Critique would be much appreciated, and the only thing I have to say for myself is that I come up with weird shit when I'm bored. Oh, and that the characters are somewhat OC...

... that and the fact that I really need to stop starting new stories and finish off my other ones. .

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Operation: BBRAE

Bring 'Bout Rachel's Acknowledgement Effectively

Translation: Get Rachel to notice me.

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I'm standing in the middle of the room with David's penis in my hand, breathing unsteadily as the tension builds.

Calm down, Garfield. I tell myself, somewhat desperately. Don't panic. This is not as bad as it seems.

Avoiding David's gaze and trying hard to follow my own advice, I look down at the specimen in my hand. And gulp.

… okay. I'm fucked.

For one thing, it's larger than I thought it'd be… and a lot heavier. I can't avoid it any longer – I look up. Its owner is staring down at me with a frozen look of something akin to shock on his face. Or perhaps it's hurt. Or anger. I'm not sure which, but either way, I can't blame him - I mean, I'd be pretty pissed myself if some kid had just very quickly and forcefully deprived me of my wedding tackle.

I swallow hard again – not only at the mental image that sprung to mind - but at the fact that I have a feeling that David isn't the only one who's not going to be too happy with me. Call it a hunch, but I think it might end up having something to do with the fact that I've just defaced what is possibly the most famous sculpture in the world in a very serious way.

"On loan to the National Gallery of Victoria from the prestigious Galleria dell'Accademia in Italy," I remember the guidebook saying. Funny how I could recall this fact despite not paying any attention at the time to what I'd been reading - I'd been too busy shooting numerous sidelong glances at Rachel Roth to see if she'd noticed me looking intelligent by reading yet. "The statue of David measures 4.24 metres in height and is arguably Michelangelo's best-known work besides the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel."

Oh God. The Sistine Chapel.

Great. As if things weren't bad enough, I'm pretty sure God's not going to be too happy with me either, considering that I've just castrated his artistic brother. Brilliant work, Garfield. So far the latest phase in your awe-inspiring plan to Get Rachel To Notice You is going wonderfully.

Not.

The fire alarms are still ringing madly around me, echoing in the vast empty space of this room. The emergency sprinklers on the ceiling have been going off for the last few minutes - I'm getting pretty wet. Even so, the cooling effect of the drops running down my neck and into my school shirt is somewhat-less-than-calming.

When the alarms had started blaring, I'd jumped up onto the statue's pedestal, trying to avoid being crushed by the stampede of overweight middle-aged art critics and swotty private-school students armed with clipboards. Too late I'd realised that I'd overbalance and fall to my doom if I didn't grab something… so I did.

Blindly, I'd flailed around to try and find the nearest protrusion – I hadn't realised what I'd grabbed hold of until there'd been a sickening crack and I'd found myself on my back on the floor, doors banging shut as the last skittery private-school kid left shouting something about her ruined hair.

And now I'm alone with nothing but a multi-million dollar stone phallus in my hands and the wrath of the entire art world upon my shoulders to keep me company.

As I look back up at the planet's newest eunuch, a small voice in my head points out that now would be a perfect time to run. I'm tempted - very tempted – but there's another, much louder voice in there too, telling me that it'd be better to try and redeem myself by doing something foolishly valiant…

In other words, attempt to repair the damage.

I'm not too sure if I trust this voice though, because I've got a feeling that it's coming from the same part of my brain that suggested I come on this field trip in the first place. Which, just for the record, is a decision I am currently regretting rather strongly.

I can still remember the look on Richard and Victor's faces when I told them I was going on this trip – I can't blame them, either. For one thing, it's pretty much common knowledge that I have no artistic talent whatsoever. I can't draw a stick figure to save my life and if you handed me Matisse's [i]Le Bateau[/i], I'd probably hang it upside down, completely oblivious to the fact that that was not the way it was supposed to be.

So why on Earth was I on a field trip to an art gallery, you might be wondering? Easy.

I don't like art, but she does. The plan had been to show her what a cultured, refined gentleman I was by tagging along on the trip and when she was within earshot, loudly offer a few carefully rehearsed, intelligent remarks about various pieces. My reasoning was that if I played my cards right, she might actually notice me enough to say something to me other than "You're blocking my view." or "Garfield. Get off my foot." which was - so far - all that I've managed to get her to say to me today.

Somehow, I doubt that she'd be very impressed with this situation at all. But I have a hunch that she'd be even less so if I ran away… so that's settled.

With an extremely disturbing mental picture of me dying a virgin and exactly all the ways this could go wrong, I tighten my grip on David's manhood and try to work out a way to fix this.

My mind flies to the packet of gum I've got stashed in my bag for the bus trip home – a couple pieces of that should work, shouldn't it? Even if all goes well, the chances of success are still rather questionable… but it's the best idea I've got. It's the only idea I've got.

Unceremoniously, I dump the liberated genitalia at the foot of the statue before shrugging my bag off. Kneeling down, I unzip it and tip the contents violently onto the ground – miscellaneous items fall out and roll away, but none of it is what I'm looking for.

It takes me a few frenzied moments to sift through the rest of the junk in my bag. I disregard five-day old sandwiches, what appears to be the remains of a… tofu burger? I'm not sure. I don't stop to wonder, though – pushing long-neglected essays out of the way, I search desperately for the precious gum. I'm making a mess – the contents of my bag are spread out on the gallery floor for the world to see - but I'm beyond caring.

