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Note from the author: This short story takes place on earth many millions of years in the future, after humanity has self-destructed and the descendants of the insect superorder Dictyoptera have risen as the dominant intelligent species on the planet. Other animals contemporary to humans also managed to survive the anthropogenic apocalypse and have since evolved into distinct creatures, but for the purposes of this tale you only need to know about one: a new species of worm descended from deep sea nematodes that developed horrible spider-like legs and crawled out of the sea many eons ago and now are kept as pets by the intelligent invertebrates of earth. So, when I mention the family dog, know that I’m actually talking about a disgusting worm-beast with no face and too many legs. Merry Christmas! – AmandaRead this story