The Bomb

The Bomb

A Chapter by Mock Vattic

There was a small play area attached to the elementary school made just for the kindergarteners, separate from the other playground that the older elementary students would play in. A patch of green grass with a few trees, toys were strewn about, a sandpit hid under the shade of a tree, a small slide worn over the years, and a blown-up bouncy pen.

          This area was enclosed by an iron fence, preventing the young children from wandering off. Even though most of the children were well behaved, they were still green and adventurous. It kept them in the proximity of the two teachers who would watch over them during recess and gave peace of mind to everyone.

          Ana-Lee, Emily, and Desmond were playing with a red, rubber ball, throwing and kicking it amongst themselves underneath the gorgeous sunlit day. Al was not as good as her playmates when it came to catching the ball, constantly dropping the ball, or missing a catch, but she was having fun despite that. The trio was covered in dirt and sweat.

          The Three Terrors were off by themselves in the sandpit, making castles, making a world of their own. The rest of the classroom were scattered about in their own groups, giggling, scampering, making the best out of this nice weather.

          Raven and Mr. Daisy stood against one of the cool brick walls that made up the school, keeping in the shade. They haven’t spoken since leaving the building, just observed the kids at play. A warm, cozy breeze blew.

          The sporty teacher could bite her tongue no longer. Such quiet awkwardness made her feel itchy. She was stricken at a young age with a disease called “chatterbox.”

          “So...” She started. “Your name is Quincy is it?” She already knew his name but defaulted to such question to get Quincy to talk.

          “Yes,” Quincy muttered. He had an unlabeled plastic bottle in his hand with a maroon-colored liquid in it, taking a sip from it now and again.

          Raven had heard very few words from Quincy Daisy since she had first met him. Every time he spoke he did so with a heavy rumble and an accent she could not identify.  Raven thought him to be a foreigner. His English was crystal clear despite the accent.

          She leaned forward with her arms behind her back, fingers intertwined, leering at Quincy, “So, where are you from, Quincy?”

          “Very far away,” He replied, still looking out at the kids at play, like a mountain watching over the critters of the forest. Quincy wasn’t trying to be rude, he just did not want to talk about his past too much. Raven picked up on that quickly.

          “A mystery man, huh?” She smirked playfully. “Well, well, all you’re doing is making me more curious.”

          Quincy flashed a grin that went away as soon as it arrived. He took another sip of the mystery fluid.

          Raven straightened her spine, placing her hands on her hips. “Well then, how about...” She pondered for a few moments, trying to figure a question that would crack the hard shell that was Quincy Daisy. “Where did you study for college?”

          “Farther away.”

          Raven puffed her cheeks and bounced her tongue around, taking the strong, silent man’s reluctance to talk as a personal challenge.

          “Do you have any siblings?”

          “...Yes,” he replied after a long pause. The yellow buttercup on his head swayed from a slight cool breeze that came and went, a petal was taken by the breeze and a new one took its place.

          “Ah-ha!” Raven yelled. Her voice echoed and caught the attention of the mass of frolicking children. Her small celebration to get Quincy to talk was short-lived due to the collection of eyes leering at her. She smiled and gave a wave�"the young ones returned to their playtime.

          “I have several older brothers myself... I am the youngest and the only girl.” She motioned Quincy to come closer and whispered in his ear, “It was hell at times but growing up with only brothers taught me how to kick a*s. We all try to keep in regular contact.”

          “Hohoho,” Quincy chuckled. In such a short time, Quincy took a liking to Ms. Watson. She was easy to get along with, some could call it her gift.

          “So, how many do you have?”

          “Just one. A younger sister.”

          “Oh, Nice! Did she grow up to be just as big as her older brother? Hopefully not as muscular,” Raven giggled.

          “She is... no longer with us. She passed away fairly young, around these students' age.” Quincy gazed beyond the playground, eyes devoid of light at that moment.

          “Oh... I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” An unavoidable sense of guilt clawed and gripped Raven’s heart. She had been reminiscing about her brothers unaware that Quincy could not do the same. She hung her head low.

