No Escape

When she woke, she couldn’t move. Everything was dark, and she couldn’t move. Oh my God, I’m buried alive! she thought. She wasn’t the type to panic at the first sign of trouble either, so she tried to wiggle around to make some room in the loose material she was buried in. To her immediate relief, she was able expand the material a little. She kept at it. If there was a way to get out of this, she would. She kept a tight rein on the panic that sat on her heart and whispered to her to scream. She could scream later, she thought. But for now, she ‘d work on getting out of her situation. She didn’t want to die like this. By pushing forward a little, she was able to move forward in the dark, dirt-like material. She found that she could breathe if she took slow even breaths. After a short time, she realized that she had no idea which way to move to. As she thought about her situation, she felt warmer on the upper part of her body and much cooler below. Well, that settles it, she thought. She began to push upward and forward.

The dirt or whatever it was she was buried in was a little looser as she climbed slowly upward. She was lucky that she’d been buried in loose dirt. Not only was the dirt looser up here but it was warmer too. She thought she was getting close to the surface. She found that the best way to proceed through this dirt was to push forward and hold her upper body in position, then draw up the lower part of her body. Then she blocked her lower end, and pushed forward again.

She was almost at the surface now. The dirt was very loose here. She coiled herself up for one last big push. She set her lower body and heaved mightily. The dirt finally gave way and she broke free into the open air. But the joy of freedom was immediately replaced with pain. The light burned her skin like fire. There was some kind of fire burning up here. She ducked back down into the dirt and noticed that the fire didn’t burn her here. For now, she was safe.

She stopped to consider her situation now. Her options were extremely limited. If she went to the surface now, she’d be burned up by the fire raging overhead. If she stayed here, in the dirt, she’d be safe for the moment, but she really didn’t want to stay here any longer than necessary. She rested for a moment and contemplated her plight.

As she was relaxing and thinking, she felt the dirt move slightly, below and behind her. At first, she didn’t know what to think. Then, in a flash, she realized that someone else was here in the dirt too. With horror, she realized that something was moving up alongside her. Something long and sinewy, cool and slightly damp worked it’s way next to her in the dirt. As it lay there, it began to explore her body with it’s sensitive end. The pointed tip swept over her and she wriggled to avoid its touch, but to no avail. She couldn’t go up and this thing could move faster than her in the dirt. And now it was coiling around her loosely in a strange manner. She began to realize that this thing meant her no harm. In fact, she was becoming slightly aroused by it. Disgusting, she thought. Here she was, in a life or death situation, and this thing was taking advantage of her. When the creature entered her, she was immediately overcome with lust for a short while. It was over quickly, though, and then the creature moved on past her to disappear in the dirt up ahead. At least it was over, she thought.

She moved forward through the track that the thing left in the dirt. She found it easier to move now. She decided to check the surface again to see if the fire overhead had gone out or lessened in any way. She was more cautious this time and only thrust the forward part of her body into the air. A cloud had passed between her and the sun, but she didn’t know that. She was about halfway out of the hole when a fast-moving shadow landed on the ground in front of her and grabbed her body with its sharp beak. With a swift and practised tug, it snatched her body out of the dirt and swallowed her whole. With horror and pain, she realized what she was as she was eaten. She was an earthworm!

No Escape

Jim Hall

Fayetteville, United States

Artist's Description

Who knows what twisted torments the mind can survive? So far, it has proven to be remarkably resilient. But as we are born to this world, so we must in the end die. Unbelievably, its the most natural thing in our world. JH

Artwork Comments

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