The ground was wet and cold. It had been raining on the front line for days and the trenches were soaked. Nestled just below the surface, it grew hard to breathe. The decision from worm headquarters had to be made. Just before daybreak, the call came down to start the evacuation of the soggy soil when the rain let up. As it did, the fog sat heavy and concealed their movement. They had to move to higher ground, but days of slugging through the front made them slow, even awkward. But, if they could just make their break through the bush, the long blades, they could keep their formations out of sight.

As the landscape changed and they approached the rocks, it became clear to them that they were near a massive change in topography, one unmarked. They hit the clearing that wasn’t on their map. It was long and black, a mix of tar and rock, and during a different season, maybe even during daylight, it might have been too hot to cross. But they had some cover of the twilight, fog and the sheen from days of rain and cold mornings like this were a part of their tactical plan. In order to hit the high ground, they had to make their move, exposing them to more dangers than they could ever imagine.

Low crawling across the wet asphalt, inch by inch, they crossed the vast clearing. Then came the horror of the unexpected. The giant shiny pillars, legs, rising from the waterline that were attached to the black underside of their enemy. Without options, the order was given…”FIRE!”. All around erupted the sounds of machine guns. The initial engagement did little to rattle this enemy. A giant yellow beak attempted to snatched a couple of the team members from the left flank, yet the earthworms bravely fought on, shooting and moving and the bird withdrew. The shiny black beast suddenly ruffled its feathers and realized he was outmatched. With a giant swoosh, worms were blown about as the bird lifted off. Almost as quickly as the firefight started, it was over and the head counts of the battalion of earthworms proved that they hadn’t lost any of their numbers.They had won the day and continued their march to the dry trenches on the hill to secure a new base. It goes to show, if earthworms had machine guns, birds would go hungry…

by Rory Andes

Even the biggest enemy can be pushed back…

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