"Please, ma’am, I didn’t mean to! I’ll work faster, please, don’t!" The straps tightened on the girl’s wrists, holding her hands firmly to the table. The woman just picked up a knife and forced one of the girl’s fists open, splaying her fingers. "Please, ma’am, I wasn’t trying to be lazy!"
The woman simply sighed in irritation at the girl’s hysterics. "You’re no good to me, little one. You work too slowly, and I can’t be bothered to coddle you. Kindly stop shrieking." She carefully made incisions in each of the girl’s fingers running from the tip to the palm. Still holding the girl’s hand in an iron grip, she used tweezers to place sickly gray maggot-like creatures in each cut. Then she quickly sewed the wounds closed, trapping the writhing little creatures inside. The girl was still screaming as she tightly bandaged the girl’s fingers together. "Oh, do shut up." She reached for the other hand…
The oddly-named Solace Worms are nasty little creatures originally created from decaying tissue and necromantic magic. When fully grown, they’re about four inches long, and about two inches thick. They’re a nasty gray color, and are quite nasty to touch. They are blind and mindless, concerned only with ravenously eating, and are quite carnivorous.
However, they are extremely sensitive to light, pressure, humidity, and several other things, and their top speed is something less than slow. They survive best in dryish, dark areas, with a ready supply of food. The basement of the Taikan Solon Memorial Orphanage is an ideal habitat for them.
Solace Worms were created by Edrea Solon to clean up the detrius of her necromantic experiments and keep the basement tidy. (Most undead, unfortunately, have a regretable tendency to shed.) She feeds them the shed material, and any bits too damaged or too small to be of any use. Naturally, since they don’t live long and are easy to kill, Edrea tends to breed these little monstrosities, in order to maintain a decent supply.
While the mature worms can easily feed on necrotic flesh, the juvenile stage thrives best on something fresher. In fact, the best breeding ground to raise juvenile Solace Worms is inside a living human. The easist and most efficient way Edrea has found to do this is to surgically implant them into a chosen victim’s fingers. This protects the juveniles, and provides them a food source that will last for several months, or until she’s ready to harvest them. Of course, the process is excruciatingly painful, and the host generally won’t survive either way.
The most common hosts are children in the orphanage that don’t work fast enough to suit Edrea or have a useful talent, and that she doesn’t want to use in other projects. (When she does have access to adults, it’s uncommon enough that she chooses to use them more productively.) As long as she takes care that the host can’t damage the juvenile worms, she can breed somewhere around twenty to forty worms per host.
While the original habitat is the Taikan Solon Memorial Orphanage basement, concievably, Solace Worms could be found in any mostly dry, dark area where they can easily get at food (certain dungeons, perhaps), particularly if necromancy was practiced nearby.
Though they were created with necromantic magic, they were designed to be able to breed (cheaper and less labor intensive). It’s also possible that the worms could eat their way into someone and breed, which could lead to interesting plots if the wrong person got them.
For the Archaic Word Challenge-
Idle-Worms revolting, maggot-like, tiny worms, bred in the fingers of lazy girls.
... There’s probably something thoroughly wrong with me.