“You’re filthy, Ava!”
My mom opened the door for me that day, big smile on her face, excited to see me and then the scolding.
“Wait, stop,” she put her hands out to stop me. “Take your shoes off, take your socks off, bath immediately.”
“Mom,” I whined.
“Do not whine, Ava. If you’re going to keep playing in mud, you’re going to start taking baths immediately after playing.”
I threw my head back in protest but began sliding my shoe off with my other foot. I never untied my shoes, I just ripped them off. My mom headed down the hallway to start the bath. My dad walked by me.
“Mom, making you take a bath huh?”
“Yeah,” I grumbled, pulling my sock off.
My dad snorted and said, “Let me look at you.”
I looked up at him. My face was covered in dirt, arms, hands, shirt and pants too. After we buried the worm, I thought it would strengthen the spell if we rolled on top of the grave and chanted Worm! Worm! Worm! Worm! Live forever! over and over.
“Now you have the power of the worm,” I whispered to her, both of us on our stomachs on the patch, my head laying flat on the dirt.
“Wow, what were you doing? You really got in there?”

My dad was examining me and I began to kick the other shoe offf. I shrugged as girls do. My brother never got this dirty if at all.
“Just playing.”
My dad laughed on his way to the laundry room to get a snack. It was Sunday. I remember he had slept in today. Tomorrow was work. He wouldn’t drink too much.
“Ava!”
“I’m coming,” I pulled my other sock off and left it in a pile by the door.

The rest of the evidence buried somewhere in some hole near someone’s backyard. The only evidence of our friendship: swallowed, tombed, washed off, never to be seen again. Never to be believed.

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