|Date posted||June 11, 2011|
Taylor begins the story dreading the hour long lunchtime after her 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 confessed to be better looking than the 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, a place where she also reads and does homework. She complains about a book she's been reading, Triumvirate, about the leading three members of the Protectorate, a biography she believes is mostly made up.
Before she can finish her lunch (a pita wrap), the door to the bathroom opens loudly and several people enter. One of them knocks on her door, and Taylor replies "Occupied" hesitantly. The other girl recognizes the her voice (note: this is the first time Taylor is referenced by name). Taylor attempts to open the door, but it is stuck.
There are noises from above the stall and she looks up, only to get her glasses and eyes splashed by fluid, which she recognizes by taste as cranberry juice. She takes off her glasses long enough to identify Madison and Sophia above her, who pour more juice and soda over her. Taylor reasons that it is the leader of the Trio, Emma is the one blocking the door as she tries to push through it. Unfortunately, Taylor slips, and falls into the puddle of juice. The bullies finish pouring the juice and throw the plastic containers at her, before they open the door and laugh at her.
Taylor keeps silent, trying to ignore an "ominous crackling sound", 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. Her clothes are splotched with color and she loses her temper when she attempts and fails to clean her glasses. She takes out her anger on a random bucket and her backpack, shouting at the unfairness.
She reveals that these sort of incidents have been occurring since the beginning of high school, a year and a half ago. And that her midterm project for art, due today, had been in the backpack she just threw against the wall and is undoubtedly broken.
The buzzing at the edge of her conscious intensifies and she gives in to it, saying that she's held it back for three months. She closes her eyes and concentrates on the "clusters of data" that have been approaching since the bullies entered the room. When she opens her eyes she finds that every surface of the bathroom is covered in all types of bugs, and even more are streaming in through every possible entrance.
She briefly contemplates "going Carrie" on the school, before dismissing the thought, citing 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, telling the swarm to disperse.
She exits the school, ignoring laughs from other students, consoling herself with her goal of becoming a superhero, while ignoring the fact that the leader of the bullies, Emma Barnes, used to be her best friend.
- Taylor (First appearance)
- Madison Clements (First appearance)
- Mr. Gladly (First appearance)
- Sophia (First appearance)
- Emma Barnes (First appearance)
- Triumvirate (first mentioned)
- 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 sometime after it was originally posted.