Emily Rae Robles

the paradoxymoron

Suit A Blue Worm (Flash Fiction: Day 1)

Prompt: suitably warm

When I was in eighth grade, my best friend Hannah ate a worm.

She shocked us all, not with her culinary taste (or lack thereof) but with her indifference towards the well-being of animals.  We all knew she had done it to gain the attention of one of the handsomer members of the opposite sex, but her plan sadly backfired.  Within days, a new branch of PETA had sprung up in the halls of our junior high.  Posters arose with anthropomorphic animals bemoaning their fate. Hannah nearly died with embarrassment (and stomach-ache, I later heard.)

A few days after the incident, some particularly passionate students marched over to Hannah’s locker carrying a jar of worms.  One of them, a bulky young boy named David, shoved it in her face.

“Do you expect her to EAT all those?” I asked, shocked.

“NO!” the four or five students shouted in unison.  David smirked.

“We thought we would teach you a lesson about animal treatment,” he snickered.  Hannah and I looked at each other, confused.  ”See these worms here? They are your friends. In fact, one of them will be your date to the school dance.”

“WHAT?” Hannah shrieked.  She had already made plans with the handsome young man, but the thought still mortified her. “What do you think you’re doing? Ew!”

“The only requirement is that you dress the worm accordingly,” David responded.  He pulled some scraps of cloth from his pocket. “Voila! A tuxedo!”

Hannah groaned, but by this time quite a crowd had gathered around her, so she gave in.  She withdrew a worm from the jar, flinching slightly. Then her face contorted into a confused expression.

“Why is it blue?” she asked.

It was indeed blue.  Bright sky, birds flying overhead, summer day at the lake sort of blue.

“We decided we would also enforce color-blind values while we were at it,” David’s friend Tom piped up. “He took a dip in one of the paint jars in the art room.”

Hannah, who had already managed to slip the black and white cloth over the poor creature, stopped suddenly.

“You did WHAT?” we cried in unison.

“That’s horrible!” someone said.

“I can’t believe they would do that to an animal!” someone else murmured. “It’s bound to get lead poisoning.”

Hannah rushed into the girls’ restroom and held the worm under the faucet until it was only faintly blue.  But alas, it was too late.  The fancily dressed annelid was hanging limply from her finger.

“What did those horrible boys DO?” Hannah shouted, tears welling up in her eyes.

“Yeah, the poor worm,” I responded, not quite sympathizing, but wanting to show my appreciation for animals.

“No, no,” Hannah said distractedly.  ”I can’t believe they ripped up a real tuxedo for this lousy little creature.  It must be ruined!”

She was right.  It was.  But since no one except me heard our conversation in the bathroom, Hannah’s reputation was anything but ruined.  She became a PETA heroine.  And valedictorian, actually.

 

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February 5, 2011 - Posted by | flash fiction, writings | , , ,

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