Lunch Time Surprise
“Timmy, you’re going to be late!” Timmy’s mother yelled up the steps, where her son was presumably getting dressed. Seconds later, a yellow blur of a Wocky whizzed by as Timmy barreled down the steps. His red hat was askew as he stood, panting in the doorway, impatiently tapping his foot.
“Ma, where’s my lunch?” Timmy inquired, his eyes restlessly darting towards the doorway. “Hurry, I’m going to get in trouble if I’m any later; you said so yourself!”
“Just a minute, sweetheart!” his mom said as she grabbed his well worn Lupe Warrior Lunch Box and handed it to him.
Timmy curiously sniffed his favorite lunch box. “Mom, this doesn’t smell like my usual Peanut Butter and Jelly Hot Dog. What is it?” he asked, staring at the metal box as if he could see through it and spot the foreign object.
His mom smiled. “I thought I’d surprise you today, considering it’s your first day of school,” she replied kindly. She then kissed him on his head and shouted, “Have a great day, honey!” as he sped out the door.
Timmy eagerly ran on. He didn’t mind making the long trip to school each day and back. In fact, it was fun for him, and seemed to take only minutes today. Faster and faster he ran, thinking that if he got to school early enough, his lunch might come faster. Then he would be able to find out what mystery object is inside. Timmy loved surprises, but hated waiting to find out what the surprise is, and shuddered at the thought of waiting until noon to open the tin.
Finally, he got to school. He tiredly staggered in, his tongue lolling out of his mouth. He slowly eased his was down into his seat, introducing himself to a few kids whose desks surrounded his. Luckily, his teacher hadn’t reached his name in roll call, and he was not late for school. All of that running paid off after all, Timmy thought as he smiled lazily. Maybe lunch will come sooner. Timmy’s mind began to wander as his teacher droned on about spelling or whatnot, and his eyes slid towards the clock. His fingers drummed loudly on the desk as he awaited the lunch. Could the clock really be moving that slowly, or was it just his imagination? It couldn’t possibly be only 10:05, could it?
Finally, finally, a shrill ring shot through his body, signaling that it was lunch time. Excitedly, he hustled to the cafeteria, eagerly clutching his favored yellow lunch box. He plopped down on the bench and carefully placed it down on the table, making sure not to dent it. Slowly, as if to savor the moment, he unlatched the hinge on the box with a creak and, hands trembling with excitement, he lifted the lid.
With horror, he stared at the object lying in the box. It was lumpy and green, and when he hesitantly sniffed the air above his lunch box, it smelled like a strange mixture of barbeque, fish, and garlic. Looking at the thing--for this could not possibly be food, it couldn’t be edible--realization dawned on him. He knew what it was, and he was appalled.
It was a stick of grilled asparagus.
He poked the bundle. It oozed some sort of green liquid that oddly resembled a Slorg trail and that singed his eyebrows when he bent down to look at it. The asparagus seemed to move on its own accord. It was wriggling slightly, like some sort of worm was controlling it.
Poor Timmy couldn’t stand the sight of it. He hastily packed it up so that none of the other children could tease him about it. Miserably, he set his head on his hands and wondered how his mother could think that he could possibly want to eat the monstrosity that was resting in his lunch box at that moment. He sat through lunch, longing for his Peanut Better and Jelly Hot Dog that he was so accustomed to. Finally, he heard the bell ring and shuffled back to class, his head drooping so low that it almost touched the dirt on the ground. He could not wait to get home. He tried to pay attention in class, but his mind wandered. When school was dismissed, he heaved up his stuff and shoved it in his backpack. He then picked up his lunch box and began his excruciatingly long walk home. He barely had one paw out the door, however, when the bullies approached.
There were three of them. Harold, a green Chia, was built like a wall. He had short, muscular arms, thick legs, and a wide body. This all gave him a reputation of being strong but not very intelligent. Sadly, this was correct, as he could barely string a few words together to make a coherent sentence. However, Romus, a yellow Lenny, was just the opposite. His mind was his biggest asset, and could manipulate people easily. His wiry build, tiny arms, and straw-like legs did not make him seem like a likely bully, but he knew just what words to say to hurt you the most. In many ways, he was worse than Harold.
The leader of the gang was a red Kyrii named Xeno. He was a perfect blend of his friends. He was strong enough to be able to scare away even the strongest Neopets, and smart enough to be sly and cunning, so as to be able to get out of most punishments. Even his name was enough to make a Neopet run, tail between its legs, back to their house and hide under their bed.
Timmy was trembling with fear. He himself had never actually had an encounter with this group of bullies, but his friends had said enough. One had gotten a black eye for getting an A on his test; one had received a broken arm for accidentally cutting in front of Harold in line. He even knew one kid who hadn’t come out of his house in months in fear of the bullies.
Xeno approached him, his henchmen close behind. He looked down upon Timmy and snarled “Hey, kid. Whatcha got in your lunch box?”
Timmy tried to tell them that there was nothing good in the box, but no words would come out. He reluctantly surrendered his lunchbox, knowing that as soon as the trio saw what was in it, he would be in for the beating of a lifetime, not to mention public humiliation to the rest of his school life.
Xeno ripped open the lunch box, breaking off the latch as he did so. Timmy involuntary cringed. Although the box had brought him a horrible monstrosity today, he was quite fond of it and would never wanted to see it destroyed like this. Xeno peered into the box, and immediately the smell clouded around the gang and their victim. He scoffed.
“You call this a lunch, lil’ boy?” Xeno growled, wagging the lunch box in Timmy’s face. Romus and Harold began to laugh, jeering at him. All Timmy could do was hide his face, mortified. “What should we do with this one, Romus?”
“Well, as it was his turn to bring us lunch, we should give him the usual.” Romus said logically, as always. Timmy smacked his head, surprised at his sheer stupidity. Every day, the kids rotated on whom would be providing the bullies their lunch. This prevented all of the kids from being beat up, although there was the occasional mockery. The usual was being hung by your underwear on a pole in front of the entire school.
Harold giggled and the terrible trio began advancing on him. Timmy raised his hands in a gesture of surrender. He had accepted defeat when something strange happened.
His lunch box wriggled.
None of the trio noticed, but as they took another collective step, it jumped a foot off of the ground. Timmy gasped, but then tried to collect himself. He didn’t want anyone, especially Xeno, to have another reason to laugh at him.
Just as Harold was about to lift Timmy like a feather with his huge hands, the lunch box opened. The asparagus, the very one that Timmy was just humiliated by, flew out at hit Harold on the back of his head with a muffled thump. Harold, being Harold, turned stupidly around and began attacking Romus and Xeno. They began clawing each other, completely forgetting little Timmy. Not believing his luck, Timmy ran over to the asparagus. Never again would he complain about eating this! In fact...
He chomped down, and was surprised by what he found. It was delicious! He picked up his prized lunch box and, chewing on his new favorite lunch, began skipping home, eager to tell his mom about his first day of school.
And the bullies? Well, let’s just say that they may not want to eat any asparagus for a while...