The Conqueror Worm

A fine time! How long has it been, Annelus wonders, since xie last saw another one? Xie loses track, not that it matters; they have met, and that is enough. Strangers and relatives, traveling opposite ways on the disappearing road!

Annelus cozies up to hir. How long has it been, xie wonders, and forgets hir question even as xie asks it; what does it matter? They cozy up together, tip to tail, tail to tip, skin sliding smooth and hungry against skin, patient skin. The road, the appearing road, rolls itself around them in a white light that tastes like Annelus, tastes like another one, tastes like coming and going.

Annelus loses track, not that it matters.

The disappearing road, and Annelus forgets. A fine time later, a shiver courses along hir length, and xie wonders how long it has been. The road remembers, as Annelus does not, but what does it matter? The road bears their children away, sons and daughters of earth.

M. Religiosa

Emmer toys with his food.

“Aren’t you hungry?”

He sighs. “No, it’s not that, it’s just…” He avoids eye contact. In the glow of her twelve luminous eyes, all food looks terribly real; dead flesh. He shudders to catch a glimpse of his reflection in her regard.

“You’ve been so withdrawn lately. Is it something I said?” She curls a delicate fin against his wrist. He has no blood to chill, and yet; something stirs inside him, an itch, terrible foreboding, builds in his neck.

“No. I… no.” She shuffles delicate blunt feet beneath the skirts of the table, slides one up the ridges of his foreleg, black on green. He shudders, horrified at his reaction. “You’ve been great. It’s just…”

She sighs. There is a long pause, full of vertigo; long familiar to them both. “This isn’t working.”

“No!” He stabs the table in terror; it’s a trial getting his forelimbs unhooked again, a calming one, long familiar. He looks up, looks his death in the eye. A voice beats, deep in his throat, crying in the wilderness of his desire. “I want this… I want it to work. I’m just… scared? I guess. I’ve never done this before.” He laughs, sadly. “Obviously.”

Xiksthan leans forward, kisses him over the many-legged remains of their meal. She is hot and cold, shifting and protean. He has never wanted anything more than this, will never want anything more than this.