There's a slight thump as something falls onto the floor. Automatically, I glance down to make sure whatever it is didn't break and blink – what's that doing in my bag?

With a sudden burst of inspiration, I remember the superglue Rita is adamant I carry about with me in case my shoes crack. I'd thrown the tube in my bag just to humour her, thinking it was simply another one of those crazy things that she insisted on – like making me take an asthma pump everywhere I go, despite the fact that I'm not asthmatic and neither is anyone else I know. But now, I think I finally understand… grabbing the tube, I send her a silent prayer of thanks for all those years I've been carrying multiple first aid kits to school "just in case".

My heart's in my throat and keeping time with the techno-remix of Crazy Frog as I hastily unscrew the lid and start applying superglue as generously as I can to the severed end of Michelangelo's masterpiece.

Suddenly, the klaxon dies away at the same moment. With the sound of the fire alarm no longer half-deafening me, I can hear footsteps and what seem to be voices resonating in the hall beyond the gallery as I work. Glue faster, Garfield! I scream in my head. Glue faster or you're sunk and you'll never have a chance with her!

"… set off by a piece of dust… false alarm…"

Those are definitely voices at the door. Which means that any moment now they'll burst in on me holding a stone member in one hand and a tube of glue in the other… my eyes widen: I'm going to be expelled from school – or worse - be rejected by Rachel. In increasing panic, I lift the sculpted scrotum to the body whence it came and…

… a sigh of relief escapes me as I reunite man with legend.

Tension drains from my limbs. For a moment, I forget about the voices outside the door as several of my internal organs do celebratory backflips. I'm only a few bars into the opening strains of the self-congratulatory theme music in my head when my happiness evaporates.

The gallery curator bursts through the doors, flanked by numerous important-looking men in suits, my school group and… Rachel. It suddenly crosses my mind how this must look - I'm soaking wet, the contents of my bag are currently scattered across the floor and I'm currently groping the statue of David... I take a deep breath and turn to face them properly.

"Look, I can explain…" I begin, explanation half formed on my lips before realising something.

No. No. Not this. Not now!

My hand is stuck to David's reproductive member.

… God really does hate me.

I give it a few panicked tugs but it's there to stay. Thank you, Mum, I think bitterly.

The curator looks like he's about to explode – I can already see the telltale signs. He's bright red in the face, with his mouth opening and closing like a goldfish…

"What is this?" he splutters.

"Th… the statue of David."

"This is an atrocity!" he screams.

The silence in the room is so thick it almost seems to take on a physical presence. Underneath the sheer numb terror and my damp uniform I'm beginning to feel a nibbling of awkwardness.

I'm standing in the middle of everything, surrounded by the festering contents of my schoolbag and about fifty murderous art fanatics with my hand glued very decisively to the most sensitive areas of the world's greatest male nude. I was already having trouble defending my heterosexuality before this, so I've got no chance now. Not to mention Rachel Roth will never let me date her…

Somewhat resigned, I pray that my mother made sure I had clean underwear this morning so at least I can die with some dignity.

"Um." Everyone's looking at me now, and I fidget slightly under their collective gaze. "I… didn't mean it…" I finish, weakly.

Brilliant defence, Garfield.

The curator doesn't acknowledge my words – he's already turned his back on me and is currently busy muttering incoherently into a handkerchief. Taking advantage of his distraction, I scan the crowd to see if Rachel's there.

Bad idea – all I see are a few dozen infuriated faces and several amused ones barely suppressing sniggers. More people are filtering in through the doors behind them, curious to see what exactly is going on. Trying to be as discreet as possible, I try once again to detach my hand from the statue … my failure is accompanied by a soundtrack of giggles from the crowd. Silently, I curse myself for being so liberal with the superglue – why didn't I run whilst I had the chance?

"Mr. Logan."

Great. The teacher's found his voice.

"Mr. Dayton?"

"You're in serious trouble."

It's only as Captain Obvious is talking that I spot her between two expensively-dressed, important looking figures. Rachel…

"Did you hear me, Mr. Logan?"

I nod absentmindedly, but I'm not paying him any attention. My eyes are on herand she meets my gaze with her own. She doesn't look as horrified as I thought she would be – instead, she's surveying me with a kind of amused interest that's not as scathing as it is benign.

My heart makes a dizzying ascent to my throat and I look down.

Calm down, Garfield. I tell myself, wiping the suddenly sweaty palm of my good hand on my pants. Don't panic. This is not as bad as it seems.

A sense of giddy calm falls over me and I look up, catching her eyes. In that instant, I forget all about the Wrath of Michelangelo and the unfortunate union that has been generated between myself and David… in that instant, I forget about the rest of the world. She's looking at me. She's… smiling… at me… and I've never seen her smile before. She looks beautiful…

Before I can stop to change my mind, I'm calling out, interrupting Mr. Russell's spiel mid-sentence.

"Rachel! Will you go out with me?"

And even though there are uniformed men beginning to surround me, cameras recording my predicament (presumably to upload onto YouTube), mobile phones madly ringing over each other and a curator looking as though he either wants a gun or a strong drink… even though I'm facing expulsion and possibly criminal charges, I don't give a damn.

Because over the hubbub, I see her mouth the word "Yes".

I think she noticed me.

Mission accomplished.

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Again, critique appreciated. Title is dodgy, so suggestions would be appreciated. =P

That being said, I'm wondering if anyone will get the reference to Matisse… probably not.

… I had way too much fun writing this… XD