Worm Dream

a story
by Niklas Lindström

Outside of the story, this is just a lump of text, slowly taking form.

Within it, a cloud lies thick and heavy upon the rooftops of a city.

Its grey-laden billows are damp with hanging rain. Silent, like a wind in waiting.

There sleeps a man in that city. His sleep is restless.

The frights of nightmare creeps about his ankles, making the folds of slumber sticky and clinging.

Out of the cloud comes a worm, gnarled and grey, like the branch of a dead oak.

It descends along a veil of rain, falling through a ventilation shaft on the roof.

In the innards of the house, the man writhes in unconscious fear.

The worm enters his apartment.

It enters his brain.

At this point of the story, it lacks direction.

The worm in the brain does not. It begins to devour the remnants of hope in the sleeping victim.

Who then enters a dream. It is the dream of a worm from hell.

Upon a hill he stands, his feet buried in its purplish soil. The air reeks of putrescence, and fungi glow sickeningly on the ground below.

A shadow jumps from one mushroom to the next. It seems to be singing a song.

”Tonight's the night, we're gonna be together. My loving is unanswered but I couldn't bother ever.”

"Now, that's not a very pretty song, is it?”, the man asks.

The shadow, pretty much being a frog, albeit a little bit to facially expressive, frowns at him.

”No? Well, whattya gonna do aboot it?”,

it smirkingly asks, dancing a wiggly little dance on it's hind legs.

”Oh my, I don't know. You're just a frog, I couldn't bother.”

”Just what I sayed now, wasnot it?”

”Hm? Oh. Right.”

”Loving me loving you. Ahaa.”

The frog blinks twice.

”It gonna eatya ya'know.”

The man walks away from the hill and enters the cupboard standing amidst a pile of green toadstools.

It is well illuminated by a chandelier.

Inside, at least the hight of two men.

There are elevator buttons on a plaque on the left wall.

After a push of the lowest button, it falls fast.

And it falls long.

It lands in a pool of black water, bobbing.

Suddenly turning over and having its door unhinged, it starts to float away, tugged by some slow current.

The man inside sits up, and finds himself surrounded by spiders.

Not many, but quite large.

They sit silently along the edges of the cupboard, staring out into the darkness of the subterranean.

Some hours of slow drift later, an old clock starts to bellow a lonely sound in the distance.

The spiders creep down from the edges and into shadow.

A sound begins to form around the equipage.

It is the sound of a torrent slowly building up.

Sometime later, that sound becomes pierced by a gurgling, emptying noise. The level of the water seems to decrease.

One motionless instant later, everything plunges.

It is a raging fall of hard water, ripping the air itself apart by sheer speed.

A crackling.

A forceful stop.

Then... silence.

Everything is black.

And in that blackness, the slow, sad toll of a mist bell rings. Amidst nothing.

The man feels around him. He sits on solid ground. On grimy, cracked, petrified earth.

All around, the scents of abandonment. Unattended soil. Lifeless dirt.

The swirls of directionless wind.

Dried tears of vanished rain.

He feels the claws of starvation somewhere within him, but he does not understand.

He is empty inside.

Time passes, and so, eventually, the man dies.

He also dies in his bed. Thus, the worm dies.

And this story dies with them.