No River Songs Pt.2: Hunger in Bear Creek/Pt.1

by Kyla Houbolt, 3.24am March 10th 2021

Possibly the river is a large worm. Some have suggested this. The rumors have

flown as rumors do, and come to the ears of the bar regulars, those fellows who

gather in the early morning to take the edge off the day. Their river! A worm? Oh this causes much dissension, argument, controversy -- even a few fistfights, but those

take place out back in the alley because the many-tentacled bartender will not

permit violence in this bar and swiftly evicts the perpetrators. But only until one or the other concedes and then they're back on their bar stools. This controversy, this vile possibility that the river may be a worm, threatens to make them late to their shifts

and since the fish that were promised have failed to arrive they abandon their small happy boats and with weary resignation make their various ways to their various

jobs of just barely gainful employment. No one notices the river, who has gone back underground to weep at their infidelity to its friendship. And perhaps to change into

its worm form and seek out a new host, a more welcoming host, one that will provide free smokes and even some good tunes on the jukebox, one that will feed its

hunger. Because during all this time, while it was making friends at the bar--so it thought--it has not fed at all and it is becoming very very hungry. It has heard there

are many stray dogs in Bear Creek. It hates the thought of stooping so low as to

even.... but it is so hungry, so hungry. And that basketball game? Its team lost. It

might as well head for kinder territory. If any is to be found, in Bear Creek, for a

shape-shifting river worm.