Have you ever wondered what sidewalk worms are thinking? This is Wormy’s story.
By Carissa Guffey, Staff Writer
Today’s the day. If I do this right, I can see my family again.
It starts with the rain. The soil around me fills with moisture, and I know it’s time to head to the surface. With the ground wet, it will be fastest to use the pavement to get across. All worms know this and will attempt to do the same. Once at the surface, we make for the sidewalk at a snail’s pace. Our cursed bodies move unbearably slow; we all pray the rain won’t stop anytime soon. Finally, a pack of us arrive at the sidewalk. On the other side are worms about to take the leap, same as us. In between is a graveyard of worms, some old and crusty, some freshly killed. After a moment’s hesitation, I cross the line of no return.
It’s a battlefield here on the sidewalks. To my left are the remains of someone who wasn’t fast enough during the last rainfall and dried up in the sun. That’s the worst way to go, a slow and painful death. I push ahead, and someone in front of me, coming in my direction, gets crushed by a foot; they were so close—my heart races at the possibility of being stepped on with no warning, no chance.
I can see the other side; I’m over halfway. Behind me, I hear another unforgiving death, but I keep my head forward. My family will be waiting for me. I’m certain they made it through this hell when they made their journey on a rainy day just like this. Next to me, a friend gets cut in half by a bicycle. I should have waited till night; the chances of survival are higher at night.
I’m so close now, only inches away. I kick it into high gear and give what little strength I have left to cross the finish line. At the edge are those who already made it, crying in their relief to be alive, in their exhaustion, in the pain of what they just witnessed. Some notice me and start to cheer me on, telling me to hurry. The panic in their voices draws my attention to the bouncing child coming my way. I have seconds before its light-up sneakers end my life. I crawl faster. The lights get closer. I’m practically kissing the grass. If I curl my body forward, I should be able to-
Wormy didn’t make it. His body lays half in the grass, half flattened to the cement. He never got to the other side, but neither did his family, so, in the end, they were reunited in worm heaven.