The Squirming Man

earthworm

Don’t pretend this is anything other than a suicide note. You are reading the words of a dead man whose body may still be warm.

For the last 40 years, I’ve been terrorized by the squirming man. At this moment, his name means nothing to you. If you wish for that to continue, stop reading now.

The squirming man first visited when I was six. I was in the shower. When I’d finished and pulled back the curtain, he was standing there. Waiting. Before I could scream, my mouth was filled.

To describe the squirming man is to revisit decades of trauma. Regardless, I need to be strong and write about him. I don’t want him to be a mysterious figure. I want my knowledge of him to be out there. I want people to know he exists. People should be ready if he visits them; I have no doubt he will once I’m gone.

I was six, naked, and alone when my eyes burned his form into my young mind. He was tall – perhaps about seven feet if fully extended. He rarely was, though – except for this initial meeting. All seven feet of his writhing bulk were there to greet me.

His trunk was thick and plantlike. Dark red, like boiled blood. His limbs, if you can call them limbs, were like earthworms – thin, segmented, and wriggling – hundreds upon hundreds at the base supporting the weight of his body. His arms were the same. But his face was what I remember most clearly.

The face which sat in the center of his torso was that of a boy. A toddler. But there was age in his eyes. Terrible age; years during which hideous knowledge could have been accumulated. When my mouth was filled on that day, I began to learn how hideous it actually was.

From his own mouth, a torrent of his wormlike protuberances filled mine. They crawled down my throat, around my sinuses, and everywhere else. Within moments, I felt their tips exiting my rectum and penis, only to disappear back inside me. I felt them under the skin of my fingers and toes and face and hips. They were everywhere. And all the while, he brought his face closer to mine.

My eyes bulged and I struggled to get away, but my movement was at the mercy of the squirming man who held me. Who violated me. Who, at the moment, owned me.

I saw my reflection in his wide pupils. I was ready to die.

The squirming man withdrew. I gagged and shrieked as he slowly retracted the protuberances back into his body. Then he was gone.

My parents arrived seconds later. I told them everything. They believed nothing.

For the next three-plus decades, he would visit me thousands of times. Whether or not I was in bed at home or using the restroom at work didn’t matter. He found times to violate me. He always found times.

Last night was the most recent. He looked the same as ever at first. I didn’t struggle in bed. I knew better. I needed to let him take me. I knew I was his. Until I die, I will be.

He entered me and explored. The first few minutes were routine. But then he changed color. He went from dark red to pale gray. His eyes widened and the tight skin of his young face shone with cephalopodic bioluminescence. The bits in me flared and spasmed. Then he was gone.

This morning, within five minutes of waking up, I knew it was time to end my life. The fingers on my left hand are flaccid and soft. They move on their own; twitching like an electrocuted annelid. There is a terrible pain in my throat. When I went to the mirror to look, there were small, writhing tendrils of skin growing from my uvula and tonsils. As I type, my left arm is softening.

I will not take this anymore, so you need to know he will be looking for someone else. If it’s you, I’m sorry. But please don’t say you weren’t warned. Perhaps I’ll meet you on the other side.

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3 Replies to “The Squirming Man”

  1. I’ve become addicted to your work. Just so you know, there’s a random chick from Maine who can’t wait to read your next story. I think my favorite story so far is the one about the zombie mom who had a zombie baby, and they were stuck in a super market back room. Awesome.

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