Wormed My Wretched Way

Linda Valenzuela Guzmŗn

© Copyright 2024 by Linda Valenzuela Guzmŗn


Photo by Ivan Ivanovič on Unsplash
Photo by Ivan Ivanovič on Unsplash
  Humans, poor creatures, Poor Creatures in need of a savior. Like, this man for instance: he should have listened to his nagging wife about stopping those gluttonous and rather gross eating habits of his, for because of it, heís become gravely ill. But, fortunately for him, Iím more than happy to help my new host, as any tapeworm would.

Well, it isnít this manís fault that heís ingested me, it must have been those evil spirits that love raw meat that must have possessed him again, as heís always saying, to drive to the Bag of the Market? Or was it Market Basket? No matter, what did matter was the unfortunate fact that even though there were rows and rows of sea bass, shrimp, wide-eyed cod and strips of red salmon readily available at the store, he decided heíd get wise and show his son how to fish, eventually caught a Freshwater Yellow Perch fish that I, as a young larvae had managed to be ingested by, and brought it home to eat. Raw. And a good thing too, for the suckers on my head have latched on to his small intestine, and now Iíll be able to finally help him restore his bodyís equilibrium.

Mark. Thatís his name, isnít it? I hear his wife call to him in her agonizingó but reasonableó voice to tell him heís gotta stop Ďslamminí the damned fridge doorí open and closed. He says he has no appetite, but he canít get over his nauseating starvation. I hate to be a stickler, get it? Stick? Because Iím Ďstickingí to him? Iím afraid Mark has no room in his waxy ears to hear my amusing jokes, although the acoustics of the dark tunnels of his intestines are quite nice.

I feel his pain, the Chinese food he ate last week has completely gone through my 27 inch body, alas, I must continue with my purpose of steering him away from these unhealthy habits of his, so for the past 2 months Iíve been careful to watch over both of our figures. After all, I wouldnít want my proglottids to get too big, if you know what I mean; since Iíve made myself quite comfortable here and should start detaching the segments of my body soon along with my stool to be swept away through the rest of his tract.

Why is he always complaining? ďWhy canít I get up in the day anymore, Iím so exhausted all the time!Ē, and ďIíve had diarrhea for days now. What is going on?Ē, and ďStop telling me to go to the doc-tor, dear, their just hoighty-toighty know-it-alls in lab coats tryna steal money from the people.Ē. Why doesnít he focus on this continuation of his obsessive consumption with raw food, refusing his wifeís warning of ďThe devils in the uncooked pork!Ē, instead of the side effects of my treatment? Iíve only ever tried to help him, but heís making it so hard to continue my humble, hard work without showing an ounce of appreciation.

So, I gave him a stomach cramp that day, and let go of two of my proglottids as well, with a fresh batch of feces and my own eggs. I was disappointed to find that he only groaned and bellyached on this seat he sits on to get the digestive system movingó him being a big man due to the fiery liquid he bombarded his liver withó he had much room in his intestines for my comfortable living space. But because he had the audacity to whine! I made sure to absorb extra nutrients from food just wasting away in his intestinal walls to get him to shut up. He was making such a racket I decided to take a nap, you canít maintain this lifestyle of digestive therapy on no sleep.

I woke up to find out he was at the doc-torís appointment. His grumbling of ďHow did I let Sheryl convince me to do this?Ē And ďI canít believe Iím in a doctorís office with these idiots, bunch of artsy-fartsy, money-stealing, dung!Ē Echoed in my head. How could he? How dare he! Iíve done nothing but try to help him! Now he goes in and tries to look for an alternative cure? The fact that he isnít aware of the dangers of E. Coli and salmonella you can accumulate from uncooked beef or pork, of which it is wise to consult from the expertsó the tapeworms, like myself. Iíve taken a liking to Mark whether he likes it or not and he dares to try and defile me!

Iím restless, inching along his jejunum back and forth, trying to find a way I could prevent him from ruining all the good deeds Iíve done. Doesnít he appreciate my lack of ulterior motives? Why doesnít he see that this is just me trying to tell him he needs to be better? Improve? But, humans, oh, arenít they worthless! So unable to analyze themselves and their habits, how arrogant and prideful they are, that they seek to destroy the very thing that is trying to clean them! What a fool I was to think I could help such a selfish creature!

Mark, how could you? I worked so hard to self-fertilize those eggs, of which I carefully slipped in his stool, the gentle pricking of my hooks that I made sure not to dig in too deep into his intestine, for fear it would hurt him unnecessarily. How I made sure to grow as long as I could so that I could block his tract from digesting the very rare burger he ate 3 weeks and 5 days ago, so that he would throw it up and out of his body and life.

Over the course of the next few days I beseeched Mark to rethink this choice, for I knew what he would do, I heard the whole appointment go on and the ridiculous explanation the doc-tor made of Markís doom ( and Iím finally starting to understand why heís so skeptical of those parasitic people). First, he would get the Ďlab resultsí back and if the stool tested positive, which it would because I do such a wonderful job of signing my work, they would secondly prescribe him a terrible curse of a Ďmedicineó if you could call it tható called praziquantel. What a wicked thing that is!

My begging didnít work. I can feel it already, the praziquantel, developing within me. The painful tingling of my body and the horrible urge to wriggle this joke of a treatment has me going insane, but I know itís too late. Iíve already started paralyzing, and will soon fall off of my place on this dark, comforting wall and fall. Soon Iíll be swept away with the rest of your feces to be be-necked (for I can regenerate at the neck if they just cut off my body) and be destroyed.

And the plans! Oh the plans I had for him and I, Mark, . . . for you and only you. You were my host, and mine alone. I would have helped you get over your sickness, we would have been able to get that prom-otion youíre always demanding you're deserving of in your job of hammering with loud noises and we would have grown old together. 30 now-nonexistent, splendid, gorgeous years filled with trips to the rowdy bar and long periods of time spent on this Ďtoil-etí regretting eating buckets of those spicy nood-les you love (of which I didnít mind much). I persistently kept doing my best with you, to cope with the hurtful sting of your insistence to get rid of me. I tried to stomach it, get it? Oh, whatís the point? Jokes are futile if thereís no one to cherish the punchline with you. I thought my purpose would be to guide you to a better life, not to die a martyr.

What was the name you had called to the man you're so close with? The one person you greeted with such joyous laughter and recalled past memories of which I never experienced with you? Was it . . . Bud? Yes, yes it was. Before I die, Mark, I hope I could possibly hear you say it again, ĎBudí, so that I could pretend in some optimistic reality you are referring to me: Your hidden helper and companion, Bud.


I am a freelance, want-to-be author who strives to do my best to cultivate stories that reflect the natural world around me or the social conflict Iíve seen in the world. 

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