Challenge fic! Woo! From the ever so brilliant Matt, I might add.
Sentence to use: Food is for eating, not wearing!
Abstract: After 2 1/2 years of eating caf food, Taichi finally snaps...
Tai absent-mindedly poked at his food. Well, calling it food might be stretching it a bit. In any case, he dragged his fork through a pile of mush that had a yellowish tint to it, and quite possibly radioactive properties too.
He'd already shoved down a good portion of the matter that occupied his plate and deigned itself to be called food. It was gruesome, but he'd picked up a technique over his last two and a half years of high school; it consisted of closing his eyes, holding his nose, and imagining he was eating Sora's home-made cookies instead.
It didn't work. It never had. Except Tai couldn't bring himself to admit that. It was, after all, the only thing that kept him from going insane.
Even though he was a high school senior, Tai's mother still would not let him make his own lunch. She didn't trust him to eat a healthy, balanced meal apparently. Even though Tai had spent many hours arguing the nutritional values of peanut butter and banana sandwiches covered in chocolate sauce. Bananas were, after all, a fruit, so he really couldn't see her problem.
Tai sighed and looked around the table. To his left Sora was picking at a salad; she was currently shaking a leaf about in an attempt to get the disgustingly creamy dressing off of it, desperately hoping that it might come out edible. Or slightly more edible than the main course of oddly shaped lumps hidden under another variety of mystery sauce. A plate of them – whatever they were – sat on the 'I tried, really, but those just aren't going into my mouth' side of her lunch tray.
Across from her sat Izzy. He was relatively new to the cafeteria scene, as he had usually spent most days locked up in the computer lab at lunch time. He was often so absorbed that he forgot to come down to the lunch room. It had developed into a habit, which had then developed into him becoming malnourished, which had in turn led to him fainting that one hilarious time. Well, it was hilarious to Tai, at least. Izzy's parents, on the other hand, had become sick with worry. They had then forced upon every teacher the mission of making sure their little boy ate properly. Poor Izzy couldn't escape the hawk-like eyes of teachers until he finished his plate. He was currently grimacing as he swallowed another mouthful of the simply delightful cafeteria food, and he looked quite green; it clashed awfully with his red hair.
Tai resumed pushing his food about. He made it into a sort of game. He dug a little hole in the top of what he guessed to be mashed potato, and poured a little odd-looking sauce – they could never escape the sauce – over it. It actually did resemble a volcano. A little. If you tilted your head to one side. And squinted. OK, and used a lot of imagination.
"Hey guys," called Matt as he sat down opposite Tai, which interrupted the latter's little game. Matt wore a huge grin; Tai saw that he was holding a small package.
"What's that?" he asked with honest interest, was that the smell of fresh pastries?
"Oh, some girl gave this to me earlier. Can you believe she actually made me lunch? I'm so glad I don't have to eat that cafeteria muck."
Tai looked down at his own 'muck.' His features drooped significantly. He looked back up to Matt, who was just pulling a croissant out of the brown paper bag. The glorious sweet, fresh smell reached Tai instantly. He breathed it in, revelling in its tastiness. He then bobbed his head, and got a whiff of his cafeteria food instead, which caused him to gag.
He recovered and looked over at Matt. He'd freed the croissant from its wrapping, and was holding it firmly in both hands, bringing it to his mouth, about to take a bite-
"NOOO!" screamed Tai, as he thrust himself over the table and straight at the croissant. His left foot caught both his lunch tray and Sora's, sending their contents flying all over his friend and the group of girls sitting at the table behind theirs. He then promptly crashed into Matt's chest, thus knocking the croissant out of the blond's hands, and the blond himself into the two guys sitting with their backs to him at the other table (that last bit really wasn't Tai's fault – they should have more space between lunch tables!) These two boys were, in turn, sent face first into their lunch trays. Tai, just hoped the toxic substances wouldn't cause them to go blind.
Actually, when they stood and turned around, Tai also hoped their menacing looks didn't imply they were going to beat him into a bloody pulp.
They settled on something much worse. Each grabbed their desserts, jelly and rice pudding, respectively – well, supposedly, both looked awfully similar, as in, they both had an uncanny resemblance to toxic waste mixed in with bird droppings – and dumped them over Matt and Tai's heads.
The boys had an initial moment of shock, but neither was the kind to let such things slide, so retaliation came quickly. Tai grabbed his own plate from behind him and Matt took Izzy's bowl of assorted unidentifiable lumps – sorry, fruit salad. And they both threw the food at their attackers, Tai opting for a sort of 'Frisbee style,' while Matt went for more of an underarm throw.
