By Melissa L. Webb
A breeze stirred around Ivan as he stood there, taking in the barren planter in front of him. The dirt lay there, mocking him with its emptiness. It sat in the middle of his park, an eyesore without purpose.
He didn’t know where it had come from. It hadn’t been there yesterday evening when he’d gone home for dinner. Yet, here it was. Built overnight for some reason that escaped him.
He glanced at the signs pushed into the empty dirt. Do not walk in planter. He shook his head in disgust. Grownups. He would never understand anything they did. Why would they feel the need to protect something like that?
Ivan walked around it, examining the giant thing from all sides. He could only imagine the kind of sissy, girlie things they’d end up putting in it. Roses, and daisies, and other things that smelled. They were going to ruin his park and all they were worried about was their precious dirt.
Stepping up on the side of the planter, he looked down at the dirt. Well, he may not be able to stop them from putting it there, but he could at least have some fun with it. He’d let them know exactly what he thought of their signs with a couple hundred well placed footprints.
Stepping into the dirt, a smirk across his young face, he stuck his tongue out at one of the signs. Pressing down as he walked, he left deep footprints in his wake.
The ground rumbled under him as he moved, throwing him slightly off balance. He stopped, uncertainty flooding through him. What was that? Was there something moving beneath him? Even as he stayed still, the ground quivered more until the whole planter rocked as if an earthquake had it in its clutches.
He let out a startled yelp as the dirt in front of him exploded. Clumps of earth rained around him as he stood there, terror engulfing him. A giant worm-like creature rose from the ground. It watched him with milky eyes, swaying back and forth as if blown by the breeze.
Ivan turned, frantically wishing he had heeded the signs’ warnings. But it was too late. The monster opened its mouth, rows of grinding teeth snapping loudly. Its head whipped forward, closing around the boy in an instant.
With its mouth full, the creature silently withdrew into the dirt, leaving nothing but an empty planter and a few broken signs swaying in the breeze.
© 2012 Melissa L. Webb