Can you hear it? Thud… thud… thud… thud… You… you are alive! You cannot hear it? Try harder… Thud… thud… thud… thud… thud… That… that is the sound of life coursing through your veins! But what of the lack of it? Why, that is surely the tell-tale sign of a dead carcass! Oh, but what is more delectable and delicious than a stale corpse? I do not know.
Mmmn… I can feel the crisp frigid air stabbing at my barren flesh. Oooh, the sting of the brandings and scars of His divinity! My, yes, they hurt, but they were all for Him! Him, I say! The bringer of darkness and despair! The Wyrm!
I stand here, naked and shivering, before His holy abode: this cave of plague and revulsion. I can hear my blood trampling through my body… It must be given back! I must prove my devotion to His disease! Oh, but I dare not arrive before him with only my body, oh, no! No, no, no! You see, I have brought others into my body! I have bathed in the blood of the babe! I have ingested and fattened myself upon the innocent! I have devoured and absorbed the very children I have birthed! Though, that is not all, no! For I have taken from the needy and preyed upon the weak! And above all, I have brought Him these disgusting little larvae! I, and I alone, am the Maggot! The most devoted receiver of His grime! And all of these putrescent children are but squirmy little larvae!
Oh, but how beautiful this pale wintry sky is! Oh, how tranquil these peaceful evergreens that house and protect all that is natural and right are! Ack! It must all burn! Burn to the ground, I say! For that is His will! And oh, look how comforting the daunting sight of the cave before me is, with its grotesque formations and the rancid stench of decay that oozes from its gaping, gnarled mouth! Before I intrude, however, I must slaughter to Him one of these horrid larvae!
“Come hither!” I bark at a particularly frightened looking child.
It raises its teary eyes and slowly inches forth to me, and I tear away its squishy pale throat!
“This is for you, my Father!” I shriek ecstatically to the heavens as the blood dribbles down my chin and the larva writhes and oozes on the cold hard earth.
Now that I have properly conducted the sacrifice for Him, I must now send unto Him the rest of these slimy little beasts, but: they must be willing! I tell the children before me that they will meet their glory, but I know that all they will meet is a horribly delicious end. I send them along in pairs to go into the dank depths of the cave before me, believing me when I remind them that they will meet honor, and be forever a hero to the world.
Now there is only myself.
I prepare myself to go into the cave. But… what is this? Fear? Why? For I have done everything I know to do….
•• • ••Where are the children? I cannot see, but I should have stumbled across a corpse by now. Why does this frighten me so? No matter, I shall descend into this impenetrable darkness nonetheless.
Suddenly, to my right, I perceive a soft, distant whimpering. I turn my head to face the direction that it is coming from - but alas, only an endless black abyss meets my eyes. I reach my hand out to touch the wall so that I may use it as a guide, but… there is no wall! It appears to be a tunnel of some sorts. I decide to follow it, as that is where the soft crying is coming from.
•• • ••After what seems to be hours, with the whimpering slowly getting louder, I finally find myself stumbling into a dimly lit chamber. The stone floor curves in a shallow basin, with a slightly raised platform against the far wall, and in the center of that platform is an empty, ancient looking wooden throne. On the floor in a semi-circle around the throne are the very larvae that I had sent as a tribute to His repulsion. But… They are not dead! No, no, they are very, very much alive and sobbing! Slowly - very slowly - and angrily - very angrily - they swivel their puffy, weeping faces to glare at my own.
“Is this not what you wanted?” a pleasant voice I do not recognize asks calmly yet angrily. I raise my eyes to the source, and am surprised to find in the previously empty throne a man donned handsomely in skins and furs, with a crown of snowy white ivory atop his head.
“Why are you so surprised?” he asks innocently. “Did you not send these beautiful creatures here to be with me?”
But this is not the Lord that I had expected! Why does He speak to me of these children with so much love in His voice? Is this some sort of trick? These larvae are not beautiful… they are repulsive!
“You do not think us beautiful?” the larvae ask in unison.
“My children!” the man in the throne exclaims. “My daughters and sons! Why would you ever say something like that?”
“Those are her thoughts! They are most impure,” they chant monotonously. The man raises His face to me, wearing an expression of mock confusion. I notice that wrinkles are spreading out across His face.
“Is this true? Could it be that the most devoted of my followers does not love her own beautiful children?”
