The Great Purple Worms – The Speakeasy at Yeah Write

Written for the Speakeasy at Yeah Write. A story about a terrifying revenge begins after the image.

Genre: Science Fiction/Horror

The Great Purple Worms

“I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness,” said Senor Maldonado. He tossed his cards down in disgust. “Fold.” Nanites illuminating the cards cleared the faces automatically.

“We all have our demons,” said the wealthy merchant, Senor Martinez, to his left.

“Some demons are far greater than others.”

“Then tell us of these demons,” said the other merchant, Senor Guzman. He gestured to Martinez. “My partner and I could use another story.”

“It is a long sad story.” Maldonado dismissed the idea.

“Then let us hear it! It will be hours before the anti-matter tanks of our ship are fueled. We have nothing to do but play poker. We have the time.” Guzman turned in his chair. “Senora! Sangria por favor.”

“A story you shall have then! But I will tell you a better a story. Have you heard of the great purple worms of San Cristobal?”

“They’re on this planet?” said Martinez. “I have never heard of this.”

“Me neither.”

“They are here,” insisted Maldonado. “It started long ago. A scientist, we’ll call him Venganzo, had dreams of doing great things with nanotechnology. People were already using them of course, but only for small things.” Maldonado collected the poker cards into a stack. He tapped it twice. “And now the cards are shuffled. Nanites in the cards have randomly rewritten the faces.”

“Everyone knows about this,” said Guzman.

“Yes, but now Venganzo dreamed much bigger. He was designing nanites into a weapon that would destroy all weapons of war. If he succeeded, peace would come to the Hundred Colonies within weeks. War could not be fought without weapons.

“After years of work, the weapon was nearly finished, but very dangerous. The disassemblers that destroyed the weapons still destroyed everything else. Control of them was not yet perfect. Venganzo’s co-designers stupidly thought it was ready and they stole the weapon. They sold it to a man, who sold it to another with the heart of a snake. He gave it to merchants who shipped it to the planet, San Cristos, knowing they carried a devastating weapon. One last, fanatical man, released the weapon. Within days, the weapons, the cities, and all the people had been reduced to component atoms. One more day later, the entire planet was consumed. Gone!”

Guzman looked hard at Martinez. “An entire planet? Is this possible?” Martinez stared at nothing, unmoving.

“The news was too terrible to broadcast, but yes, it’s true,” said Maldonado, looking at no one. “It wasn’t long before Venganzo learned what became of his stolen weapon, and how it was used. He was consumed by hatred, a life-stealing rage that absorbed every ounce of his being. He changed and became something different. A terrible weapon himself.

“He began to hunt down the men responsible. One by one, he killed them in the most hideous, most appalling ways. After years, there were only two left.”

Martinez and Guzman didn’t move. Only their eyes shifted, seeking out exits.

“But the fires in Venganzo had cooled. He found a beautiful woman who loved him like the sea loves the sky. Her warm heart convinced him that he had found enough justice.”

Martinez and Guzman sagged a little, appearing to breathe again.

“Venganzo returned to his nanite research, once again dreaming big. He learned how to turn one creature into another with nanites, a rabbit into a hawk, a lion into a worm. And then he learned the last two men who should die frequented a taqueria where he lived. Justice sang a sweet song.”

Martinez and Guzman ceased drinking, glasses poised at their lips.

“But Venganzo was no longer interested in killing. There had been enough.”

The two merchants moved again, taking long pulls of sangria.

“But there are worse things than death.”

They began to squirm.

“Venganzo joined them for a poker game and seeded the cards with nanites. The near invisible machines would turn anyone without the antidote into a Great Purple Worm.” Calmly, Maldonado took a drink. “He told them to sign over their shares of their shipping line to him, their life’s savings, or face an unimaginable horror.”

Martinez coughed and blood flew. Guzman’s arm began to twitch painfully.

“I understand the process is excruciating.”

Within an hour, Maldonado left the taqueria as sole owner of a successful shipping line. He smashed a vial from his pocket on the street. Behind him, the Senora began screaming as something purple shrieked and oozed out the taqueria door.
Author’s Note: In Spanish, Venganza means, “Revenge.”

Each week, writers of great quality and fine disposition, join together a the Speakeasy to write up to 750 words based upon a sentence and an image. The sentence is placed differently depending on the week. This time the sentence, “I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness,” must be placed at the beginning of the work. Here is this week’s prompt:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
This entry was posted in Short Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to The Great Purple Worms – The Speakeasy at Yeah Write

  1. Stacie says:

    I just love your imagination! Plus, I’m a science geek so I love the technology too.


  2. J. Milburn says:

    Oh my goodness, I want to team up with you on a story sometime (outside the chain game). This is amazing!


  3. Catherine says:

    Fanfreakintastic!! Every week is a new adventure with a new twist. Love it!


  4. I always look forward to reading your entries. So imaginative and such a great story.


  5. Lyn says:

    Where’s the “I think this is a bloody fantastic story” button when you need it. You’ve outdone yourself, Eric.


  6. Silverleaf says:

    Fabulous! I, too, always look forward to seeing what you’ve crafted. Really, really great story!!


  7. Peggy Smith says:

    I love/hate scary stories and you had me with one hand over my eyes while riveted to reading the words in your saga of terror between my fingers. Well done!


  8. Indira says:

    You are a superb story teller. I was not a fan of sci-fiction. but you make them so interesting, I enjoy very much. lol.


  9. Valerie says:

    This piece is so well-written and full of nuance. Very unique interpretation of the prompts, and a gripping read!


  10. jannatwrites says:

    “Martinez and Guzman didn’t move. Only their eyes shifted, seeking out exits.” – this was the “aha” moment when I figured out the story was more than just a story and the two card players were in trouble! You spun an interesting tale and it had me hanging on til the end. Nicely done!


    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks Janna! I hoped the story that is more threat than story idea would be interesting. Maldonado has his fun with them, making them squirm. I’m glad the story stayed interesting through to the end. Thanks so much for your thoughts!


  11. Lala Rukh says:

    From where do you get all this interesting imagination brother ? This is just so brilliant !


    • EagleAye says:

      I don’t really know. They are the ideas that live in the peripheral vision. Turn your head and they’re gone. They’re flowers that grow in the middle time between day and night, casting their seeds upon the winds of dreams.

      Glad you enjoyed it, Lala. Thanks much for stopping in and reading. I always appreciate your thoughts. 🙂


  12. Joe Owens says:

    For some reason this made my think of the Frank Herbert story and movie Dune. I really enjoyed it Eric.


  13. Suzanne says:

    Awesome story, Eric! So creative and so brilliantly executed. Nicely played, sir! 🙂


  14. Esther says:

    Scary! I like the futuristic take on the painting. It’s a nice touch.


  15. Pingback: Winner of the Speakeasy #145 | the speakeasy at yeah write

  16. tedstrutz says:

    So easy and natural… I’m impressed.


  17. Danny James says:

    Congrats on winning. Great story as usual.



  18. Great. Works like a time machine and has a good twist.


  19. kerrieanns says:

    Congratulations on winning 145 😀
    I discovered speak easy through your blog, and plan to enter an entry this week!


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