Gestation 1.1: Off on the Wrong Foot

[Note from Future Krixwell: For a long time, I’ve wanted to add a disclaimer before this chapter – please bear with past me’s negativity in this chapter. I got off on the wrong foot, judged the story too harshly on things that were heavily affected by the change of pacing brought on by liveblogging, and generally was a lot less receptive than I should’ve been. I swear I get a lot better about it in 1.2 and beyond.]

Source material: Worm, Gestation 1.1

Originally blogged: January 19, 2017.


That’s an odd title for the first chapter. Let’s find out how fitting it is.


Brief note from the author: This story isn’t intended for young or sensitive readers. Readers who are on the lookout for trigger warnings are advised to give Worm a pass.

As mentioned, this story apparently involves potentially triggering content. As such this blog probably will too. I will do my best to tag it all, with the prefix “#tw: “.

Incidentally, I don’t know how much I’ll enjoy this. I’m a comedy guy, not super big on dark stuff. I do like some juicy plot and good characters, though, so maybe it’ll deliver on that front.


Class ended in five minutes and all I could think was, an hour is too long for lunch.

No it isn’t.

…I’m a slow eater.


…on second thought, maybe they meant “too long to wait”. That would be a sensible complaint.


Since the start of the semester, I had been looking forward to the part of Mr. Gladly’s World Issues class where we’d start discussing capes.

I realized after a few moments that this would be about capes by the sea, but it’s more fun to think about the protag wanting to learn about the garment’s effect on world politics.

Now that it had finally arrived, I couldn’t focus. I fidgeted, my pen moving from hand to hand, tapping, or absently drawing some figure in the corner of the page to join the other doodles. My eyes were restless too, darting from the clock above the door to Mr. Gladly and back to the clock. I wasn’t picking up enough of his lesson to follow along. Twenty minutes to twelve; five minutes left before class ended.

Relatable as fuck. I mean, I like learning, but I also have ADD and let’s face it, not all classes are as fun as others.


He was animated, clearly excited about what he was talking about, and for once, the class was listening.

Except for you.

He was the sort of teacher who tried to be friends with his students, the sort who went by “Mr. G” instead of Mr. Gladly.

Yet the narration has so far been calling him by the full Mr. Gladly. I get the sense that the narrator at the moment is a bit of an outlier, at least when it comes to their view of Mr. Gladly.

He liked to end class a little earlier than usual and chat with the popular kids, gave lots of group work so others could hang out with their friends in class,

Fun teacher, then, I guess. Except the group work, I wouldn’t like that. Group work can be a bit awkward and stilted.

and had ‘fun’ assignments like mock trials.

Mock trials? Maybe the topic is capes as in the garment then. I’ve got to admit I’m a bit unsure of what the subject of World Issues entails.


He struck me as one of the ‘popular’ kids who had become a teacher.

I forgot to mention in the previous post, but the way “popular” is used in these paragraphs tells me that the narrator doesn’t consider themself one of the popular kids.

Also, devoting quite a bit of time to introducing Mr. Gladly here, while we know next to nothing about the narrator in his classroom.

He probably thought he was everyone’s favorite. I wondered how he’d react if he heard my opinion on the subject. Would it shatter his self image or would he shrug it off as an anomaly from the gloomy girl that never spoke up in class?

We have a gender! This also confirms my impression that she doesn’t care much for Mr. Gladly, that she’s a bit of an outlier (kind of), and that she’s probably not one of the “popular kids”.


I glanced over my shoulder. Madison Clements sat two rows to my left and two seats back.

Ew. No offense to any Madisons, Clementses or Madison Clementses in the audience, but that’s honestly one of the slimiest-sounding names I’ve ever heard. For some reason.

Are we about to establish more of the protag’s personality through her reaction to other people, like we did with Mr. Gladly?

She saw me looking and smirked, her eyes narrowing, and I lowered my eyes to my notebook.

I tried to ignore the ugly, sour feeling that stewed in my stomach. I glanced up at the clock. Eleven-forty-three.