          Quincy peered at her, realizing the sour feelings he had suddenly caused. He cracked his usual jolly smile and patted her on the back.

          “No, don’t worry about it. It was so long ago.” Quincy’s smile was an infectious disease, Raven returned it with her own.

          Raven had cracked Quincy, they were now making small talk. Raven had a feeling that her best friend, Leena, would be well off with Quincy as a co-teacher. She sighed in relief.

          He looked scary when I first saw him, but he has a kind heart. Raven twirled the end of her ponytail around her finger. Not that bad in the looks department either if you get past the scowl. Not my type though. I prefer my men scrawny and nerdy.

          Raven giggled to herself�"Quincy looked over at her to see why she was laughing. He raised one of his bushy, auburn brows but received no answer.

          “I wanted to ask you something. Non-personal this time, I swear it,” She put her hand over her chest like she was making a pledge.

          “Yes?”

          “What exactly are you drinking? That purple liquid. What is it?” She pointed at the unlabeled plastic bottle that the giant had been drinking out of periodically ever since they have been outside. Quincy seemed to be enjoying it.

          From his pocket, Mr. Daisy pulled out another bottle of the purple liquid and tossed it to the lively P.E. teacher. “Try it,” he said while Raven caught the bottle with one hand.

          The cap was twisted off and she took a big gulp of the unknown liquid. She immediately regretted this action coughing up the foul-tasting liquid and spitting multiple times on the dirt and grass beneath their feet.

          “That was horrible,” She told the giant while wiping off her lips with the back of her arm. “What was that stuff?”

          “Turnip juice!” He joyfully drank from his bottle. The buttercup on his head began to dance and sparkle.

          “It tastes horrible,” Raven bluntly interjected.

          “I know. It’s awful.”

          “Then why do you drink it?” Raven raised an eyebrow.

          “It has vitamins and minerals, and a hint of nostalgia.”

           “Bleh.”

           “Waaaah�"”

          A sudden wail broke between their conversation. It had been a cry of pain from a young girl. Both Quincy and Raven flew toward the sound. Emily was on the ground clenching her left knee with both of her hands. She had a face full of tears and her cheeks were flushed. Al and Desmond were standing over her, faces just as flushed but fewer tears.

          Raven approached the situation first with Quincy following closely behind. “What happened here?”

          “I threw the ball far... she said she could catch it... I didn’t mean to�"” Desmond’s response was incoherent.

          Al and Desmond made way for Ms. Watson.

          “Did you hurt your knee, Emily?” She asked calmly, kneeling to Emily’s level.

          Emily nodded her head. She gave a few sniffs as some snot ran down her face from crying.

          “Let me see then. I need you to move your hands.”

           Emily shook her head, her short pitch-black hair swayed.

          “Come, come,” Ms. Watson sweetened her tone, “I can’t help you make the pain go away if your hands are there.”

          Emily lethargically pulled her shaking hands away from the wound. She had scraped her knee while diving for an airborne ball.

          The bleeding was minimal, but there was a sharp, small rock that was stuck in her wound shaped like a crude arrowhead. It hadn’t gone deep, but it must have been painful to the young child.

          “Oh, it doesn’t look that bad Emily. Just a little scratch, you’re going to be absolutely fine.” Emily’s tears had stopped thanks to Raven’s motherly voice.

          Mr. Daisy pulled out a little medical kit from his back pocket. It was decorated with stickers of smiles, hearts, and animals. Dr. Daisy operated on Emily’s knee, removing the rock with some tweezers, disinfecting the wound, and bandaging her knee, all in a matter of a few seconds. He had done it all so fast that it made the three standby nurses’ heads spin.

          Quincy helped his patient back to her feet. Her eyes traveled down to the bandage over her knee. “It’s so pretty!” Emily exclaimed with a trembling grin. The bandage on her knee was pink and decorated with flowers. The flowers, of course, were daisies.

