The following is an excerpt from VERMyN:
He went to bed that night lying on his back with his fingers crossed behind his head, thinking of revenge. Absurdities came to mind. Guns, knives, fire, poison, but they were too difficult to attain and way too ordinary. No, Sydney needed something perfect. He needed something that would shut down this place once and for all.
With that last thought on his mind, Sydney fell asleep.
He found himself in that same cage. The red light still monopolized everything. He could move though and when he turned he noticed the door to his kennel was open. He sat up. He could see and he could move and so he did, crawling out of the cage to better experience the horror that had always been there, but never noticed until now.
All around him were cages just like his, but locked with children still inside. They were his peers, all with skin color somewhere within the spectrum of black and brown. He never heard crying, but there was crying now and it came from all the kids he knew from his school. They appealed to Sydney, yelling for him to free them and he just watched their agony. He could smell urine and shit for the first time coming at him from every angle. Some banged on the cages, some put their fingers between the checkered grates and rattled them and others just whimpered, putting their faces as deep into a corner as they could.
“You are not them,” came a million single voices in unison.
The rattling and screaming pleas of the children came to sudden silence.
“They are nothing because they are trapped as you once were and no longer will be. You are now in control.”
Sydney didn’t want to look, but he forced his eyes up to his fear anyway. The man was white skinned, pale as snow and above his shoulders rested the skull of a wooly mammoth, tusks curled out over his head. The bone seemed almost yellow against the dead white of its skin.
“You can be free from them, from all of this, but there is a price you must pay.”
The question entered Sydney’s dreaming mind and was answered without any utterance of words on his part.
“You must kill, Syd. You must kill them all.”
He wasn’t going to try to speak because he was so used to the paralysis of his mouth, but he did and was surprised as he felt the words rise from his lungs and tumble over his tongue to be absorbed by his own ears. “Who are you?”
“I have many names. I am Millions. I am Silver. I am MAMOTH. Together, you and I can be ALL.”
The man was tall with legs so skinny they seemed like stilts. His upper body was slouched to fit himself within the low ceiling of the red lit dungeon, but of all the strangeness, what captivated Syd was the absence of arms. There were hands though despite the being’s lack of upper limbs. Millions of them swirled around the slender blinding white body of the demon, opening and closing, making fists and spreading fingers to reveal the mouth orifices in their centers. They moved swiftly in a swirl around him like a force field and Sydney could see well enough to notice the lips, teeth and tongues working away in the air as if communicating to him in their own strange language. The teeth chattered and bit. The lips puckered, tensed and gaped. The tongues rolled, lashed and slobbered.
“How?” asked Sydney. “They are so many. I cannot-”
“Yes!” interrupted Millions. “You, Sydney Solomon Snider II, cannot. You must change. You must give yourself to me. You must obey. Success is not possible for you. Success comes from me and you together. Accept me and we are as one. Allow me into you, Syd, and the world will be Ours to destroy.”
“I want them dead,” said Sydney. “Everyone.”
“Allow me in and it will be done. Say it.”
Sydney looked down to the filthy floor of the dream world. The piss from the children created streams that rolled between the wired cages carrying small clumps of fecal matter floating on top like dead driftwood. He looked at their eyes: big, watery and pleading.
“I allow you in. Help me. Save me from this. Show me how to kill them.”
“Say my name and make it your own. Give up your past and take me as your mother, father and only friend.”
A tear boiled in Syd’s dream eye. He didn’t want to cry. He was happy, but the realization that he had no friends, that the white man of a million hands was to be the first he could remember, filled his heart with a joy so strong it could only be evil.
“Silver. I am your son and I will obey.”
The hands swirled around Millions and then departed, sharp and quick, directly towards Sydney. His young dream body maintained his balance as they covered him completely. Their mouths no longer sucked, but chewed. Sydney felt his skin tearing. He felt his flesh beneath leaving his body. He felt the fingers ripping off meat, digging in and pulling it out with their fingernails, and feeding it to the mouths in their palms.
Sydney tried not to collapse, but the pain, even in dream was too severe to withstand. He hit the floor, feeling his bones where the meat was picked clean clink against the musty brick.
Death seemed so close, so imminent, until the teeth and fingers relieved their attack and flexed backwards to allow the tongues to come through. They licked with a liquid so foreign it couldn’t be saliva. It was cold, freezing him, but with a strange comfort. Stroke by slimy stroke replaced the flesh and skin their teeth had torn away with new material. Inhuman innards filled him back to what he once was, only better.
They were still licking when he woke up and the first word he spoke was his new, true, name. Now and forever.