Sunday 25 May 2014

Sunday Story - Worms by Emily Nemchick

For today's Sunday Story we travel back to November's short fiction contest winner and the covid inspired story 'Worms' by Emily Nemchick.

If you're looking for more great stories, or have written one you want to share then check out the Facebook group dedicated to short and flash fiction:!/groups/shortfictionreadersandwriters/

Worms by Emily Nemchick

The bird perched thoughtfully on the cold, frozen ground beside the gravestone. He gave the frigid earth a tentative peck, as if the taste of the ice might be some indicator of who lay beneath.
Each person was different, you see. Some tasted sweet, like fresh honey dripping from the honeycomb. Those were usually the young ones, the innocent and the dreamers. Others were as bitter and galling as acid, their vitriol soaking into the earth around them and making the worms fat with pulpy white malice.

The worms were what he was seeking, you see. The bird had sampled many a human corpse through the plump, wriggling medium of the graveyard's worms. Each one had its own distinctive flavour, left over from the fragrance of the lives of the people they had consumed.

He had tasted many worms, but never had he found the taste he was seeking above all others. The mingled sorrow, wisdom and hope of his long-dead master, whose shoulder had been his world for so many happy years. He couldn't read the faded lettering, etched in the human tongue, and although he had called the name time and again on his search, the same 'caw, caw' was all that fell on the ears of the mourners. Now, with the ground frozen by the early November chill, he would have to wait a while longer to see if this gravestone covered the memories he sought.

He would know with the first bite whether he had found a granite shoulder to perch on.

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