Yeeah, our gloomy protag really doesn’t like Madison Clements. I’m assuming she’ll be the alpha bitch, but this serial might surprise me.


“Let me wrap up here,” Mr. Gladly said, “Sorry, guys, but there is homework for the weekend. Think about capes and how they’ve impacted the world around you.

Capes are important, unless you’re a superhero.

Make a list if you want, but it’s not mandatory. On Monday we’ll break up into groups of four and see what group has the best list. I’ll buy the winning group treats from the vending machine.”

This is a poor execution of a decent idea. First off, if it’s not mandatory, very few are going to do it unless you make the prize better.

Second, the grouping just means the maker of the best list has to share the prize with random classmates, where you could’ve had a second, third and fourth place instead. Three of the winners could have the shittiest lists and still get as much of the prize as the one who made the best one. And if it’s a combination of the lists on each group that is evaluated, that just means bad lists (or lacks of lists – not mandatory, remember?) can pull the better ones down. Either way, it’ll depend a lot on whom you end up in a group with.


Oh, and weekend homework is the worst. Non-mandatory weekend homework practically guarantees almost nobody will do it. I’d be surprised if there were more than two lists to compare.


There were a series of cheers, followed by the classroom devolving into noisy chaos.

I know Gladly is the popular teacher, but I’m pretty sure those cheers are not because of the list contest.

The room was filled with sounds of binders snapping shut, textbooks and notebooks being slammed closed, chairs screeching on cheap tile and the dull roar of emerging conversation. A bunch of the more social members of the class gathered around Mr. Gladly to chat.

As we were told.


Me? I just put my books away and kept quiet.

Still considers herself the odd one out, I see.

I’d written down almost nothing in the way of notes; there were collections of doodles spreading across the page and numbers in the margins where I’d counted down the minutes to lunch as if I was keeping track of the timer on a bomb.

…yes, we get it, you were bored, distracted and hungry during this class. We’ve been over that.

I guess I’m just getting a little impatient with the repetition because I’m liveblogging it, forcing me to think about each paragraph. I could use that, though, as I often find I probably would’ve enjoyed some works more if I had stopped to theorize and such.

Minor annoyance aside, this is a nice way to bring it back to what we opened with and tie that into the story proper.


Madison was talking with her friends. She was popular, but not gorgeous in the way the stereotypical popular girls on TV were. She was ‘adorable’, instead. Petite.

I actually didn’t really imagine her as “gorgeous”, but I didn’t expect “adorable” either.

She played up the image with sky blue pins in her shoulder length brown hair and a cutesy attitude.

Oh boy, we’re doing that kind of cutesy, are we.

Or is she just a genuinely nice girl demonized by our protag for being popular? I wouldn’t put it past the protag at this point, but the smirk earlier suggests otherwise.

Madison wore a strapless top and denim skirt, which seemed absolutely moronic to me given the fact that it was still early enough in the spring that we could see our breath in the mornings.

Heh, it sometimes seems like some people just don’t feel the cold, even here in Norway. I don’t see a lot of skirts in the winter, but for all I know, that could just be a fashion thing…


I wasn’t exactly in a position to criticize her. Boys liked her and she had friends, while the same was hardly true for me.

As much as I don’t think you should criticize her just because she’s popular, and would like to know other reasons, I also don’t think she should be beyond criticism because she’s more popular than you. That’s the kind of thought that leads to the fall of democracy.

Or maybe Protag means that because Madison is popular and she isn’t, nobody will listen to her if she tries?

The only feminine feature I had going for me was my dark curly hair, which I’d grown long. The clothes I wore didn’t show skin, and I didn’t deck myself out in bright colors like a bird showing off its plumage.

Can’t say I’m surprised.

Here’s the thing: I find the dark goth archetype rather boring. The protag is not making a good first impression so far.


Guys liked her, I think, because she was appealing without being intimidating.

If they only knew.

Beware the petite ones.


The bell rang with a lilting ding-dong, and I was the first one out the door. I didn’t run, but I moved at a decent clip as I headed up the stairwell to the third floor and made my way to the girl’s washroom.

