Earworm: Part 3 — The Earworm

EarwormContinued from: Earworm: Part 2 — William’s Hope 

Thursday morning. Hope sat in her homeroom, her head propped on her hand, propped on her elbow, propped on the desk, wondering why the name,

William Knight,

kept turning in her mind. It was as though she woke with the name nagging her, as if she’d fallen asleep with the radio on and the last song playing before she drifted off to slumber had yet to evacuate her brain. She lifted her head from her hand and asked, “Who’s William Knight?”

“William Knight?” Tim Ford said. Tim sat beside Hope in homeroom. He was one of those people that—like Ms. Waltson, the school secretary—had to be the first to answer a question, whether he was right or not. He said, “William Knight was Indiana’s basketball coach years ago, he got canned and… What’s he doing now? I think it’s…”

“That’s Bobby Knight, you idiot,” Joel Fitch said, glancing at Tim. Joel was sitting behind Hope, and when she turned to look at him, he froze for a moment, her dark eyes locking onto his ice-blue ones. He flashed a grin of casual rebellion, although he was far from the rebel type. Joel Fitch was the school’s superstar, the heir apparent to Mystic Island’s anemic sports legacy. Joel explained to Hope, “He’s thinking of Bobby Knight. I think William Knight’s a student here.” Joel turned to Tim, saying, “Wasn’t he that new kid in gym yesterday?” Tim shrugged. Joel said to Hope, “Why? What about him?”

“I don’t know, name’s just stuck in my head. It’s like when you can’t get a song out of your mind. You ever had that?”

“An earworm,” Tim said.

“A what?” Hope and Joel said simultaneously.

“An earworm. That’s what that’s called, when you have a song stuck in your head,” Tim said.

“You don’t know one of the most famous coaches in college sports history, but you know what it’s called when you have a song stuck in your head?” Joel said to Tim.

“Yeah, well, I’m not really into…” Tim paused.

Hope thought she noticed Tim wince. Tim, along with every other wannabe, worshipped Joel. And Tim just almost admitted to not being into sports. A major faux pa in the social structure of the high school male.

“…College basketball,” Tim said. “I only like pro ball.”

Joel grinned, about to say something to Tim, but he shook his head and turned his attention back to Hope. “Well, it looks like you got one of these earbugs.”

“Worms,” Tim said, “Earworms.”

“Still doesn’t help me figure out who William Knight is,” Hope said.

The bell rang and Hope, along with the other students in her homeroom, got up and headed for their first period class.

Continued in: Earworm: Part 4 — A Crab in the Sand 


  1. says

    Speaking of worms, so far this reminds me a bit of Worm in that a seemingly innocuous power is going to become the stuff of nightmares. I mean, we already know it sent one person to the nuthouse already.

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