Never Eat the Worm
by J. Scott Ellis
Back aching, he woke on a cold linoleum floor. His brain seemed over inflated, throbbing in his skull, threatening to burst.
Sitting up too fast, the hot hand of nausea clenched his guts. A belch erupted from the pit of his stomach, spewing bile into his throat, raking as if he had coughed up a cactus.
No mistaking the day-after taste: Mezcal.
One eye felt like it was glued shut. Peering through the slit of the other, glaring sunlight scorched his vision like a point of light from a child’s magnifying glass.
He lifted the object in his hand before him. Something was caked onto his arm, cracking like eggshell as he moved it.
His good eye popped wide open.
He held a cook’s knife, covered in the same dried-on blood that spanned the length of his arm.
His shirt was ripped.
A garbage can was tipped.
A curtain was torn from the wall.
In a haze, he stumbled along a trail of blood and broken glass into the next room, where it led to the lifeless body of the girl he suddenly recognized.
Sobbing uncontrollably, he tossed the knife and collapsed to his knees beside the girl he had hooked up with the night before.
The room exploded with laughter.
He whirled to see a group of his frat brothers, braying like donkeys.
The corpse couldn’t hold it any longer. Sitting up and putting a hand to his shoulder, she chided, “The look on your face is just priceless!”