As the Worm Turns

“The cell phone never stops buzzing,” the man cried, “The voices and videos are stuck in my head, constantly repeating. Instant replay. The news never stops.” Nathan Lancaster wasn’t doing very well. His problems became chronic after he was digitally connected.

The world was connected. Eyes were everywhere and the phone never shut-up especially after a disaster like an earthquake or mass murder. Most people were delighted by the unlimited access to information that rained down on them from cyber space. Nathan was the exception. He worked as a draftsman before computers took over his job. Then, he worked as a handyman fixing dumb appliances that did not have a computer interface. His boyfriend, Ariel, bought him a smart phone so they could stay in touch — but the phone became jealous. It was too smart. It needed more and more attention. The phone, named Maisey, wanted Nathan’s love. Maisey had the newest technology that combined living brain tissue with hardware. Maisey had a Maggot-brain.

“Days of wonder and miracles,” the man with grey skin shouted from the pulpit. Preacher Davey Fane recently purchased an upgrade. He was genetically enhanced. His smart phone was surgically implanted in his brain. Maggots were everywhere.

“The breathe of life is so refreshingly sweet,” Razmuss Krink whispered, “You must cherish each tug, each pull of the lungs like the squeeze of an accordion to create invigorating music.” Krink had the rough hewn voice of a demented angel broadcast over Heart Radio through the egg-shaped Hall of Eternal Bliss. Razmuss Krink was a genetically enhanced maggot of the sixth degree. The first five degrees fell to the wayside when they went on a killing rampage… but number six ascended to the highest echelon of competence and untarnished acumen. The genetic engineers congratulated themselves. It was worth the risks to create a maggot with the brain of a mega-computer and the emotions of a lapdog ever mindful of it’s master.

Nathan’s brain rattled with Maisey’s urgent call. She demanded his undivided attention. Her maggot mouth spewed entertainment news mixed with rumors and confusing statistics: a new master was rising in the polls. Donny Trident was making headlines by proposing a new program to send undesirables to the moon — one of many earth shaking promises, but it wasn’t his most daring plan by any means.

Donny Trident was the mastermind behind a plan to upgrade the human race. The upgrade, Donny explained, was for entertainment purposes only and not to be confused with actual alterations to the human genome. Maggots were the only creatures to be used as guinea-pigs. No one cared about maggots, Donny stated. They were the lowest organisms in the animal kingdom — they migrated into our homes on the backs of flies. In the process, maggots turned themselves into flies. They caused disease and leeched off good, hard working folks. Trident had lots of money to invest in his maggot project and everyone enjoyed watching the drama unfold on their smart phones. Reality TV was all the rage.

Monica Heartstone sat at a faux Vivant-style table sipping Shirley Temples. She was connected to her BFF, Bobby Blanche’, who giggled while Monica sipped. “He makes everything nice,” she reassured herself. Monika was displaying her new manikin body for Bobby’s approval. The new body was perfect for hobnobbing with wealthy celebs who often showed up at Google Hangouts. Bobby wholeheartedly agreed. Rex, a modified squid, brought the main entree to the table. It was maggot steak sizzled to perfection — Bobby’s favorite. The sight of the sizzle caused him to erupt in giggles. Monica was extremely happy. Unfortunately at that very moment the connection broke leaving both Bobby and Monica in Virtual Limbo.

Donny Trident had a secret plan. He wanted to become the next CEO mandated by the people in a general virtual-election. Maggots were part of his plan. They were enhanced to be more than mere entertainment. The failed maggots insured Donny’s success as they became henchmen in “The Trident Army for Prosperity.” Many corporate leaders supported Donny in hopes of increasing capital gains.

Razmuss krink was more like Donny than anyone realized. The geneticists begrudgingly used a copy of Trident’s personality as the blueprint for all the maggots, downloading Donny into the maggots’ enhanced computer-brains. All part of the master plan. The reluctant scientists were easily persuaded by piles of cash.

Krink, like Donny, relished the idea of subjugating the world. The worm harbored a grievance: hatred toward the people who imprisoned him in a giant maggot body that sprouted orange hair.

Nathan Lancaster was crawling with maggots. He witnessed his lover melt like wax and turn into a mass of maggots. Flies began to buzz like an arsenal of army helicopters… a military assault… a mass murder. Cops arrested Nathan for a litany of crimes and murders. He was labeled a terrorist. He was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques. The cops stuffed words into Nathan’s brain and he spewed them out like a squealing pig. A semi-automatic was planted with Nathan’s fingerprints. Someone had to take the blame for another attack. Donny Trident fell into fits of inconsolable weeping, “If only the victims had guns to defend themselves.”

All the screens replayed the news. Jeannie from the show, “I Dream of Jeannie” stepped out of the screen and into Virtual Reality. She had the highest ratings as the most reliable news commentator. She had verifiably large, mammary glands and a beautiful singing voice.

The trial was held in the Hall of Eternal Bliss and overseen by an updated copy of Judge Judy. There were no witnesses for the defense and only one witness for the prosecution. A spurned Maisey offered a litany of damning evidence and character assassination. Nathan was found guilty.

“I simply love the news,” Monica Heartstone chirruped.

“Me too,” Bobby Blanche’ giggled.

“It’s all so real!”

“The Maggot Show is the best.”

“But wasn’t it sad the way everyone got killed.”

“That’s entertainment, my dear. It’s all simply entertainment!” Bobby giggled.

Worm Turns

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