Worms And Words 

Worms And Words

John’s corpse’s coffin stands on four stilt-legs and the worms are dead because the corpse is poisoned…….How can John own a corpse if he is dead? How can a coffin belong to a corpse? When a corpse is dead, it can have no possible jurisdiction…….I disagree…….Well, how did the worms reach the corpse if its coffin is on stilt-legs?…….They must have plopped from the earthy roof of the tomb and then squirmed between the cracked soft-centered nut of corpse and coffin-shell…….Well, the poisoning of the corpse - was it before or after death? If before, was such poisoning the cause of death? I believe that any particular poison can only work once…….I can confirm that the poisoning followed John’s death. The natural excrement lodged in its intestines awaiting dispersal was extracted - then inserted in its place was the poison. The excrement was then wadded into the corpse’s mouth and throat, as far as it could be pushed. Corpses can gag at such treatment, an after-death effect that long outlasts rigor-mortis…….Why all this special treatment of John’s corpse? …….To prevent vampires from restoring any figment of its fading life, since the blood for which they thirst should already be nothing but brown sludge. The poison speeds up the body’s corruption better than disguising its private parts with garlic bulbs…….Why are you telling me all this? …….Well, I am a corpse’s dream and I don’t really otherwise exist…….How am I speaking to you like this? …….Well, your voice is so glutted and clogged, the words are coming out like gurgling slime. So it’s a question of me reading your mind. Or even, you reading mine. Perhaps all the words are yours, including mine…….For God’s sake, who are you? …….I’m a very frightened creature who suffers a vocal madness since they buried me with John’s corpse. In its mouth and throat, amid its tongue and teeth, instead of leaving me in its bowels where I truly belonged. Now I’ve told you who I am, admit that you are John! …….Perhaps, but only if a vampire can keep its Christian name.

(published ‘Nightlore’ 1996)

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