Earworm / Gary W. Hartley

They hummed the song. We hummed the song. No individual did not hum the song.

Soon, the outright singing began. Then, the dance moves. An audio-visual spectacle indeed. We would have filmed it on our phones but we were all too engrossed. You’re going to have to believe us. It happened. It all happened.

The bodily movements were not dissimilar to a military drill, so when it became an actual military drill we barely noticed. When we crossed the border we did notice, but didn’t mind at all. We had established camaraderie; notes held wonderfully and a vast sense of timing.

The charts told us where to go, what to do when we were there and how to come back. And come back we did, victoriously, serving up on soiled platinum discs the roughly-cut heads of enemies previously unknown to us. We had stopped singing and dancing, but felt it was the right time to have done so.

On resuming civilian life, all the notes chimed a dull eggshell white, rhythms impossible to tap a foot to. DJs spoke a heavily-accented Esperanto except when offering updates on soil acidity. Beneath our feet, the invertebrate slept restlessly in its own muck, dreaming incomplete dreams of bass lines and bridges.

 

Gary W. Hartley is from Leeds, but has voluntarily exiled himself to Athens for the time being. He used to co-edit The Alarmist magazine, and has a book of poems out on Listen Softly London Press.

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