This is a review I wrote for a university seminar. We had to review something of our choice and I chose to write about Worm.
He’d changed. And it wasn’t a new change, not entirely.
Many small things he had noticed earlier now made more sense – the distance, the aloofness. He’d been acting deliberately ‘normal’, hiding the changes he knew they would pick up.
Or, perhaps, the changes only Tim would have picked up – Aimi wasn’t the most observant of persons.
Either way, Basil wasn’t hiding it, not here. He was sitting on the couch across from Tim, looking at him with a serious expression. He seemed both alert in that he was ready for trouble, but also relaxed in the way only a person could be who was sure they were capable of dealing with whatever came their way.
The worlds were getting agitated.
A knight, clad in golden armor with feathered wings and a birdlike helmet rode a silver stallion, his lance levelled at the basalt dragon that was charging towards him.
The hooves of the stallion created sparks against the copper ground, while the dragon gouged deep marks into the soft metal underneath while the weight of its steps made the nearby trees, made of copper and tin and gold and all the other metals, shake violently.
Knight and dragon were now almost upon one another, black-and-blue flames and blue smoke flaring out of the open maw of the silver stallion just as the dragon spit a stream of apples and turnips towar-
* * *
With but a thought, he extinguished the scenery. The knight, the stallion, the dragon, they all vanished together with the copper land and the metal trees.
The worlds were still agitated, rubbing against his own, screaming for attention.
It hurt so very much.
He raised his head, looking at the overcast sky.
It was about to rain. His coat would protect him, but he was not in the mood for rain.
Should he stop it? No, that wasn’t the solution. He didn’t want to do something like that. He wasn’t sure whether he could, either.
Couldn’t he? It was so difficult to remember everything. So much pain…
The worlds were screaming at him, making it harder to concentrate.
He didn’t want to be rained on. How to solve this.
He could… he could… he didn’t know what to do. He was already wearing a raincoat. It was old, tattered, but it served its purpose. What else could he do?
A thought came to mind: He could just go somewhere else!
He had almost begun standing up from the rim of the fountain when he remembered that he didn’t want to stand up, either.
What did he want less? Standing up? Or getting rained on?
Preventing the second would take effort. Avoiding the first only required that he did not move.
So he remained where he was. What could he do to distract himself from the rain? Ah, yes, he could…
* * *
A maiden was running through the enchanted forest, hounded by strange little children made of light with cruel eyes and cruel claws.
Her beautiful dress had been torn away, her naked body was covered in shallow, but painful-
* * *
No, that wasn’t nice. Just because he was bored did not give him the right to hurt an innocent girl.
Unwilling to make the effort to further distract himself, he simply ceased doing anything in particular, just sitting on the rim of the fountain and looking up at the sky, as the clouds gathered and grew black and blacker.
This promised to be quite the downpour.
He watched as lightning flashed across the sky, listened as thunder filled the air and felt as the first raindrops hit his coat and his bare feet.
Seconds later, the sky opened its floodgates-
* * *
“I love the rain, you know?”, said the boy. His right hand swiped his long black hair out of his face as he raised it to let the rain fall down on him.
“Why? I prefer it if it’s bright and warm. Rain means cold, and I hate being cold!”, he replied, hotter than he had wanted to.
The boy chuckled in that infuriating way of his. As if there was a joke only he was getting. “Ah, mate, you’re missing out on something. Rain is beautiful. It washes away the filth with its torrents and it hides the ugly with its gray curtain. And the aftermath, that is even more beautiful, especially if you’re lucky and you get a rainbow!”
He shook his head. “I know it’s beautiful! You don’t need to tell me about beautiful. I just don’t like being wet and cold.”
“I like it. It eases the pain, you know. Especially in my face”, the boy replied, pointing at his mutilated visage. “And it feels divine when I’m clean. I hate being dirty, you know. Even though I am more often that not.”
* * *
No, that was worse. He’d rather watch a poor maiden be hurt than remember.
This wasn’t a solution. He liked the rain, but not right now. But he didn’t want to move, either!
On the upside, the sound of the rain and the thunder was drowning out the screaming worlds, if only a little bit.
Maybe if he…
Yes, he could do that.
Turning around without moving from where he sat, he stood on butterscotch coloured ground. There was no air here, so he left the breathing behind. Above him, the sky was rusty red as the sun set in the distance. Above himself, he could see a blue star in the sky, only he thought maybe it wasn’t star but something else, something familiar.
The screaming of the worlds vanished for a few seconds, because some of them were confused and needed some time to find him again.
A few seconds reprieve. A few seconds without thousands and millions and billions of worlds screaming at him.
A few seconds to maybe make something happier…
Gloom Glimmer had teleported the two of them back to HQ after gathering her ruined equipment. She’d left Polymnia in her workshop to try and salvage as much of it as possible, but the most important parts, her sonic system, were also the most vulnerable.
Two suits trashed in less than two days. This doesn’t really say anything good about my future as a superhero.
“You’ll never catch me, squirt!”, shouted her brother as he ran across the beach, away from her.
She just screamed in frustration, unable to get to him – he was five years older than her and had much longer and stronger legs.
“Tom, stop picking on your sister!”, said their father from where he lay on his beach lounger, bathing in the sun. “Sweetie, stop chasing him.”
She ran over to her father and replied: “He ripped my bathing suit!”, she shouted, showing him how one shoulder of her brilliant green suit had a small, barely visible tear.
He looked at her like a man who had been through this a thousand times before – which was quite accurate, actually. “Sweetheart, please. We can buy you a new one. We can buy you a hundred, and a hundred red ones as well. So stop fretting about.”
She pouted at him, but… “Can I have some that are green and red?”, she asked hopefully.
“Sure thing sweetheart. Now, go and play some more, will you? And tell your brother to come to me for a second”, her father replied, dismissing her.
Watching him chastise her older brother made her almost as happy as the promise of new bathing suits…