I2. Ten Thousand Earthworms

The man-sized amoeba bleated and struggled on the Mountainside, boiling with teeth. Molars mashed the amoeba’s guts. Canines spun sadistically. Triangular teeth swam like shark fins at sea.

Teeth ground the amoeba until all that remained was a bundle of gums the size of a soccer-ball which squirmed like a cramping gonad. So many teeth bit the flesh-sphere that it seemed made of teeth and nothing else, even while the gums suffered silently inside. The teeth swirled on the surface as if conveyed by convection. A deep whine from the center increased in pitch and volume.

The tooth-ball bulged. The bulge split the layer of teeth. A narwhal tusk, spiraled and spinning, drilled three feet skyward before the tooth-ball rolled and stubbed the tusk on the ground. Still the tusk grew longer and thicker. Its thickening cracked other teeth. The cracking of teeth was the source of the whine, which became a relentless shriek.

The tusk stretched gums until they snapped. Broken nerves burned in the air.

When the tusk surpassed twenty shrieking feet the tooth-ball shuddered, then expanded and contracted like a lung.

The teeth retreated into the gums leaving pores which gasped for air. Each wheeze pulled the tusk back into the ball until it was hoisted within the gums.

Finally the ball of gums breathed calmly. It relaxed into brown slime which spread in a muddy disk.

Then, like goop on a sub-woofer, pseudopods danced from the mud. The longest pseudopods grappled for dominance, only to merge where they met.

The merged pseudopods wriggled like earthworms. As more earthworms formed, the mud became clearer. When the mud was a puddle of water, ten thousand earthworms tangled in pandemonium.

Then all ten thousand wriggled as one. The dusty Mountain disturbed them and they yearned for moist soil. They crawled from the puddle to the edge of the Mountain and felt sheer cliff-face. If they jumped the impact would be painful and the sand below would cut like hot knives, but then they could dig into moist darkness. They leapt! 

“Nice try!”

I2 pictb

A white fox bit the worm-heap like it was a venomous snake and dragged it onto the Mountain. She threw her head to toss her prey and chomp again with greater grip. The worms tried escaping every-worm-for-itself, but they’d tangled too thoroughly to separate. The fox beat them senseless on the ground.

“Now, how to do this…”

The fox exhaled. Her breath froze the pink worms white and blue. She froze the whole mass before sitting on her haunches and closing her eyes.

Her tail evaporated and the rest of her body joined its misty mass. Her cloud descended on the worms and swirled faster and faster until she lifted them away from the Mountain, into the desert.

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