I guess that bell signifies the beginning of lunch? Which I suppose means Gladly did end the lesson early this time, if only by a couple of minutes.

So is this a school where students move between rooms or one with a homeroom for all lessons? I don’t know the age of these characters yet, nor the nationality.


There were a half dozen girls there already, which meant I had to wait for a stall to open up.

Jeez, build more bathrooms.

I nervously watched the door of the bathroom, feeling my heart drop every time someone entered the room.

Even more?? How big even is this school, and is this the only girls’ bathroom in the building?


As soon as there was a free stall, I let myself in and locked the door. I leaned against the wall and exhaled slowly. It wasn’t quite a sigh of relief. Relief implied you felt better. I wouldn’t feel better until I got home. No, I just felt less uneasy.

Is this because of the smirk? Are you fleeing from Madison?

Or…

Do you have worms growing inside of you. Is that what the titles Worm and Gestation are referring to. If so, ew.

Then again, how would getting home make you feel better in that case?


It took maybe five minutes before the noise of others in the washroom stopped. A peek below the partitions showed that there was nobody else in the other stalls.

Five minutes? For the busiest bathroom I’ve ever heard of? Impressive.

I sat on the lid of the toilet and got my brown bag lunch to begin eating.

THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO EAT.


Lunch on the toilet was routine now.

Oh come on. If you have to hide from someone, surely there are better places than this. Places where it’s nice to eat.

Every school day, I would finish off my brown bag lunch, then I’d do homework or read a book until lunch hour was over.

Still on the toilet, I presume? Also, I guess this explains why an hour of lunch is too long. She wasn’t looking forward to lunch earlier, she was dreading it.

Precisely why is still unclear, but it probably has to do with the ways in which Madison is more intimidating than the boys think.

The only book in my bag that I hadn’t already read was called ‘Triumvirate’, a biography of the leading three members of the Protectorate.

The Protectorate? This smells of worldbuilding. And also shit, because she keeps reading it in a bathroom stall.

(Edit: Or rather, not reading it. I misread.)

I was thinking I would spend as long as I could on Mr. Gladly’s assignment before reading, because I wasn’t enjoying the book.

Thinking about capes. Thinking about capes. Capes are cool. Thinking about capes. Unless you’re a superhero. Thinking about capes. No capes. Thinking about capes.

Biographies weren’t my thing, and they were especially not my thing when I was suspicious it was all made up.

If you’re looking for excuses to not read, then why are you bringing the book at all? Why do you need an excuse? Is it required reading?

Also, “all made up”, are we talking inaccuracy or propaganda? If it’s the latter, it’s worth considering the possibility that this is a dystopia. I mentioned I’d been spoiled on the story switching from high school to the more uplifting “bombed-out city”. I figured maybe it gets “bombed out” in the early parts of the story, but what if it already did?

Actually, now that I think about it, that doesn’t make much sense with how the characters are acting so far. But it’s still quite possible that this Protectorate is a group of people in charge of keeping the place safe from, say, nukes and such. Or just generally in charge.


Whatever my plan, I didn’t even have a chance to finish my pita wrap.

Yum, pee-ta wrap.

The door of the bathroom banged open. I froze. I didn’t want to rustle the bag and clue anyone into what I was doing, so I kept still and listened.

Super secret lunch break corner.

Chances are this is either Madison (possibly bringing goons) or someone with deep dark secrets they’re about to blab about. Or both.


I couldn’t make out the voices. The noise of the conversation was obscured by giggling and the sound of water from the sinks.

More than one person…

There was a knock on the door, making me jump. I ignored it, but the person on the other side just repeated the knock.

And of course they try to get into(?) the exact stall she’s in. I wonder if they knew she was there?

“Occupied,” I called out, hesitantly. “Oh my god, it’s Taylor!” one of the girls on the outside exclaimed with glee,

FINALLY, A NAME

then in response to something another girl whispered, I barely heard her add, “Yeah, do it!”

Well that’s ominous.


