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World Book Day: Worms

March 4, 2010

So, today is World Book Day. Have an urban-legend-as-flash-fiction to celebrate!


“What’s in it?” Helen eyed the little white pellet nestling in her palm with mistrust. “Is it speed? I’m not taking speed. It’s speed, isn’t it?”
“No.” Her best friend Candice was starting to sound exasperated. “It’s all natural, I promise. Just one pill, all it takes.”
Helen brought her cupped hand up to her face and sniffed. The pill was odourless. She hadn’t really expected any different.
“I’m not taking it unless you tell me what’s in it.”
“OK.” Candice took a deep breath. “So, they found out in the ‘20s that if you had a tapeworm…”
“ –a?”
“…a tapeworm, if you had a tapeworm then you lost weight really quick, so…”
Helen looked incredulous.
“Wait, you’re telling me there’s a tapeworm in this thing? I don’t believe you!”
Candice tilted her head to one side.
“Don’t you want to lose weight?”
Helen poked at the pill with a fingertip, trying to sense any presence of a live creature inside. She was starting to feel that maybe saying goodbye to five stone was a lesser priority than saying goodbye to Candice.

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