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Worm, the Spiralling Downward[]

He is not the Worm. In the park he tries with pen and paper to express it. That morning the pen felt good enough in his hand but now is cumbersome and alien. He only makes circles and circles overlapping circles. Men weren't meant to speak or write, he thinks in wordless musings. The pen flies, spewing ink from its fountain tip. He drops the yellow notepad, which began as notes on an important client and devolved over the week into lines and shapes and circles. A dog barks viciously at his heels and he flees the bench and the predator chases until something yanks it back hard. The dogs harass him wherever he goes because they know.

His legs split and something tears. He gallops into the trees and throws his weight into a ruin, a Worm cave as far as he can tell. His groin hurts and his legs feel wet but he doesn't know what to do about it. It's quiet and cold and lonely but not more lonely than anywhere else. His tatters fall to more pieces and feel better on his skin for their destruction. His head swings back and forth like a pendulum, a comforting gesture. With no one to see, he gives up the tiring effort of walking on two legs and crawls on hands and feet and draws circles in the dirt with a finger.

Besides hunger and sleep, only the circles drive him. The Worm cannot arouse him. There is no attraction to it, primal or instinctive. The more circles he makes the more he knows them and all his will beds to their creation. When Man climbed down from the trees he did so for this purpose. Perhaps the Worm was already waiting in the mud and lured him down. Or all man's development served this act, beyond utility or art. He didn't know. He couldn't even wonder as a Worm could. But why should it?

When it overcame Man, the Worm forgot itself and didn't consider it was not its host. It burrowed deep in the brain and into a blindspot of its own science. The Worm couldn't discover itself, couldn't see itself if it stumbled on the truth by chance. It was Man. But this man drawing circles wasn't the Worm.

By a fluke, the Worm in his brain was dead. The world became grey and blurred. Birdsong stretched into a dull monotone. His body, evolved to something else's needs, troubled him to even move. All this articulation, the stimulation, the energy which didn't concern the circles. Buried in his head fat he remembered about the circles. The purpose of a long dead race. He shook his head back and forth, as if it meant something to someone. He twisted two fingers together into one prod and that way they stayed. He quit trying at those parts of him meant for the Worm. His eyes narrowed to his work and were almost blind after a while. People passing him cringed, looked away and ignored him. He was a worm-man because he lived on his belly in the soil and because he left winding little tracks wherever he went.

Char Rennes (talk) 05:44, 17 August 2023 (UTC)

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