I stood up abruptly, letting the brown bag with the last mouthful of my lunch fall to the tiled floor. Rushing for the door, I popped the lock open and pushed. The door didn’t budge.

As awful as this is, it’s probably less embarrassing for Taylor than what I figured they might do: Somehow bust open the door with a camera ready. This still sucks, though.

There were noises from the stalls on either side of me, then a sound above me. I looked up to see what it was, only to get splashed in the face. My eyes started burning, and I was momentarily blinded by the stinging fluid in my eyes and my blurring of my glasses. I could taste it as it ran down to my nose and mouth. Cranberry juice.

You know how I just said this was the better option?


They didn’t stop there. I managed to pull my glasses off just in time to see Madison and Sophia leaning over the top of the stall, each of them with plastic bottles at the ready.

Yeah, no, hi there Madison definitely-not-just-demonized-for-popularity Clements

…and Sophia. Are you going to have actual character or just be another cliché like Taylor and Madison are so far?

I bent over with my hands shielding my head just before they emptied the contents over me.

What a waste of juice.


It ran down the back of my neck, soaked my clothes, fizzed as it ran through my hair.

Since when does juice fizz?

I pushed against the door again, but the girl on the other side was braced against it with her body.

Oh hi, third girl.


If the girls pouring juice and soda on me were Madison and Sophia, that meant the girl on the other side of the door was Emma, leader of the trio.

Ooh, Madison isn’t the alpha. Interesting. Will Emma have more character?

Feeling a flare of anger at the realization, I shoved on the door, the full weight of my body slamming against it.

BERSERKER RAM

I didn’t accomplish anything, and my shoes lost traction on the juice-slick floor. I fell to my knees in the puddling juice.

berserker lamb


Empty plastic bottles with labels for grape and cranberry juice fell to the ground around me. A bottle of orange soda bounced off my shoulder to splash into the puddle before rolling under the partition and into the next stall. The smell of the fruity drinks and sodas was sickly sweet.

Oh, okay, there were sodas there too. That explains the fizzing.

With any luck, Madison or Sophia will step on that bottle that rolled into the next stall, but there doesn’t seem to be much luck in supply for Taylor today.


The door swung open, and I glared up at the three girls. Madison, Sophia and Emma.

I knew unlocking the door might bite Taylor in the ass.

Where Madison was cute, a late bloomer, Sophia and Emma were the types of girls that fit the ‘prom queen’ image.

Dammit, this story almost had a somewhat unusual feature for a cliché archetype – an alpha bitch being cutesy and petite – and then it went and revealed that the character we were looking at is not that archetype but a closely related one – the alpha bitch lackey – that DOES occasionally have that feature, and that the character who actually fills the role of the alpha bitch has the corresponding typical feature.

This story, so far, is getting more cliché by the paragraph.

It’s still only the first chapter, though, and I’ve been assured that the story moves on from high school drama bullshit soon enough. I mean, I gotta find out how this turns into such a popular recommendation for livebloggers.

(Besides, it’s not like I’m a stranger to long stories with wweak 8eginnings.)


She was good looking enough to get occasional jobs as a amateur model for the catalogs that the local department stores and malls put out.

Taylor focuses a lot on other people’s looks. Part of her self image issues, probably.

The three of them were laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world, but the sounds of their amusement barely registered with me. My attention was on the faint roar of blood pumping in my ears and an urgent, ominous crackling ‘sound’ that wouldn’t get any quieter or less persistent if I covered my ears with my hands.

Oh jeez, here we go, she genuinely is sick isn’t she. Possibly with worms that infest the city after breaking out of her.

I could feel dribbles running down my arms and back, still chilled from the refrigerated vending machines.

Honestly, if you’re gonna get drenched in soda, I guess it’s probably better if it’s cold.


I didn’t trust myself to say something that wouldn’t give them fodder to taunt me with, so I kept silent.

You have the right to remain silent; anything you do say can be used against you in a court of the third floor girls’ bathroom.


Carefully, I climbed to my feet and turned my back on them to get my backpack off the top of the toilet.