          Now, that was pretty impressive. Ms. Watson thought. She presented a hand to Emily, which she took, and said, “Let’s get you checked out at the nurses’ office to make sure you’re in tip-top shape.”

          “Okay!” Emily responded, her spirits were much higher now. The duo left. Raven guided Emily back through the entrance of Blue Diamond.

          Mr. Daisy was now alone with Ana-Lee and Desmond. They glanced up at the giant, worried they were going to be in trouble. Though, for Ana-Lee, that was normal. Quincy gave them a big grin as he lightly tossed the ball back to Desmond. Those concerned faces were now gone and they went back to their play�"now just a two-person game of catch.

           Mr. Daisy would spend the second half of recess by himself. One incident was taken care of, but another was yet to come.

 

***

 

          Recess time had begun for the Three Terrors.

          Kari, Diya, and Troy were inseparable during their time at school and the playground was no exception. They grouped to discuss what they wanted to play today.

          “Perhaps, we could play some video games. I brought my handheld with me,” Troy suggested. He held out a grey, plastic brick with several buttons on it. The screen was monochrome green, a grey button was shaped like a plus on the left side and two green buttons took up the right. A stubby man made of pixels was doing a lot of jumping in the game’s demo.

          “I brought mine too,” said Princess Diya, the crown was squished down on her head nearly covering her eyes. She had to readjust it frequently to not lose sight.

          Kari crossed her arms and scoffed. “I don’t want to play video games. I think they’re boring.”

          “But you said they were awesome when we were at Diya’s house last week,” Troy interjected. “Oh, I mean Princess Diya.”

          Kari grew flushed. “Th-that’s because it was on a big tv.” She widened her arms on the word “big.” “It was much easier to see which is way more exciting. The small screens make them hard to see and boring.”

          In actuality, Kari was envious that her friends had handheld video games while she did not. Kari had been raised by her older brother ever since her parents passed away. Money was very tight, and her older brother could not afford such things as video games, so she had felt left out. All she’d be able to do is squint over her friend’s shoulders as they play.

          “I have a waaaay better idea anyways.” The cogs in Kari’s head were grinding steel and iron trying to think of an activity on the spot. “Let’s... Let’s make a castle for Princess Diya so she can rule over her subjects with an iron fist!”

          Diya half-heartedly smirked, “That does sound fun.” She imagined a dark, foreboding fortress under a full moon, a world of chains and screaming.

          “That’s actually not a bad idea,” Troy added. “What’s a princess without an extravagant castle to show absolute rule over the peasants?” Troy imagined a gold-colored palace decorated with jewels, wall-to-wall paintings of Diya.

          “Right! To the sandpit!” Kari pointed to the square sandpit under the shade of a towering tree. The four edges that held the fresh sand were made up of wooden planks.

          Diya took throne on a flat rock beside the sandpit while her two servants grabbed a spade and bucket.

          “Troy should make the main castle since he is so architecturally inclined,” Diya commanded, readjusting her sinking crown. “I recommend doing the walls and towers first.”

          Troy puffed out his chest to the words of praise. He tossed his bucket into the sand and raked mound after mound into it. Once full, he flattened the top of the bucket, flipped it over, and pulled the shell away from a perfect castle tower.

          With a genuflect, Kari asked, “Princess Diya, what are your orders for me?”

          “Hmmm...” She wondered. “We certainly need a moat and drawbridge.”

          “Right away, your majesty.”

          While her servants were bringing her castle to life in the sandpit, Princess Diya began spouting off laws and rules that would take place under her rule.

          “All the chefs will make candy and sweets round the clock. The peasants will bow and grovel at my feet. Only the strongest of knights will guard my court. Also, there should be a giant dungeon beneath the castle.”

          “I don’t think it would be possible for me to make a proper dungeon out of the sand,” servant Troy said earnestly. “It would just collapse.”

          “Hmm. Yeah, you’re probably right. Then we will just throw the prisoners directly into the moat. Filled with alligators, no, even better, zombie alligators.”

