I trudged through the mist. White lines criss-crossed before me while dew-tipped grass blades slithered over my shoes, the heels of which sank an inch or so into the soft earth with every step (I’d been told it would be wise to make use of my feminine wiles – what few of them I had – and in the chilly weather a low-cut top and short skirt was out of the question). Eventually, I reached what I presumed to be roughly the centre of my makeshift stage, and set down the easel I’d been carrying. I wondered which direction it ought to face, then decided it made no odds. It too sank into the mud, but with three feet to my paltry two, slightly less than my ill-judged stilettos.
I looked around. I was alone. Time to commence phase two. Gingerly at first, for fear of the mud claiming one of my expensive pumps, I began to dance. Then with mounting confidence, I launched into an elaborate soft-shoe. “Taps would have been better” I thought to myself. But it didn’t seem to matter. My ministrations were having the desired effect. All around me, the ground was seething as a morass of earthworms ascended to the surface, lured by the promise of rainfall, only to be disappointed by my twinkling toes, and the herring gulls who were even now swooping down and picking off the misguided oligochaetes. Some of them even joined in, drumming their webbed feet on the ground and turning my solo into a chorus number.
Then it happened. The earth began to shake, and a mounting rumble heralded the arrival of the one whose attention I sought. The mud cleaved in two and a besuited wormoid the size of a full-grown man rose up before me, cravat damp with sod. His tail curled tightly beneath him, allowing his muscular, glistening flesh-strand of a body to hold itself up at head height, he surveyed me expectantly. The moment had come. I reached over to the flip chart perched on my now dirt-strewn easel, and with a flourish revealed the first page. On it, in block capitals, was written a single sentence:
“I HAVE NO IDEAS.”
The Whimworm stood (?) there stoically for a few seconds. I waited with bated breath. Then with a low, gargling voice, emanating from I don’t know where, he said:
“I love it.”