This article is part of the We Do Battle for the Lord series.
We lost our feet and went tumbling down the reverse side of the hill, bouncing off of trees and snow covered rocks and losing all our camping gear that I paid good money for back in Bismarck. My rifle was gone too and probably Isaac's although I wasn't too sure where he was at that exact moment.
"Oof!" is what you say when you get the wind took out of you. I landed flat on my back with a rock as big as a basketball providing violent lumbar supports to my posture. I wiped away the snow clumped up in my face and blinked the flakes from my eyelashes. Through the blizzarding sky above I could make out something impossible. Rushmore, the whole stupid hill, was lifting up into the night sky and slowly turning.
"Oh God in Heaven, if you hear my prayin' do me a favor, I promise I will do Lord's Prayer every night forever if you right now save me. Please God! We're only doing what you said to do!"
Thinking maybe I was abandoned by God, or maybe God was one of them sorts of non-interventionist Gods, or maybe we were wrong and he was some other deity altogether, I started to get to my feet. The noodles were whipping all around now, coming over the hill and around it, coming for me and wherever Isaac was.
Then I saw its face and I just about lost it. Naw, I did lose it. It wasn't on the hill or in the hill, it was the hill. The damn thing had four black eyes as big as truck tires and a brow ridge curled with anger, like a huge snowy head sticking up out of the snow. Red nostril holes flared and its mouth opened, the side of the hill unzipping in a display of ten thousand gory teeth. I could see arms and legs stuck in there. Limbs from cows and goats and crushed birds like HD Caruso at the crime scene. Eagle for lunch. There were human things in there. A snow shoe. A scrap of flannel. A black belt with a glinting, golden buckle. Crossed revolvers, just the sort of thing used to leave marks on my butt when I done wrong. That row of red nostrils blew out snow and gusts of frigid air.
I knew for absolute sure in that moment that the dang Ice Worm was gonna kill me. It looked at me with those black eyes, looked at me like I done it a wrong, and I knew what it meant to be hated. I ain't afraid to say that I pissed myself. What are you gonna do? Of course I pissed myself. Woulda shit too if I hadn't dropped off my lumber about an hour earlier. Hot piss running down into my boot, I looked up and I knew it was all over. We never shoulda tried to fight the Ice Worm.
How Isaac got that Nissan to drive all the way out across the snow so quick I will never know. Man alive, he was bearing down on me like a charging bull, blasting the horn so loud the Ice Worm had to hear it. He slid right up to me, turning and opening the door and doing some sort of Angelina Jolie stunt move to where I fell into the open door just by being hit by the car. Actually it's a crossover, but I prefer to think of the Nissan Cube as its own class of vehicle.
"I ain't done with you yet!" I shouted defiantly out the door. I cringed as a noodle lashed the glass and thunked against the car's body.
"Shoulda gone to Jonesboro," Isaac said, steering us around a snow fort some kids had built out here. "We weren't ready for the Ice Worm."
Now, there is one redeeming quality about the dang Ice Worm. Although it started slapping those noodles down at us and put some mean scratches and dents in the Nissan, it didn't move. It could turn to look at us and it was terrible pissed and it roared and what have you, but it could not walk around. We were safe, I thought as a noodle smashed through the back window and got its hooks into poor Issac.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.
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.