          The Three Terrors heard Ms. Watson cry out in the distance. They were sucked from their fantasy world and looked over to see she was standing beside Mr. Daisy, looking foolish. The P.E. teacher gave an awkward wave to the playground, grinning as if she got caught doing something awful.

          “...........”

          The trio went back to their kingdom, blocking out whatever that was.

          Troy had finished the four cardinal towers of the castle and was now weaving the walls between them. Kari finished digging the moat when she had a sudden realization.

          “I’m going to need water for the moat!” She hoisted her bucket and scrambled toward the drinking fountain they had outside. She ran so fast that her sudden stop at the fountain caused her to slide beyond her destination, nearly falling on her face but she impressively caught her balance.

          The lass returned to her princess and fellow servant, water sloshed over the edges of her bucket. She dumped the water into the moat she had dug, but it was not enough, most of it was absorbed by the sand. She took multiple trips to the watering fountain until the moat was filled with the now sand-polluted water.

          Troy finished the wall. Wiping the sweat from his forehead he asked, “What do you want your royal crest to be?”

          “Crest?” Diya’s head tilted in confusion.

          “Yeah. Knights have them on their shields... I think. My father told me that Kings and Queens had royal crest to show who they are... or something like that.” He was not entirely correct in his explanation but had the right idea.

          “Hmmm...” Diya ran her fingers through her white, ivory hair. “I want a zombie with a crown. Hehe,” She snickered.

          Troy bowed, “It will be done, your majesty.”

          The moat was complete, but Kari still felt like something was missing, something especially important. The drawbridge! The fiery child felt foolish upon forgetting such a key aspect to the defensive moat. 

          The red servant to royalty combed the grass to find a suitable object that would be a worth drawbridge. She scrounged up a couple of sticks and twigs. One by one she brought them between her eyes and examined them, but none would work.

          From the tree that was nearby, a sharp gust blew a leaf off of it and it attacked Kari’s. The lass pulled the leaf from her face, blowing through her sealed lips, tossing it back into the wind, and off it flew.

          Stinky tree! The annoyed lass attacked the tree by peeling a chunk of bark off of it. Serves you right! She smirked with her small victory over the immobile timber beast.

          “Hmm.” Kari rubbed her chin, examining the bark just as she did with the sticks. “This should work! Hehehe.”

          “Waaaah�"”

          The Terrors heard a pain-induced cry from their classmate Emily. They watched the adults scramble to the girl clinging to her knee on the dirt. Quietly, they kept at play, but half of their attention was consumed by the event that had happened not too far from them. They saw Mr. Daisy kneel in front of Emily, unclear on what he was exactly doing.

          Kari planted the bark to finish the drawbridge. She watched Ms. Watson take Emily away, assuming they were going to the nurses’ office.

          “I think Emily got hurt,” Troy said abruptly.

          “I do hope she is okay...” Diya added, her face ever neutral, but she was worried, nonetheless.

          I-I think she’ll be fine,” Kari reassured the other two with a smile. “Emily does reckless things all the time. Especially, with Desmond.”

          “True,” The two agreed in unison.

          Emily was one of those girls who preferred aggressive activities. She was a tomboy and often played with the punk, Desmond. Ana-Lee was with Desmond all the time too. Kari could never figure out why that was since Al was the opposite of Emily and Desmond. She was delicate and preferred gentle stuff, like tea parties and teddy bears.

          “Hey, Mr. Daisy is on his own now...” The lass had a scheming spark in her eye and snickered.

          “Do you have another plan to scare the sub away?” Troy asked but already knew the answer to his question. Their leader, Kari, always had a backup plan for all of her pranks. Her failures just made her more determined. Troy and Diya had high respect for the lass’s unyielding resolve.

          Kari crawled to the fence line, pushing aside tall grass that hid a bag. She returned with her arms wrapped around it. Her eyes were shifty, making sure no one else but the Terrors knew of the bag. Carefully, she placed it down and motioned her friends to come closer. They gathered around the bag expectantly. Kari popped the button on the front that kept it closed but before she revealed its contents...

           “I’ve been brewing this one for a while,” She said in a hushed tone. “I call it The Bomb.