Don’t turn your back on the bitches, dammit.

Seeing it gave me pause. It had been a khaki green, before, but now dark purple blotches covered it, most of the contents of a bottle of grape juice.

That’s generally what happens when someone pours grape juice over you. I wonder how the books are holding up in there, though.

Pulling the straps around my shoulders, I turned around. The girls weren’t there. I heard the bathroom door bang shut, cutting off the sounds of their glee, leaving me alone in the bathroom, drenched.

You turned your back on the bitches and got away with it. Count yourself lucky.


I approached the sink and stared at myself in the scratched, stained mirror that was bolted above it. I had inherited a thin lipped, wide, expressive mouth from my mother, but my large eyes and my gawky figure made me look a lot more like my dad.

8[

Hm. “mother” and “dad”. That suggests that she has a warmer relationship with her dad than with her mom. It’s possible her mom is dead, or for more angst, that her dad is dead and her much stricter, less parently mother is now raising her alone.

That’s quite a bit to extrapolate from two words though, so let’s rein it in and keep reading.

My dark hair was soaked enough that it clung to my scalp, neck and shoulders. I was wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt over a green t-shirt, but colored blotches of purple, red and orange streaked both.

Maybe the bitches thought your outfit needed more colors? Although it did already have more color than I was expecting. Helps slightly to offset the dark goth clichés.

My glasses were beaded with the multicolored droplets of juice and soda. A drip ran down my nose and fell from the tip to land in the sink.

Plop.


Using a paper towel from the dispenser, I wiped my glasses off and put them on again. The residual streaks made it just as hard to see, if not worse than it had been.

I think the author must have glasses. They know this pain.


Deep breaths, Taylor, I told myself.

Careful so you don’t snort more soda.

I pulled the glasses off to clean them again with a wet towel, and found the streaks were still there.

Glasses are impossible enough to keep clean when they’re not covered in juice and soda.


An inarticulate scream of fury and frustration escaped my lips, and I kicked the plastic bucket that sat just beneath the sink, sending it and the toilet brush inside flying into the wall.

Taylor just kicked the bucket, guys, our protagonist is dead.

Okay, but seriously, if she’s got to have a violently angry reaction – which I think is kind of justified right now – it’s probably good that she has it after the bitches left. A reaction is exactly what they want out of her… presumably. Can’t rule out secret organizations yet.

When that wasn’t enough, I pulled off my backpack and used a two-handed grip to hurl it.

WAIT NO, THE BOOKS

I wasn’t using my locker anymore: certain individuals had vandalized or broken into it on four different occasions. My bag was heavy, loaded down with everything I’d anticipated needing for the day’s classes. It crunched audibly on impact with the wall.

WAIT NO, OTHER SCHOOL EQUIPMENT I DON’T CARE AS MUCH ABOUT


“What the fuck!?” I screamed to nobody in particular, my voice echoing in the bathroom. There were tears in the corners of my eyes.

What the fuck indeed.

“The hell am I supposed to do!?” I wanted to hit something, break something. To retaliate against the unfairness of the world.

As mentioned, her anger is justified, but I don’t think taking it out on the bathroom and her bag is the healthiest way to vent it. Maybe she should look into buying a punching bag?

I almost struck the mirror, but I held back. It was such a small thing that it felt like it would make me feel more insignificant instead of venting my frustration.

The mirror. The thing that throws the cause your despair back in your face, but also your identity. The one thing that acknowledges that you’re there, that you’re hurting, even if it only does so by showing it back to you. It doesn’t care, but at least it knows, and tells you it knows.


I’d been enduring this from the very first day of high school, a year and a half ago.

That’s quite some time to put up with this. Also, looks like we finally have a rough age – after researching the American school system, it seems like that would place her at an age of about 15-17, I think? And that’s assuming she lives in the U.S., which I’m doing in part because “colors” is spelled without any U’s.

The bathroom had been the closest thing I could find to refuge. It had been lonely and undignified, but it had been a place I could retreat to, a place where I was off their radar. Now I didn’t even have that.

