Kenneth By D. I. Jolly

Kenneth had always felt a bit different, a little out of sorts in his body. It had bothered him more as a child, wondering why he couldn’t do exactly the same things the other kids could do, or not at the same speed anyway. But he always got there in the end. Even if the ball bumped into him the first three times he stayed determined and caught it on the fourth try. And that’s how it usually went for him, he’d get it on about the fourth try and after that he was golden.

As time went on, he got used to the way he worked and how it was different from a lot of people, not bad, just different. He still had bad days, much like everyone had bad days, but he had good days too.

His hard work and dedication to dedication also paid off in other areas of his life, he knew how to think passed problems and short comings, and became a hero in any crisis. Calm, collected and smart enough to find not just a solution, but often the best solution to any given problem.

He could also drink everyone he knew under the table. Because while his body would get slower, his mind always stayed crystal clear, and he never really understood what people meant when they spoke about being drunk. For him it just meant that walking took a moment’s more concentration and that the next day he would spend longer than usual in the bathroom getting ready.

Still, even as he grew up and made friends, started a career and fell in love, he never fully managed to shake the feeling of being different. The strange sensation that there was something about him that wasn’t the same as everyone else. And he would wonder idly if he’d ever get rid of that feeling.

Until the day his right arms spasmed while he was driving and his car pulled sharply to the right and directly under the tires of a 24-wheeler transporting farming equipment. His car didn’t bounce or flip it just crunched. For Kenneth the world went from normal, to very loud to perfect darkness.

For a while he waited for a light, or a realisation. He thought maybe he’d see his life flash before his eyes, but nothing happened. Distantly, he realised he could still hear some sounds. People talking, screaming, crying. And slowly it began to dawn on him that in that darkness he still felt like he could move. He felt like he could wiggle his shoulders and as he tried, he could feel a way out from the tight darkness that now felt like it was wrapped around him.

As he shifted and wriggled and pushed out in the only direction he felt he could go, he began to feel strange, more in control of his body than he’d ever felt before. He wondered if he was dead or if the adrenalin had just given him the power he needed to finally feel in control.

Still though, he remained calm as he continued to push and wriggle and after what felt like an eternity, he began to see a crack in the darkness which he reached for, he inched himself free of the wreckage around him.

It was then that Kenneth saw the body, his body that he’d just crawled out of, mangled in what was left of his destroyed car. He also saw and realised the truth for the first time. He saw himself, his true self for the first time and realised why he’d always felt so different, so strange and out of place. He wriggled his true form again just to be sure and then turned to look around. High above him he saw what looked like sky scrapers but he recognised them as people. They looked down at him pointing and booming sounds that rang in his ears, then before he was able to communicate his identity, Kenneth, the brain worm, was stamped out of existence to the sound of,

“Oh my god! Kill it, kill it with fire!”

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