|Date posted||11 June 2011|
Taylor begins the story dreading the hour long lunchtime after World Issues class, taught by Mr. Gladly. He assigns the class a homework assignment on capes for the weekend, while Taylor thinks about Madison Clements sitting behind her. Madison is popular and said to be "cute" looking by Taylor, but is foreshadowed to be more than she appears. After the class is dismissed, Taylor heads to a third floor school bathroom to eat her lunch. This is confessed to be routine for her, being a place where she also reads and does homework. She complains about a book she's been reading, Triumvirate, a biography about the leading three members of the Protectorate, which she believes is mostly made up.
Before she can finish her lunch (a pita wrap), the door to the bathroom opens and several students enter. One of them knocks on her door, and Taylor states that the stall is occupied. The other girl recognizes her voice with malicious glee and gives a command to the other girls. Taylor attempts to open the door, but it is blocked by one of the girls. There are noises from the stalls beside Taylor, prompting her to look up. Immediately, her glasses and eyes are splashed by cranberry juice. She takes off her glasses long enough to identify Madison and Sophia above her, who pour more juice and soda over her.
With Madison and Sophia above her, Taylor reasons that it is the leader of the Trio, Emma, that is the one blocking the door as she tries to push through it. Unfortunately, as she tries to escape, Taylor slips and falls into the puddle of juice. The bullies finish pouring the juice and throw the plastic containers at her before opening the door to laugh at her. Taylor keeps silent, trying to ignore a crackling sound in her head, and turns around to inspect her backpack, which is soaked in grape juice. When she turns around again, the other girls have left, leaving her to inspect the damage. She tries to clean herself up to no avail. She finally snaps when her glasses don't wipe off, her repressed anger coming to a peak. She takes out her anger on a random bucket and then her backpack, shouting to herself at the unfairness of it all.
Taylor reveals that these "pranks" have been occurring since the beginning of high school, a year and a half ago, and that her midterm project for art, due today, is undoubtedly broken from her earlier treatment of her backpack. Overwhelmed by her feelings, the buzzing at the edge of her consciousness intensifies. She gives in to it, having held back for three months already. She closes her eyes and concentrates on the clusters of data approaching her, which had been responding to her frustration and hatred since the entrance of her bullies. When she opens her eyes, she finds that every surface of the bathroom is covered in all types of bugs, all of which are under her precise control.
She briefly contemplates "going Carrie" on the school, using her bugs to terrorize the school, before quickly dismissing the thought, rationalizing that she would be arrested by any of the three superhero teams in the city. She also tells herself that she is better than that, not willing to retaliate against her tormenters. Reluctantly, she tells her swarm to disperse.
Humiliated and soaked in juice, Taylor exits the school, ignoring the stares and giggles from the other students. She consoles herself with her resolution to become a superhero, which is the way she copes with the hard times in her life. It's how she ignores the fact that the leader of the bullies, Emma Barnes, used to be her best friend.
- The Trio drench Taylor with juice boxes, a singular prank in a long term bullying campaign.
- The chapter is preceded by a 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."
- This was added long after the chapter was originally posted.
- The chapter has been edited and some sections rewritten some time after its original debut.
|Chapters||1.1 • 1.2 • 1.3 • 1.4 • 1.5 • 1.6 • 1.x|
|Battles and Events||Taylor vs Lung|