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One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 4

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)
Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965

Part four in which Dick disappears and fuels my worst fears.

I slipped. I slid. I wanted to cry. No, I wanted to die. But Dick took charge. Told me where to put my feet, what to hold onto, and gave me a hand to lift me over the muddy cliffs. Often I was simultaneously pushed from below. I was a real pain in the… and losing ground rapidly as a possible prom date.

After spending about one more hour in these tiny passages I became increasingly disappointed. I’d expected more than mud and rock. Finally, in the distance we heard echoes of water. Falling water. Where was it coming from? Where was it going?

We emerged into a room 135 feet long and 20 – 30 feet wide. Gorgeous, if only because we could stand. There were several stalactites and one or two stalagmites. Somewhat better than muddy walls. Where was the waterfall I’d been promised? I said nothing. Potential prom dates shouldn’t whine. Perhaps the echoes of water drops descending from six feet above counted. But disappointment changed to irritation. Learning it would be more than another hour until we emerged didn’t help.

We passed under the “falls” and continued deeper. I now heard continual conversation among the guys about lakes. We were extremely warm and covered with perspiration at that point. The guys seemed to think getting wet would feel good. Perhaps at the time it might, but I could see them soaked clear through and exiting into 30 degrees F. Then they’d be sorry.

It soon looked like we’d all have to do that very thing. At first I was only wet up to my ankles. My sneakers and white socks were flooded with mud and water, and so my footing was faulty. But I managed to make it safely to points where Dick would tell me to wait while he branched off into a different passage. The last two in the line, we repeated that pattern about every fifteen minutes.

“Wait here,” he said again, as he plunged into what he termed a lake, but I called a flooded sewer. He slogged through increasingly deeper, muddy water. It had reached his waist when he disappeared around a corner. The next thing I heard he was yelling.

END Part 4

Coming Next...A rushing sound ahead sends chills down my spine. Will we drown in this wormhole? Stay tuned…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scary! Yikes... I hope he was OK.