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The Soggy Cheeto (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I don't know if I'd seek publication on this, but my goal is to write something funny. I wasn't able to get it done and cut it enough in time for Literary Manuvers.
I'm mostly interested in finding out if there are any parts that make people laugh. Other critique is welcome. This is children's literature, I'd say.

The Soggy Cheeto​

Every time I think about Corbin Woodruff, my stomach goes crazy.

At lunchtime, I sit outside on a curb. I stopped sitting with my friends a week ago. I’ve been here every day with earpieces in, listening to music, eating my tuna sandwich, and wondering if people know about what happened.

Does the school know that it’s my fault Corbin Woodruff is probably in the hospital? He could be in a coma, I don't know. He could be dead and I don't know. Corbin is nice. He says I’m a really good artist. I showed him how to draw mazes and he draws them all the time now. He gave me one shaped like a maple leaf last week. A funny thing that happened last year, Corbin and I saw the teacher walk over a balloon about the size of an orange. It stayed with her, moving under her skirt as she walked around, and Corbin and I didn’t know what to do. You won’t believe this, but she was talking about queen ants laying eggs when the balloon popped out of her skirt. Corbin looks over at me with a funny face whenever we see balloons. Before that, when we were in kindergarten, I found a sick bird and it was Corbin that helped me catch it, find a box, and get it water. He is a really nice boy.

I know I should tell my parents. I want to ask them if we can go see him if he’s in the hospital, but they would be mad and if he dies I will probably go to jail. They talk about telling the truth at church and I might even be going to Hell, but I am having a hard time being brave. My one chance is that Corbin will get better and people won’t find out. I’m praying hard. If I can see him before he dies, I want to say I’m sorry and this is what I’d tell him happened:

I was sitting next to Shayla Thomas at lunch. She said, “I dare you to put one of Corbin Woodruff’s Cheetos into the toilet to see if he will eat it.” Corbin was at the salad bar and his Cheetos bag was open about 6 feet away from me while we sat there in the cafeteria.

I said, "No way. Corbin is nice!”

Shayla said if I wouldn’t, she would do it instead of me.

So I got an idea. I said I'd do it. I quickly grabbed a Cheeto from Corbin’s bag and went into the girl's room and put it under water from the sink before Shayla knew what I did. Honest, it was just sink water. It wasn’t toilet water, I promise.

I came back and Corbin was still in line and hadn’t noticed.

I showed the soggy Cheeto to Shayla and then stuck it back into Corbin’s Cheeto bag.

Well, then Shayla and I both watched. I have been thinking I don’t like sitting by Shayla. I was wondering what Corbin would think when he ate a soggy Cheeto. Would he worry it was contaminated? I wondered, did anybody else notice what had happened?

Sure enough, Corbin’s friend Eddy had the weirdest look on his face. Corbin came walking back just then.

"Hey Corbin, I think Autumn Powel put a love potion into your Cheetos." Eddy almost yelled it.. I don’t even know how to make something like that.

Before I even knew what I was doing, I was on my feet and almost yelling, "I did not

Eddy didn’t let up. "Yeah, well then what was it, huh? What did you do to his Cheetos, Autumn?"

I didn't know what to say. My face was probably beet red. I couldn't believe my voice had been so loud. I started to feel like the cafeteria was turning, so I sat down. I didn't want to cause any more disruption! I wonder if people were looking at me, but I will never know. I stared down at my pizza slice. The pepperoni was curled up at the edges and I memorized it.

I heard Corbin say quietly, "Hey, if Autumn says she didn't put anything into my Cheetos, then she didn't, okay?"

I thought, this isn't happening!

Eddy got in front of me. I could see his striped shirt in my periphery, but I kept staring at the cheese and pepperoni. "Hey Autumn, come on, what did you do?"

Then Shayla told a real lie, "She didn't do anything to his Cheetos, Eddy!"
"Autumn wouldn't do anything like that. Right Autumn?" Corbin sounded pretty sure.
"Let me see that bag of Cheetos!" Said Eddy.
"You don't have to Eddy!" Corbin said.

And then things must have gotten bad... and I didn’t really see everything. I don't think I was looking so I'm not really sure what happened. I remember the pizza perfectly and I heard the squeaking of shoes on the linoleum and then a bang as something fell hard. Did Eddy trip? Did Eddy hit Corbin? Or did Corbin trip on something? The next thing I knew, Ms. Roberts was saying something like, "Okay, kids clear out, Corbin’s hit his head. Casey can you go get the school nurse? Thank you."

The cafeteria was spinning, but I was able to look down and it looked like maybe there was blood... it could have been ketchup…but maybe it was blood! Maybe Corbin’s head got cracked? Did it? Ms. Roberts seemed to be trying to talk to you. I saw your eyes were closed. I was so worried.

Right then the bell rang. I wanted to know if Corbin was okay, but the bell rang! I picked up my tray, pizza uneaten, I walked past Corbin’s body on the floor with Ms. Roberts squatting next to him. The kids were clearing out. That’s what I’d tell Corbin.

Maybe Shayla knows what happened after that to Corbin? Maybe no kids know because the bell rang. I don’t dare ask Shayla and I never want to talk to Shayla ever again.

If Corbin dies? Everyone will hate me. Eddy knows. Shayla knows, and everyone else will know too. If Corbin dies without me saying sorry, I’ll never get forgiven like they talk about at church. There's no way even if it’s raining that I'm going to go back and eat in the cafeteria.

Someone's legs are next to the curb. I look up. It's Corbin!
I stand up and look at him. His head looks okay! No stiches or anything that I can see. His black hair needs a trim like usual. I take my earphones out.
"Hey." He says.
"Hey." I say.
"You got something to write with? And..uh.. write on?" Corbin’s dimple flashes.
"Um... sure… like a pen or a pencil?"
"Um... either… yeah that's good. Got a piece of paper?"
"I can get some out of my backpack."
"What's that? Have you got a napkin in your hand?"
"That'll work."
"Okay..." I say, handing him the pen and napkin. I watch Corbin as he writes on the napkin using his leg to write against and he folds it and kind of puts it on his hand for me to see. I never tried to do origami with a napkin. I try to figure out what shape the napkin has become, but it just looks like he has folded it in quarters, nothing special.
"Um... it's for you..."
"Oh!" I take the napkin back.
""Okay?" Corbin smiles at me. He kind of turns and walks off a bit, then turns back and walks a few paces backwards. I wonder if he will trip, but I don't say anything. He's never really acted that way before and I feel super nervous and jumpy. I turn my attention to unfolding the napkin and there's kind of this thrill thing going on with me, like happiness and nervousness is running around all mixed up in my body.
Inside it says, "Will you go with me?" With a box to check no or yes. Underneath that it says,
“The Cheeto tasted fine. I’m not worried. I was going to ask you anyway. Nobody blames you, Autumn.”

Every time I think about Corbin Woodruff, my stomach goes crazy.