Unfortunately the other boys easily saw the attack coming and dodged. They weren't quick enough not to be hit at all, but definitely quick enough to avoid some of the projectile, allowing it to hit others sitting at their table.
By the looks on the faces of the newly splattered, they clearly wanted their own revenge.
"Oops," said Tai, promptly turning around, only to meet the gaze of some very unhappy girls. First, there was Sora, who had her arms crossed and was wearing an expression that somehow mixed the motherly feeling of 'I'm very disappointed in you" and the less rational "I'm going to bloody kill you." Tai was struck with an intense fear, that was only matched by what he felt as he looked past Sora and spotted a whole group of girls glaring at him. He easily recognized one of them; it was Lily, a really cute girl he'd once accidentally stood up. Yes, accidentally, honest!
From the heat of her glare, she obviously recognized him, even under all that dangerously phosphorescent food. She didn't seem to be the 'forgive and forget' type either.
"Get him, girls!" she screeched. Both Tai and Matt closed their eyes and braced themselves for the attack. Tai felt multiple hits from every direction – the group behind them must have joined in as well.
The attacks kept coming, Tai tried to protect himself with his arms as he attempted to edge his way under the table. He squinted an eye open, in the hopes of getting a better idea of what was going on – any advantage was vital, – and immediately regretted it when some foul smelling mashed potatoes hit him in the eye.
A particularly powerful food-bomb hit him square in the crotch; that had to be Sora, damn her powerful tennis-playing arms!
Just when Tai thought he couldn't take any more – the surrounding screams and food-throwing attacks having reached their maximum level – a resounding bellow stopped everyone in their tracks.
A rather stout lunch lady advanced towards them. She was extremely red in the face and her eyes were narrowed.
"How dare you act in such a manner? Such childish behaviour really is unacceptable, especially considering you're seniors!"
The teens all had their heads bowed. A collective "sorry, miss," was mumbled. This did nothing to calm the woman's rage.
"Really, I can't believe how ungrateful you all are. Don't you know we've been slaving away all morning to offer you this delicious food; it's made to be eaten, not worn."
Tai had always been terrible at keeping his mouth shut, especially at the worst of times. Whenever a moment called for silent agreement, that was his cue.
"Delicious?" he cried, "You have got to be kidding!"
The lunch lady spun around sharply, "Who said that?" she demanded.
"Me," declared Tai. He'd never been one to back down either.
She advanced towards him menacingly. In those few seconds, Tai imagined he was experiencing what it was like to be in your last instance of life before being crushed by a steamroller; this woman was absolutely terrifying!
"And what," she said, stopping only inches from his nose, "do you mean by that?"
Tai fidgeted nervously. Mustering up courage wasn't this easy with a monster – er, lunch lady – this close to him.
"Well?" she demanded, prodding his chest with a greasy finger. "Do you not like the food here? Is it not good enough for your delicate little taste buds?"
"Oh, give me a break! You kids wouldn't know a good meal if it hit you in the face." Almost every student around her had at least some form of food on their face, but the irony of the situation went unmentioned, due to the pure, unadulterated fear this gigantic rhinoceros of a woman struck into the hearts of everyone in the room.
All eyes were on Tai, though. Every student silently relayed their thoughts to him. Do something, do something! Anything! He could feel their encouragement, they were relying on him. Whether to get them out of this mess, or to make a difference he didn't know, but Tai felt special, he felt needed. He was their hero – nay, their saviour. It was up to him to take a stand. He would be the one to act, he would be the one to make History happen. Years from now children would be enjoying delicious cafeteria food, and it would be all thanks to him.
He scraped some mush off of his face with his index finger. "This food," he declared, pointing his finger at the lunch lady, "is absolutely, completely, unimaginably, disgusting!"
Tai had prepared himself for cheers from his surrounding peers, or perhaps a shocked and spluttering dinner lady, but not this. Not this ridiculously still silence.
Tai didn't dare move under the tense spell that had fallen upon the cafeteria. No one did. Only the angered lunch lady seemed alive as she shook violently.
Her shaking became greater, her face redder, her eyes fiercer, until, suddenly she exploded (metaphorically, of course – could you imagine the aftermath?) She threw her hands up with a grumbling roar, grabbed the closest and fullest tray of food, and promptly dumped it over Tai's head, letting the food spill over him, and all the cutlery and plates crash to the floor – save the soup bowl, which now sat on Tai head as if it were some odd sort of hat.
"And that," the heavy beast of a woman breathed out through gritted teeth, "is why you do not mess with a lunch lady."
Tai was promptly banned from ever setting foot in the cafeteria again. On the plus side, his mother now had no other choice but to let him bring in his own lunch. And thus the era of chocolate-tuna sandwiches was born.