Live writing sprints by J. R. Nichols are posted here unedited.
Today’s Sprint Prompt: Plead
“Don’t do it. Please, just don’t do it.” Jacob’s bottom lip trembled as he pleaded.
Billy Carrington tilted his head to the side and shook Jacob’s lunch box. I’d been holding it over the trash can for what felt to Jacob like an eternity, his fingers poised upon the metal latch, threatening to loosen it and send the contents of Jacob’s lunch plummeting into the dark chasm created by the black plastic can liner.
The sound of metal rubbing on metal and plastic and potato chips crunching caused a visceral moan to well up inside Jacobs throat. He could imagine his mother’s red-faced screaming as he related the news that he had come home without another one of her precious spoons. She kept threatening to buy disposable ones and send Jacob to school with them, and Jacob wished that she would actually follow through, but today, it seemed she had resorted to her default practice of packing his snack pack pudding cup into his lunchbox with a real-life metal spoon.
“Please, Billy. I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Whatever I want?” Billy’s eyes flicked to meet those of his squad of disgusting hyenic henchmen, Hank Balford, Mitch Spickle, and Terry Pratchett, who all snorted and laughed and made disgusting suggestions for what the price might be if Jacob wanted to keep his lunch in tact.
Billy seemed to have come to some sort of conclusion because he moved his arms away from the trashcan and started flipping the metal box in front of him in a light tossing motion.
“Tell you what, squirt,” he said, using Jacobs most hated of the patronizing nicknames Billy used for him. “I’m going to take you up on your offer to do whatever I want, but I’m going to pocket that favor.”
“Pocket it?” Jacob was only mildly relieved. At least he could return his spoon to his mother at the end of the day.
“Yeah,” Billy said, “I’m going to take your little promise,” he transferred the lunchbox to one massive hand while grabbing at something invisible with the other, balling that hand into a fist. “And I’m going to stick it in my pocket.” He moved the balled fist downward and slid his hand into his pocket. “And, when I need you, or rather, when I need something from you, I’m going to pull that favor out.” He withdrew the pocketed hand. “And I’m going to come knocking.” He gave three solid raps to the top of the lunchbox, then shoved it against Jacob’s chest. The force of the motion sent Jacob stumbling backward.
“Thank you,” he sputtered, then immediately blushed with shame and embarrassment. Had he just thanked this monstrous bully? Typically, the hyenas laughed, but Jacob turned and left them there near the trash and headed to his regular table.
No one but Melissa was able to meet his gaze, his other buddies, all guys who had been there themselves with Billy, simply kept their heads down, their attention focused on their own sandwiches.
“I’m sorry,” Melissa whispered.
“Leave me alone,” Jacob snapped, sitting with his lunchbox unopened on the table.
“Don’t take it out on me,” Melissa quipped back, and Jacob lifted his eyes to meet her beautiful sparkling green ones.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
“Look, I know I’ve never had to face off with Billy, but I’ve been through just as bad stuff with Karen Wilbury and her crowd. I know what you’re going through, Jacob.” She slid an open hand across the table, and extended the other to Keith Fernsward, who sat immediately next to her. Keith seemed startled by the gesture, and met Melissa’s eyes with questions in his own, but after an encouraging nod from her, he slipped his hand into hers and extended his other to the boy on his other side. Before long, Jacob and Melissa’s little table of misfits were linked hand in hand, and smiled at one another.
“We’re going to get through these years of hell, together,” Melissa proclaimed, then looked over to where Billy and his crowd still lurked by the trash.
Time is up!!!!
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