          She lifted off the top flap of the bag, a surge of excitement filled their hearts. All three bumped their heads together to peer down into the bag. Inside was a water balloon, but it was no ordinary water balloon. The liquid inside was murky and thick. A gurgling sound endlessly hummed from it, as if it was crying out for freedom from its rubber cell.

          “I filled a simple balloon with every condiment I could get my hands on,” She explained, pushing up imaginary glasses to further solidify her self-proclaimed genius. “This baby is about to blow, and when it does, it’s gonna stink.”

          The liquid inside was churning. If the Terrors stared at it long enough, they would start seeing faces of wailing spirits in agony. Any impact would surely make this balloon explode.

          “Ok, here’s the plan.” Kari pointed at the most physically abled of the three, Troy. “You climb the tree and get on the branch that is directly above the sandcastle. Princess Diya and I will lure over Mr. Daisy with our charm to get him to see our castle...”

          Troy had disgust in his eyes at the thought of his friends using their “charm” for anything. Kari and Diya pretended not to see that.

          “...And when he leans down to get a good look, you drop The Bomb directly on his head. He’ll smell so bad, he’ll cry and run out of the school in embarrassment.”

          “That’s a pretty good plan.” Troy stood, a devilish look masked his face.

          “I was starting to grow fond of him too. Oh well.” Diya said dryly. Her eyes widened. A cold, soulless void was in her gaze.

          The Terror with cobalt hair grabbed the balloon and carefully carried it under one arm. With short, precise motions, he climbed the tree. Kari was correct when stating that Troy was the most athletic of the three, he was only climbing with one arm and two feet.

          No one knew that the tree was reaching the end of its life. The insides were rotting, splitting. Troy would have never climbed the tree if he knew that his small body was chipping away at the tree's stability. 

          Troy reached a branch he felt was high enough and began to traverse it horizontally. Inch by inch he crawled, keeping the eye on the prize. The branch was a little more than half the width of his body with a web of smaller branches shooting out its circumference. His vision was limited by green leaves.

          Suddenly, a force gripped at the boy’s leg, halting his advance, it held very tight and was sharp all over. He looked behind to see what had happened, his leg was caught by a mess of leaves and bark.

          My leg is stuck, he panicked.

          “Troy are you in position yet?” Kari called out. She was unable to see Troy as the density of the leaves hid his location.

          “Hang on. I’m almost there.” The boy gently set the balloon on the safest surface nearby to free both of his arms. A rubbery bomb was cradled above the sandcastle.

          “We probably should hurry,” Diya calmly told Kari. “Recess will be ending very shortly.” Kari nodded in agreement.

          “We gotta hurry Troy!”

          Troy barely heard those words. He was fixated on the pain that overwhelmed his leg. He tried backing up to undo the snare, but that only made it worse. He lost his balance and partially slid off the branch he clung to. His leg was twisting and if that kept up he would likely break it.

          Troy panicked and fidgeted. The balloon that was cradled in the branches had been knocked loose and fell. It crashed onto the sandcastle, covering the sand in a foul-smelling ooze and destroying all their hard work. Diya and Kari jumped away from the blast zone, pinching their noses. They lost their castle to The Bomb but were not concerned with their creation anymore. They were worried about Troy.

          The boy’s strength gave out, he lost contact with the branch.

          “Remember me!” He cried out dramatically.

          To his surprise, he did not fall, on the contrary, he was rising. A force gripped the back of his shirt, pulling him off the branch he clung to. His leg had been freed with only a few minor scratches.

          Mr. Daisy saved Troy’s leg and removed him from the tree, setting him back to solid earth. It was the human equivalent to a claw machine picking up a stuffed animal. Troy had not climbed high enough when getting into position, only making it to around Mr. Daisy’s chest height.

          “You shouldn’t climb trees, Troy. You could have been badly hurt,” Mr. Daisy spoke gently.

