The following story was based on the following image as a prompt:

Vardezia, Georgia. CC photo by Ben van der Ploeg.
Vardezia, Georgia. CC photo by Ben van der Ploeg.



Did we give them credit? Of course not. We are Life, they were bottom-dwellers.

They labored. When the storms and thunder came and went, when the sun burned and set, we paid them no mind.

Why would we? Wormwood was the least of our concerns. The Kingdom had the vicious Wyderhosiens, sleazy Mebas, and the violent race of Zyesis to worry about. The Larvi were said to be non-toxic to society as long as left to themselves. (And when not, they were known to bite visitors apart.)

When we migrated the populations from the dying planet, we left them in a boring useless sector where the Larvi could be forgotten and eat dust in peace.

But we do not have the talent to coexist. By the time we returned, the Larvi had transformed the tough, hewn rock walls into a masterpiece. Then we followed command, slaughtering the slimy peach creatures.

These new headquarters will suffice. Until we find something better.



This was written for Flash! Friday flash fiction


“Wormwood.” For conjuring a whole world in a few words, introducing us to a series of races, and outlining a conflict as old as time: the rulers versus the oppressed. Great phrases like “non-toxic to society,” and “could be forgotten and eat dust in peace.” It’s not easy to cover this much ground so quickly.”




2 thoughts on “Wormwood

  1. Thanks for posting this! I wanted to read the stories you posted! 🙂 I agree with the the review about your 3rd place story – you created a whole world in just a few sentences. That one was my favorite 🙂 And the picture gave a sense of “worms” and a “higher civilization” at the same time. I liked how you captured that feeling from the picture. And I really like your language in the last story, specifically, “freedom sung through the roaring wind,” and “Liberty must be swept in from the future.” I love the imagery you created 🙂


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