“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry,” Alex whimpered.
“What did you just say?”
Alex looked up at the large boy staring down at him. He was a giant among a sea of tiny and fragile adolescents. “I'm...I'm sorry.”
The gawking students on the basketball court didn’t move an inch.
“Eat it,” the boy grunted.
Alex knew there was no choice; there was no question what had to be done. The insignificant role he played as a junior student at Timpleville Public School was extremely small. He was at the bottom of the pyramid. He had to do whatever an intermediate student told him to do. It was just a matter of wrapping his mind around it. “You really want me to put this in my mouth?”
The boy rubbed the thick peach fuzz on his chin and chuckled, “I want you to swallow it.”
The crowd of kids whispered and pointed, anxiously waiting to see what Alex was going to do next.
Alex wasn’t sure why he was questioning it. It was suicide to actually think he could get out of it, especially when the threat was coming from someone who was once suspended for beating up the school mascot.
“Do it now, or else.”
Alex shook his head and sighed. If only he had got on the bus. If only he had just shut his mouth and moved on.
If only he didn’t step in and stop Henry Greenfield from having a gigantic worm shoved down his throat.
Alex looked down at the concrete. There it was, squirming about along the cracks in the cement trying desperately to escape.
“You knocked it out of my hand...it’s no good to me now,” the boy said. “Eat it.”
Alex slowly picked up the worm and lifted it up to his mouth. It danced about between his fingers, unaware it was about to be sucked down the throat of a helpless klutz who clearly should have minded his own business.
“This isn't happening, this isn't happening,” Alex muttered.
Its slimy body squished against the tips of his fingers. Alex opened his mouth and lowered it toward his tongue.
No one said a thing.
Not a single student moved a muscle.
Alex closed his eyes. He wanted to be somewhere else...anywhere but there. He wondered why he always managed to find himself in the worst possible predicaments. He wondered what unfortunate series of events led to this very moment...the lowest and most humiliating point in Alex Thomas’ tiny life.
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