Friday, July 22, 2011

Part 8: The Plan

Part VIII: The Plan

The Queen of the Plants was an exquisite planner. She made beautiful maps and long, involved lists, and she delegated the work so that, in under three days, she guaranteed the safe and joyous return of the pink, plastic Barbie lunchbox.

First, the Queen decided that she must (rather against her wishes) attend school the next day, carrying her lunch in a frightful brown paper bag. She walked to school with a serious look, but just a bit of a bounce in her step. She greeted the plants with her queenly (though subdued) greeting and carefully accepted their browning leaves into her backpack (ashamed to have them see the paper bag). She counted every step along the walk to school, careful to avoid stepping on the cracks (though the Queen’s mother hardly seemed worth the trouble).

Arriving in the classroom, she stowed her lunch and coat in her locker and strode into the 5th grade classroom with her backpack on her back. The offending bully was standing in the corner, looking enormously tall and disgustingly fat. The Queen of the Plants marched forward until she stood (all 3 feet of her) beneath the bully’s nose.

"GIVE ME BACK MY LUNCHBOX," she demanded, calmly but firmly, in her queenliest voice.

The boy stared down at her in disbelief, his mouth gaping and his eyes bulging nearly out of their sockets. He coughed, sputtered, and said, "What lunchbox?" in a low, hoarse whisper.

"MY LUNCHBOX," the Queen replied, not lowering her voice, "MY. BARBIE. LUNCHBOX." Her eyes flashed with all the fury of a woman scorned.

Looking carefully around the room, and discovering that none of his friends were present to witness a moment of weakness, he bent low and whispered, "I sold it to a warehouse thrift store on Elm Avenue." Straightening up, he bellowed, "GET OUT OF HERE YOU MISERABLE, PUNY WORM!!"

The Queen ran. She ran back to her classroom, ran up to her teacher, clutched her stomach and cried, "I think I’m going to puke!" and ran from the room. She ran to her locker, retrieved her coat (abandoned her lunch bag) and ran from the school. The Queen of the Plants ran 3 blocks down the street before she had to stop to catch her breath.

Three blocks from the school, the Queen sat down on the curb in front of a white house. There was a white house on one side of her, a white house on the other and a white house across the street. She sat down to think. "Overall," she thought, "that went quite well."

Looking around her, she wondered whereabouts Elm Avenue might be. Looking behind her she saw the white house and its white curtains and white shutters (both pulled tight) and wondered again where Elm Avenue could be. Standing up, she brushed the dirt off her royal garment and stared up at the windows, watching for a sign of life. The Queen of the Plants saw a shadow behind the blinds.

The shadow gave her courage, and she shuffled quietly up to the thick, imposing door and knocked.


Karen awoke and it was daytime, but dimly shadowed inside her bedroom. Her answering machine still showed a big, red "0" which reminded her of jelly doughnuts, which reminded her that she hadn’t eaten in several days. She had no idea what day it was, nor how long she had been asleep. Her pajamas and bedclothes reeked. Stepping out of bed, she shed her white nightgown, pulled the white sheets from the white mattress, and threw the lot in the washing machine. Walking, naked, past her large oak front door, she heard a light knock.

Karen did not bother to find anything to cover herself, but opened the door unashamed, looked down at the tiny visitor, and passed out.

1 comment: