This article is part of the We Do Battle for the Lord series.
I firmly believe that only the white man, and possibly the Japanese, can know the full totality of unhappiness.
I ain't a racist, not technically, that's just a commentary on how far we got and how low we're going. The white man has reached the pinnacles of comfort and civilization, his labors have given him a world of luxury that even the common man enjoys: ice cold Miller Lites, an easy chair made by science for the human ass, porno whenever y'all want, and a TV big enough and clear enough that you can see what people had for lunch stuck between their teeth on the CSI.
White man, and to the lesser degree the Japanese, built amazing cities like Detroit and Memphis and Little Rock, Arkansas and also Tokyo. And yet here we are, in the opening years of the 21st century, all our energy spent like a wobbling top, remembering just how good it can get, but looking ahead to nothing but long miles of rough road.
What did we do to deserve this?
Isaac was working on a mean case of dip tooth and to be honest my dick was about half froze off. We were camped up on a hill called Rushmore in the dead of night in the middle of a Minnesota winter waiting for something called an Ice Worm to appear. We were doing all these things because, one, somebody has got to destroy demons, two, we died and were reborn as God's avenging angels based on a vision Isaac saw, and three, if you know there's something called an Ice Worm out there you might as well go see it. Life is all about building memories.
"Maybe it ain't coming," I hypostulated. "Maybe it went somewhere else. Like a cave or something. A nest."
"It's coming," Isaac said with that creepy, far-eyed certitude that he's had about all these weird monsters. God gave him a road map and to date it ain't been wrong.
I waited a little longer, got a little colder, and then I said, "Why don't we drive back to that Truckso's we saw and get us some caramel waffle coffees. Keep us awake and warm so--"
"There!" Isaac pointed out across the snow-beaten field. I didn't see it at first, not its body, but I could sense something moving out there. Those motions added up and I realized there was something, real long, like a giant Slippity Slide hid under the snow that someone was pulling around.
It was moving in a slow and winding way towards the big old raw ham hock we'd tied up in a tree for bait. It was almost there, already starting to lift its front end up out of the snow.
"Get ready," I said and put my gun up on my shoulder and aimed through the scope.
"Hang on," said Isaac. "We should wait and see what..."
Well the sight of it took the words right of his mouth. About fifteen feet came up out of the snow, like a giant piece of egg noodle. It was white on its back and flat and yellow on its belly, so long I still wasn't sure where it ended. It wasn't very thick, more like a tape worm or something, with no eyes or mouth but a buzz saw of black teeth on its front like horns or something. It reared up, big as a playground slide, the big kind where kids always come down too fast and skin up their knees and start bawling.
I drew a bead on it and put the cross hair right in the middle of that lamprey circle of teeth. They swooped down and bit into the ham hock and gave it a tug that snapped the branches off the tree.
"Wait!" Isaac said, but there was no point to saying it because there was already a bang coming out of the business end of my Remington. Dead center shot right past the bone of that pig and into the squishy yellow underside. It sorta froze and I could see a black dot through the scope where the bullet had hit. The ham hock fell out of its teeth and thick, clotted blood that looked just like the stewed spinach my mom used to make started falling out. I hated those boiled weeds, but my dad would make me eat gagging bowlfuls of the stuff.
"Got him," I said.
The noodle body of the worm lifted and the whole field of snow started moving around and shifting in some powdered donut funhouse of conveyors.
"Oh shit," I said and that was an understatement. There were too many looping noodle bodies to be counted, heaving up out of the snow, black circle saws of teeth at the end of each. The ground shifted below us and I only just managed to grab Isaac by his collar and pull him back so he didn't go tumbling down into the field with all those things.
"I thought you said IT. Like fuckin' singular!" I shouted as we started running, which was really hard because the whole hill was moving and shaking. "One Ice Worm! An ice worm!"
Elliot said my breakup must have been due to the sweater curse, an unexplained phenomenon where anyone who gives their significant other a hand-knit sweater gets dumped. The only way to break the curse, Elliot said, was to destroy the sweater.
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Isaac and his buddy died in a boating accident almost a year ago. Since then, things have gotten pretty strange. Messages supposedly from God propel them across the United States to combat supernatural evil.