You’re telling me there really is nowhere else to hide in this school?


I didn’t even know what I was supposed to do for my afternoon classes. Our midterm project for art was due, and I couldn’t go to class like this.

Pretend the juice- and soda-stained clothes are your art project. Call it something like, uh, Sunrise in Grapeland.

Sophia would be there, and I could just imagine her smug smile of satisfaction as I showed up looking like I’d botched an attempt to tie-dye everything I owned.

That’s why you gotta own it!


Besides, I’d just thrown my bag against the wall and I doubted my project was still in one piece.

Told you that was a bad idea. I bet this was specifically what made the crunching sound.


The buzzing at the edge of my consciousness was getting worse. My hands shook as I bent over and gripped the edge of the sink, let out a long, slow breath, and let my defenses drop. For three months, I’d held back. Right now? I didn’t care anymore.

Uh oh.


I shut my eyes and felt the buzzing crystallize into concrete information. As numerous as stars in the night sky, tiny knots of intricate data filled the area around me.

Uhh… oh?

Are we bringing psychic/magic abilities into this now? Because that would be a nice change of pace from cliché high school drama central.

I could focus on each one in turn, pick out details. The clusters of data had been reflexively drifting towards me since I was first splashed in the face.

I wish I could say getting splashed in the face with juice and soda was the dumbest superhero origin story I’ve heard… actually, no, I can probably say that.

(Jokes aside, it sounds like the splash was more like a trigger for something that’s been latent for three months.)


They responded to my subconscious thoughts and emotions, as much of a reflection of my frustration, my anger, my hatred for those three girls as my pounding heart and trembling hands were. I could make them stop or direct them to move almost without thinking about it, the same way I could raise an arm or twitch a finger.

What exactly does she mean by data in this context, anyway? Like, is this a visualization of all the things she knows or something?


I opened my eyes. I could feel adrenaline thrumming through my body, blood coursing in my veins. I shivered in response to the chilled soft drinks and juices the trio had poured over me, with antici…


…pation and with just a little fear.

Sure sounds like we’re in for a ride now.

On every surface of the bathroom were bugs; Flies, ants, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, earwigs, beetles, wasps and bees.

Ew.

(If this were a video-based work, this is where I’d have to stop watching, due to a phobia of flying insects.)


With every passing second, more streamed in through the open window and the various openings in the bathroom, moving with surprising speed.

Interesting. This implies that she’s basically calling for the bugs, rather than creating them through summoning magic. Then it’s not a stretch to imagine that the buzzing at the edge of her consciousness was a psychic link to nearby bugs. It’s possible that this could be used to actually communicate with them, either now or later on.

Maybe that’s what she meant by data from which she could pick out details.

Some crawled in through a gap where the sink drain entered the wall while others emerged from the triangular hole in the ceiling where a section of foam tile had broken off, or from the opened window with peeling paint and cigarette butts squished out in the recesses.

Ugh, this is still not a particularly nice place to have lunch.

They gathered around me and spread out over every available surface; primitive bundles of signals and responses, waiting for further instruction.

Bug control, or any kind of animal control, is an underrated power. Get enough of the creatures you can control, and you have an army. Even if the creatures are small, like bugs, your enemies would be wise not to mess with you. Just look at Ant-Man and Squirrel Girl.


My practice sessions, conducted away from prying eyes, told me I could direct a single insect to move an antennae, or command the gathered horde to move in formation.

At least she’s embracing it enough to practice with it. Also, that’s quite versatile.

With one thought, I could single out a particular group, maturity or species from this jumble and direct them as I wished. An army of soldiers under my complete control.

Hey, I just called it an army!

I’m just gonna go ahead and imagine the mental commands as being worded like, “Yo, any adult spider dawgz in there, go mess up that dude something biznasty, yolo!”

“Fo’ sho’ gurl, right on it.”


It would be so easy, so easy to just go Carrie on the school.

I guess Carrie is some work I’m not familiar where a girl named Carrie takes revenge on bullies using magical abilities or something.