“Of course it is not true!” I lie quickly. “They are beautiful little cherubs!”
“She lies, Father.”
“I know, my children,” He assures. He seems to be an old man now, but His voice is as clear as ever.
“Tell me, what are you?” He asks me.
“I am the Maggot! I am your most loyal, your most devoted!”
“The Maggot? And am I correct in supposing that these horrible little creatures are not but lowly larvae? Hmm?” His eyes are glazing over and His skin is becoming taught over his receding flesh.
“Oh, but of course!” I cry in ecstasy as I realize that He truly is on my side. “They are but mere vermin! They are nothing compared to me!”
“But just only a second ago, you said that they were beautiful. Did you not?” His skin is receding in holes of decay.
“Tell me, my children: what is the difference between a maggot and a larva?”
“A maggot is simply a kind of larva,” they answer together eerily.
“That is not true!” I shriek uncontrollably. He looks back up at me calmly. Insects are now devouring the very jelly of His eyes.
“I beg to differ. A larva is simply an insect during the early stages of its life, and so is a maggot. And this title you wear proudly upon your fattened bosom is an insult. Maggots are considered some of the lowest and vile creatures… They are at the bottom of the animal food chain. Tell me, to whom did you cause pain when you indulged yourself upon the innocent and took from the needy?”
“Nobody, Father!” I cry.
“She lies! She devoured our very brethren! The very ones she herself birthed!” the larvae wail, brimming with anger and hate.
“Yes, I know, my children,” an unfamiliar voice assures them from behind me. “She lies to the ones who know.” I turn around and see a rotting old woman of obvious former beauty.
“I allowed this gluttonous fiend the privilege of mothering our children, but mother them she did not! No, she consumed them for her own sick delusions of grandeur,” She tells the decayed body in the throne. She now turns to face me, Her eyeless sockets somehow piercing through to my soul.
“Tell me, woman,” She says to me, “do you take pride in yourself for being such a gruesome abomination against Nature? Against Myself?” She is now nothing but bone with bits of shriveled black flesh holding her skeleton together.
“Mother, she has no heart, she has only greed!” the children exclaim.
“My children, I know,” She responds.
“So,” the rotten skeleton in the throne begins, “I believe that it is fairly safe to assume that you truly are the maggot here. You feed yourself upon the pain of your children in the hopes of you appearing holy before a demon that is not I. The Wyrm.”
My head is pounding from the mounting tension of this sudden and unexpected turn of events. It is true: I have no love for these horrid larvae, only hatred and contempt.
“But… but this… this is… this is not what I expected!” I cry shrilly. “I sent these larvae here to die for you! You are supposed to be the Unholy Disease!” At this, the skeleton leaps out of His throne in a flash of rage and points a long, bony finger at me.
“YOU DARE REFER TO ME AS AN UNHOLY DISEASE?” He roars. “You have only sent these innocent children here to their premature graves for your own personal gain and wicked ways! You hold no love for your children, and have no room to excuse yourself!”
“You have only contempt and greed,” the Mother adds.
“Why do you not love us?” the tiny skeletons scream in unanimous rage and despair. “We were your very children!”
“You are beneath me!” I screech hysterically. “I am your better! Why should I care for you? You are but the filthy vermin squalor under my pedestal of superiority!”
“You,” the Mother returns, “truly are the unholy disease here! It is your duty to love and care for your children, yet you sent them with ecstasy to their dooms! Every mother should love her children, but you do not!”
“I quite agree!” the Father concurs, obviously disgusted. “And since you have done these acts of villainy, you must thus pay the price of your evil and disgusting ways! I hereby sentence you to experience every pain you have inflicted, every rape you have committed, and every life you have stolen! And until you have paid for your crimes against all that is right and just, you shall not be free! And curse not I or the Mother of Nature, for you have brought this curse upon yourself!”
•• • ••I stand before a familiar cave, confused and terrified of what may come. To my left is my scarred and hideous excuse for a mother, who has devoured my brothers and sisters. Behind me are those who have been spared her lunacy. My mother turns her foul head towards me with a look of pure hatred and contempt.
“Come hither!” she barks.
I slowly obey her command, terrified of what she may do to me.
In a blinding flash, she claws out my throat with her long nails, and as I lay on the ground drowning in my own blood and writhing in agony, I watch in silent horror as she ravenously devours my disembodied vocal chords.
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