This is Alice Kim's Web-Based Writer's Portfolio. It was posted and designed by Anthony Hsu (Erwaman). This is the third polished piece.

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Third Marking Period

Cafeteria Follies

     I bit my lip nervously, making a thread of blood dribble down my chin. Today was the big day, and everybody in the class waited patiently for Miss Jacobson to finish her mindless droning, contorting their faces into adept listening expressions. I, meanwhile, was staring at the clock, wishing the final bell to ring, as Hector Young, one of my closest buddies, leaned over and whispered in an anxious tone.

     “Hey Julie, you OK, girl?”

     I didn’t even bother to look at him. I was too preoccupied.

     “Hector, of course I’m OK. I feel like I’m gonna pass out from sheer boredom, but other than that, I think I’m gonna make it. Why?”

     “Well, you look kinda…rigid.”

     “Jeez, Hector, what are you talking about, man?” I became annoyed. My attention was directed to my pal’s face. The sunlight streamed through the window, giving his green eyes a kind of sparkle. I winced from the unexpected glare, and then glanced at the clock. 12:10 PM. Excellent.

     “There’s something red on your chin, girl, and you looked like you were trying to burn holes in that poor clock. Something sinking your boat, sister?”

     I gasped in horror, as I rummaged in my neon pink pencil case and pulled out a small mirror. Now it was Hector’s turn to grimace, as the reflection hit him. I paid no attention to this and examined myself closely. Blue eyeshadow, fine. Blush, beautiful. Lip gloss…huh! I drew in a sharp intake of breath as I noticed my mouth caked with blood. Funny, I didn’t notice it. I dove into my pencil case again, bringing out a tissue. It had a little lipstick experiment on it, but I used one clean corner to carefully wipe off the blood.

     “This is horrible, Heck,” I whispered urgently. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

     Heck rolled his eyes and turned back around in his seat. I guess I was anticipating the food fight planned after reading class. Mr. Trampoli’s homeroom had challenged Mrs. Hendrik’s homeroom to a food fling. The losers must buy the winners pizza and Sprite for the next month. I groaned loudly, forgetting where I was. Miss Jacobson was suddenly beside my left, appearing like a flash of lightning. Her keen eyes scrutinized my desk, and I saw them widen with satisfaction as they landed on my kissed tissue and mirror.

     “Well, well, well,” Miss Jacobson actually cackled. It reminded me of the Wicked Witch from Snow White. “Julie, you know better than to run a beauty salon with Mr. Young here.” I saw Hector slide down the back of his seat, his ears turning a bright red.

     Miss Jacobson opened her evil little mouth to say something else, but it was replaced by the dring-dring ringing of the bell. Whoo-hoo! I thanked the Lord for his punctuality. Saved by the bell.

     I rushed out of the door before Miss Jacobson could say anything. I scrambled to my locker and piled everything in, without taking any afternoon books. I could stop by later. What really mattered right now was the food fight.

     Hector joined me in the hallway, and we plodded silently to the cafeteria. I felt like we were the two dudes from Men In Black who are about to kick some serious alien butt, except we didn’t have any cool techno-gear. Oh, well. All we needed was some good squelchy Today’s Special.

     We entered the cafeteria door, quite nervously. I saw Mr. Trampoli’s class lined in single file against the right wall. Hector bade me a sad “Good-bye” as he sauntered over to the huddled group, as I joined Mrs. Hendrik’s cluster. I didn’t know what happened next. We stood still for about one minute, and then someone yelled, “Charge!” It was just like that. I grabbed some mashed yams in one hand and moldy creamed corn in the other and threw them as hard as I could. They both landed on Kendra Cory, the most popular girl in ninth grade. She shrieked and hurriedly threw some steamed tomatoes in my direction. I ducked, and it hit Joey McMack. He cried, “Every man for himself!” He then helped himself to some corned beef. I got sprayed in the ear with sour milk. I looked around and with astonishment, realized that it was Hector who threw that. Then, the food fight ended as quickly as it started. Everyone turned around with surprise and saw the teachers standing in the doorway. They were supposed to supervise the tenth graders; I guess they heard the noise and came to investigate.

     All of the people in the room received detention for the next week. They were hustled out of the cafeteria, but I stayed a little longer. I went over to Hector, who was lying on the floor. He was a mess. A slice of pizza hung from one ear, and a tomato dripped down his forehead. I wasn’t sure if he was still alive or not. The strange thing was, I didn’t care. I said out loud to him, “Later, traitor,” as I walked out of the room.

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