“Vile worms!” Waldemar shrieked, “I will squash you like the vermin that you are!”
The head earthworm sneered contemptuously and spat greenish, venomous saliva onto Waldemar’s shoes.
“You ain’t steppin’ on nothin’ with those feet,” it hissed, “I can tell you that right now! Fact of the matter is, you just plain ain’t goin’ nowhere at all for a long, long time!”
Suddenly, whiplike worm-bodies wrapped themselves around Waldemar’s ankles, tightening like steel cables. He struggled to get away, but it was all he could do to keep from falling down. As he tried to regain his balance, he looked down just in time to see the worm-leader’s tail whip out and slash his left calf with its scorpion-like sting.
“No!” he shrieked in an even shriekier voice, “I am of the master race, and I will not be defeated by such filth!”
But the worm-sting had already numbed his lower body, and he could feel himself drifting off into oblivion…
* * *
“Aaaughhhh!” Waldemar screamed, thrashing wildly on the mat, “I will reach down your gullet and pull out your seminal vesicles with my bare hands!”
“Quick!” snapped Miss Bunnyfluff, the kindergarten teacher, “restrain him before we have another incident!”
Two of the classroom guards had been sitting on the lid of the toybox; they stood up clumsily, slid their automatic weapons around to their backs, and lurched toward the mat where Waldemar lay screaming and moaning. A third guard lazily got up from the remains of a child-size wooden chair and ambled over. The first two guards held down Waldemar’s arms, while the third absent-mindedly sat on his legs.
“That’s better!” snarled Miss Bunnyfluff through clenched, razor-sharp, triangular-pointed teeth. “Now you,” she gestured toward Billy and Cindy Lou, the two kapos, “pour ice-water on his head until he wakes up.”
She glanced over at the classroom windows. Still nothing but a writhing mass of tentacles slithering frantically across the glass, completely obscuring the view. It had been that way for three days.
And what am I supposed to do if they get in? she wondered, Attack them with my ovipositor? It’s empty at the moment, and besides, all it’s good for is laying eggs inside the children’s brains. The guards’ weapons wouldn’t do much aganist those things. Maybe we can make a superweapon out of play-dough, finger-paint, and Lego blocks. Or maybe I’m going insane. That’s probably it. In fact, I’m sure it is.
She tried to laugh, and she found herself vainly hoping that she could make it sound ironic, but all that came out was a metallic, reptilian hiss.
* * *
Outside, above the writhing sea of tentacles, a blotchy orange sun sent out huge flares as if it were frantically reaching for a way to heal itself form the disorder that was consuming it.
Beyond the sun, the universe exploded with unimaginable violence and unutterable boredom, as if it were a trick that it performed every day to jaded and cynical street-corner crowds, which would reward it with no more than a few casually tossed pennies for its efforts.
And in the crowd, a small child picked his nose and tried to eat the remains of his half-melted ice-cream bar without losing too much of what was left.
“Stupid earthworms!” he muttered, “It’s all their fault!”