if you kill enough dark creatures, maybe, maybe, maybe you will be taken back by the human villages."

"As pets, of course, of the heroes."

But Jenny at this point neither neither blinked nor swallowed at the strange pronouncemenst from the Worm.

She just showed the worm a mirror and it spoke.

"But your fall Jenny would not give me rest, I don't think anything will."

The worm looked away and lowered her.

"For even if I were to steal that precious skin of yours, day to day my dear Jenny," said the worm caressing here face and taunting her again, draggin ever closer to the edge, the indecisive crawlig creature.

"I would feel nothing, nothing at all."

"I am a w—"

David had cleaved a sword into the beast and once the worm fell to the ground he said.

"Fuck, fuck you useless fuck."

"If you could have escaped David," said the monster. "Why didn't you?"

And David pulled out the sword and flinging te blood backwards said.

"Pathetic, effin pathetic. Even with that strength you are pathetic Tom."

"You fucking lump of shit. Do you honestly thought someone with my experience wouldn't have another sword or a knife held back?"

The worm cold not reply, could not knock down that stupid toser and his sense of drama. Could not just split the golden trio by tellin the other two about David's obvious secret. Its entrails were scattered across the cursed ground, its throat even more sore and swollen.

And then David said. "You should be honoured," and he raised his arm, the one with his sword.

"To be killed by one such as I!"

And before he could strike him with one single arm, or do anything at all the worm coiled its tail and throwed him over a tree, knocking him unconcious, getting his wish.

"Ha."

"Ha ha." It said croaking in the lowest of voices, making them tremble at the sounds.

And it said. "I didn't even want to kill you or taint you."

"Good god, you club of idiots, did you really thought I would care?"

Jenny and Luke were ready though.

"Go on my heroes of renown," seemed to says the worm in its last stand, "go on, mark my grave here, that a great worm whose name was Tom and was killed here. Write the list of every single one of my non-achievenments and foolish mistakes."

"Tell the world at large on this frosted and hard lump of clay what I have always known to be true! Kill me, kill me now, end this miserable excuse of a person. The one that feels only at peace in the body of a WORM!"

And the heroes hacked away at where it stood. They gutted his heart and crushed his head, letting his innards and brain hang from his ugly and contorted face.

So to this day the unmarked grave of no shape tells and you can hear the most pathetic story the world ever told.