written by Emily Linehan. Emily (she/her), a Tipperary native, has shown a great interest in all things literature from a young age. She has been published in anthologies such as The Quarryman and Cork Words 2, Motley Magazine, and thecurrent.ie.

Hello? You’re up? You haven’t slept? Why not? Catching up on the match? Wales won; you don’t need to bother. Why am I calling? You don’t beat around the bush. No, I was being funny. I know I can call you whenever. I brought a worm back to my place. Yeah, I know, I’m some player! What are you, twelve? Yeah, we did ‘do it’. Ew, gross! Google it, I’m not telling you. No, she’s asleep. I’m calling because-I don’t know why I’m calling I just felt like I had to. It was good, like really good, I just don’t know. I feel weird. No, she wasn’t drunk, she had literally a drop of cider. What’s the issue then? I don’t know man; we were walking back to my place, and she was tripping over herself. Some lad nearly stepped on her. Huh? I guess like three feet when she’s bent over, probably a foot longer when she’s all stretched out. Anyway, she was- Ah Jaysus what’s the place called again? It’s by the bridge. You know the bridge the one with the religious wan caterwauling some hymns? Something O’….O’ Donoghue’s I think. Yeah, that one. You know it so. Yeah, it was packed, could barely get a drink. As I was saying, I got her back to my place and- oh he works there now? No, I didn’t see him. I thought he was working at Vipers club? He got fired? What? Right tell me that story next time I see you. Okay, so by now she was on my couch, and I asked if she wanted some tea. By then it would have been midnight. What do you mean what was I thinking?It’s only polite to offer tea, did your mammy teach you nothing? I have decaf lad! Can I finish talking or what? So, she said sure but only if she could share mine. I was like okay I guess no harm so made the tea and all and brought out the biscuits. We were sipping the tea together. No lad, not like the lady and the tramp. We took turns like. Anyway, I had a few biscuits, and she had a crumb or so from one of mine. I know she’s small, but you have to fill your stomach with something. What? I thought they had stomachs? The more you know, I guess. So, then she asked me to give her a tour of the gaff. I was like there’s not much to see but go on then. Yes, I know now it was a hint, would you shup? We get to the bedroom eventually and she kind of slithered on top of it. Sexy? It was actually. Anyway, we did the deed, and she was lying there beside me and-yes I am skipping that part. Because it’s none of your business! I told you to Google it if you’re so curious! She’s lying there beside me and we’re completely silent. I’m lost in the after-bliss and to be honest I’m about to go to sleep when she tells me that I could kill her so easily. Too easily she adds. I was freaked out too! I said sorry? And she just repeated herself, like it was nothing. And I said, I guess? And she was like do I actually realise it though? Like really think about it she said. I said no. She said she wanted a better answer than that, so I thought about it. I told her then that she probably thinks about mites the same way I think about worms. She asked what I meant, and I told her that mites are smaller than worms so you’re probably subconsciously gentler with them than with other creatures. I asked her if she got my point. She said she did and said that humans hated when she asked that. I could see why, I felt hugely uncomfortable, but I didn’t tell her that. She then went on about how the whole world is predicated on the power dynamics between animals and stuff. And not only animals but plants as well. Hm? Yeah, it is pretty weird post-sex talk but what is standard post-sex talk, you know? Anyway, she said that all our behaviour depends on power dynamics, and power is just how much physical strength someone has over you. Every natural thing’s prerogative is to avoid as much pain as possible. How could I disagree with that? It was weird but true. What was she trying to say about me? That I was a predator? Anyway, she then went on about sexual dynamics, how it once again involves around power but that it excites us. She described sex like a friendly wrestling match where not only do we know the victor, but we also expect it, and like it. She then told me to look at her and I told her I was, but she was like look at me really closely. She slithered her body until the sheets fell down. I wasn’t mad at the view, bro. I kinda wanted to go again but she seemed really serious about this conversation, so I thought it better not to. She then asked what labour could she possibly produce with her body? How could she survive in a system that doesn’t need her? And isn’t funny how capitalism created two genders through its division of responsibilities? I was like I’ve been out of college for a while now, I don’t really wanna think about this stuff. Yeah, I know, right? But listen to this, she goes on about how she hates how much she depends on humans to not kill her. I was like what? She said that every day when she walks down the street, she hates the gratitude she has for all the humans in the world deciding not to kill her. She said she’s at their mercy basically and I was like maybe back in the cavemen times? But like, not anymore? And then she said that it doesn’t matter how many laws there are in place for worms, humans will always have the advantage of more time to do everything, time to build companies and have sons and give the companies to the sons and they will always have more money and therefore more power and we can only hope to marry the sons who will take over the company. Luckily, by then, she was getting sleepy, so she didn’t say much else after that. I mean, she said a few more things but she was yawning a lot, so I didn’t catch most of it. I was kind of tuning her out at that point anyway. But she said one more thing before she fell asleep or maybe she was still asleep when she said this, I don’t know. She asked me if I would still love her if she was a human. What did I say? Well, I told her no.


Image: Untitled 1 by Katie Foley

Katie Foley (any/all) is 19 year old poet and artist and is currently studying English, Drama and Film in UCD. Work of theirs has been published in the eighth issue of Hot Pot Magazine. They gravitate towards art that is sensitive and direct, which is what they try to emulate in their own work. You can find them on Instagram @katiethefoley.

CategoriesFiction Issue VII