          “I’m sorry, Mr. Daisy...” Troy said, tearing up and rubbing his leg. “I was just�"”

          “No, it was my fault!” Kari cut him off. “I told him to climb the tree!” Kari would have never forgiven herself if Troy had been hurt, so she claimed full responsibility.

          Mr. Daisy gripped his hips and ran his sight through the Three Terrors. He saw the sandpit that was splattered with a nauseous ooze and understood that they were trying to pull a fast one on him again. They failed, but that was neither here nor there.

           “Ohhohoho,” Quincy boomed. No one had been hurt, lessons were learned, so there was nothing left to do but laugh it off. “Just don’t climb trees again anytime soon,” he simply stated.

          “Yes, Mr. Daisy.” The Terrors all bowed their tiny heads in apology.

          Crack!

          “Hey, you should probably look behind you.” Quincy heard this voice in the back of his mind clear as day. It had not come from any of the children, but it was a childlike voice, a young girl’s voice.

          Crack! Snap!

          A loud, frightening sound came from Quincy’s backside. A zigzagging line danced around the base of the tree, splinters and bark flew everywhere.

          Crack! Crack! Crack!

          The tree’s unyielding posture had broken and it was now falling toward the group, coming down like a giant, wooden hammer.

          Mr. Daisy acted out of pure instinct, diving for the children, lifting all three in his arms, and tossing them into the sky out of harm's way.

          “Waaaaah,” The trio cried as they spun through the sky.

          The direction he threw them was not random, it was precise. The Three Terrors landed on the inflatable bouncy house on the other side of the playground, safe and sound.

          Mr. Daisy faced his adversary, the falling tree several times his height. The muscles in his arms flexed and veins bulged from his head to his toes. The shirt on his back became extremely tight.

          “Haaaaaah!”

          With sheer physical strength, Quincy caught the tree’s fall with just his bare hands. It was heavy, it made the giant strain for a moment, but just for one moment. The tree remained motionless, creaking, a few branches and leaves rained down to the dirt beneath Quincy’s feet.

          Quincy smirked, his emerald eyes gleamed. The gorilla magician fought back against the forces of weight and gravity. As he pushed away the looming beast, his flannel shirt ripped and exploded off of his body, leaving just the plain white T to cover his torso.

          “Heerrrrraaaaaah!”

          Mr. Daisy launched the tree away from him. It flipped and crashed on the iron fence that enclosed the playground. That section of the fence had been utterly smashed, wrapping around the tree like a mangled claw.

          Every kindergartener witnessed this with mouths agape. The Three Terrors almost had their souls leave their bodies. Absolute silence, until...

          “Yaaaaaaaaah!” A choir of hooting and hollering filled the playground.

          “That was awesome!”

          “He’s so strong!”

          “Mr. Daisy is the best teacher ever!”

          The cheering was followed by applause. Quincy felt like he had just won a game show. He indulged the kid’s praise, giving a smile and a bow.

          The giant’s arms were more exposed than before, revealing numerous scars on his biceps. Once the cheering died down, he took a good look at himself, now aware that his flannel shirt was no longer there. He pulled at his short sleeves to try and mask his scars, but that was in vain. Fortunately, the kids never asked him about his scars.

          Riiiiing, riiiing. The school bell rapidly walloped itself, signaling the end of recess.

          “Back to class everyone,” Mr. Daisy commanded.

          The kids obeyed his command, making a beeline to the school’s entrance. Quincy followed shortly after, pausing for a moment to pay respects to the tattered bits of cloth that were strewn about the grass.

          I really liked that shirt, He thought glumly.

          Before Quincy left for home, he told Agatha about the fallen tree that was in the playground and that a portion of the fence was destroyed. Agatha told him that she would take care of it in the morning, she was simply happy that no one had been hurt. Quincy left out the part where he flipped the tree.

 




© 2022 Mock Vattic


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Added on June 4, 2021
Last Updated on March 4, 2022
Tags: Mr. Daisy, Kindergarten, school, Teacher, Student, comedy, romance


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Mock Vattic
Mock Vattic

MN



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Writing
First Class First Class

A Chapter by Mock Vattic