To give the trio their just desserts and make them regret what they had put me through: the vicious e-mails, the trash they’d upended over my desk, the flute –my mother’s flute– they’d stolen from my locker.

Hm… Why did she bring her mother’s flute to school? She obviously cares about it enough to mention it here, at least.

If her mother is alive, that might be because losing it did not go over well with her mother…?

It wasn’t just them either. Other girls and a small handful of boys had joined in, ‘accidentally’ skipping over me when passing out assignment handouts, adding their own voices to the taunts and the flood of nasty emails, to get the favor and attention of three of the prettier and more popular girls in our grade.

How did the teachers not eventually find out about it if it’s so well known that people who don’t already have the bitches’ attention join in to get it? Surely there’s gotta be some good kids in the school other than Taylor.


I was all too aware that I’d get caught and arrested if I attacked my fellow students.

So people are aware that these abilities exist. Otherwise, nobody would think that the bugs were being commanded.

There were three teams of superheroes and any number of solo heroes in the city.

Ahh. The characters are still a bit cliché so far, but at least the world is growing a little more interesting.

I wonder if this city is like Shitropolis from League of Super Redundant Heroes, where two thirds of the residents are superheroes or supervillains.

I didn’t really care. The thought of my father seeing the aftermath on the news, his disappointment in me, his shame? That was more daunting, but it still didn’t outweigh the anger and frustration.

Dad confirmed alive. Also, we now know that Taylor cares about how he sees her.

Except I was better than that.

Good, let morality guide you, not just matters of arrest or disappointment.


With a sigh, I sent an instruction to the gathered swarm. Disperse. The word wasn’t as important as the idea behind it.

Get outta dodge, dawgs, yo.

They began to exit the room, disappearing into the cracks in the tile and through the open window. I walked over to the door and stood with my back to it so nobody could stumble onto the scene before the bugs were all gone.

So if people know this kind of thing is, well, a thing, why exactly do you keep it secret?


However much I wanted to, I couldn’t really follow through.

With what? Are we back to the school attack thoughts?

Even as I trembled with humiliation, I managed to convince myself to pick up my backpack and head down the hall. I made my way out of the school, ignoring the stares and giggles from everyone I walked past, and caught the first bus that headed in the general direction of home.

So I guess she’s just going to skip the rest of the school day. Does she do this often? If so, that’s the kind of thing that prompts teachers to ask questions.

The chill of early spring compounded the discomfort of my soaked hair and clothes, making me shiver.

Man, she’s really not having a good day.


Quite fitting, then, that Taylor thought about “going Carrie on the school” after being dumped liquids on.

(By the way, Sharks is my ask screener over on the screener blog, and the source of the quotes in my intro post.)


I was going to be a superhero. That was the goal I used to calm myself down at moments like these.

What would her name be, I wonder? Bugerella? Insect Girl? Yo-Dawg?

It was what I used to make myself get out of bed on a school day. It was a crazy dream that made things tolerable. It was something to look forward to, something to work towards.

It’s important to have something like that, I suppose.

It made it possible to keep from dwelling on the fact that Emma Barnes, leader of the trio, had once been my best friend.

Hm. What happened to change this? Also, hopefully this means we might get some more character for Emma. So far she’s just been “mean girl who looks good”.


End of Gestation 1.1

And that’s the end of the chapter!

I still don’t really know why it was called Gestation, or really how the numbering works. For all I know, the next chapter might be called Gestation 1.2? As in part two of the first larger chapter of the story, called Gestation? I don’t know, I’ll have to find out.

As for the story so far, it started out quite cliché, but threw an interesting twist into it by introducing superpowers. Hopefully the superpowers become a bigger part of the story than high school drama.

There’s also the matter of the Protectorate. What exactly is this? Could this be one of the three superhero teams in the city? And if Taylor isn’t interested in reading Triumvirate, why does she bring it?

All in all, not a good start, but it has set up some questions I’d like to see the answers to and a plot device that can be used to move past the things I didn’t like.

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2 thoughts on “Gestation 1.1: Off on the Wrong Foot

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