Jan 02
fiction challenge: Tone
Mary's picture

Carrot sticks

I take a large inhale as I step off of the platform of the long school bus. I watch it screech away and then turn to look at the entrance of the school. The building seems to tower over me. As I adjust the straps on my new backpack I realize that my hands are sweating. I wipe them on my skirt, careful not to ruin the blue ruffles that are sown on top of the orange fish pattern. It is my favorite. 

I am beginning to panic when a woman approaches me. She has a clipboard in her arms and asks me my name. “Teresa Blake,” I mumble and after only a quick glance at her papers, she ushers me towards a bald man in an assaulting yellow tie. He shakes my hand, his almost completely engulfing mine, and lines me up with some other children. Each has a backpack like mine but mine has carrot sticks I think, which brings a slight smile to my face. I close my eyes and imagine the neatly squared carrots that my mother cut this morning. They are my favorite. Soon, the bald man, who I have now learned is named Mr. Lopez, is leading us inside the tall brick building. We walk down a seemingly endless hallway until he leads us all into a small room with light green walls. 

I am quiet all morning as the rest of the class shares what they did over the summer and show off their new glitter pens and colorful erasers. I speak my name twice more and they are the only words I have spoken all day when I notice my stomach beginning to rumble. I wait patiently, until Mr. Lopez announces that it is time for snack. The zipping of backpacks echoes through the room as we all retrieve our snacks. Finally! I think. I have been looking forward to nothing but these carrot sticks all day. As I look inside my backpack, I am puzzled to not find the little baggy filled with my orange, crunchy snack. I rummage through its contents again and again, each time more frantic. When I look up, I see everyone beginning to eat and panic begins to pound through my entire body. Before I know it, my vision is blurring and tears begin to fall to my cheeks. My classmates stare at me with awkward looks, their attention drawn by my sobbing. I see a girl pop a thin orange stick in her mouth. Carrots! That does it. I feel the scratchy surface of the carpet on my face as I curl into a ball on the floor. My tears begin to flow harder now. At this point, life seems hopeless. All I wanted was my carrot sticks.
 
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