Meet Minna Thumm and her nemesis Maggie
An extract from MISSION OF THE UNWILLING
I hurtled through the maze of corridors. One way chased by the ape-men, in the opposite direction by the wee monk dragging Wally, and the final way, 2-i-C and Scratch-It, drifting along behind me. I gained distance as this Grey couple stopped at intervals to squabble.
I laughed and raced on. A horde of apes charged around a corner. I yelped and darted in the nearest door. The honeycomb room greeted me. Cheering I zeroed in on a receptacle and climbed in.
I waited a few minutes, then popped my head out to survey the room. Other heads bobbed from the top of the honeycomb compartments. The sweet scent of biscuit crumbs wafted into my nest. My stomach rumbled. The honeycomb walls echoed with the sound of crunching.
“Who’s that? You’re making me hungry.” I peeped over the side to investigate the neighbouring slot. There filling the bay, a mass of red hair. “Oh, no! Maggie.” I lost my appetite. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse.
“Ugh!” Maggie wiped biscuit crumbs from her mouth. “Thumm! Who invited you?” She sniggered. “Hey, I’m still waiting for my tomato sandwich. You promised me one, remember?” She opened her pink mouth wide, on a diorama of chewed biscuit, and shrieked with laughter. “Hey everyone, this moron offered me a tomato sandwich!”
At her bidding, the entire honeycomb erupted with laughter, while I shrank in my cubbyhole.
I watched my personality slip into old habits, reinforcing the awkward me from school. Like an out-of-body experience, I observed myself retreat into the land of Dork.
Five years of lunchtimes wasted, holed up in the high school library. I shuffled between each lesson break under the cloud of Maggie’s threat. “I’ll get you, Thumm!” A pass could not be a mere pass in the corridor with Maggie; a mandatory bump had to go with it. To the general school population, my nemesis appeared as sweet as pie, the darling of the social nebula. A halo of light shone around her strawberry locks. But not for me.
What did I ever do to her? Her expression transformed when she cast her lofty gaze on me; one of disgust at me, a pleb.
I dreaded that five minutes before the end of lunch breaks. The mistress of the library scooted us out with “Outsky! Outsky!” and shooed us with her hands as we clung to the rim of exit doors, fearful of the horrors that lurked in the jungle of the schoolyard beyond.
Maggie, seemed to spend her lunch hour loitering by the library door, eating pasties from the canteen, waiting for me. Her mission in life was to “get me” and make my high school existence a misery.
How many times tormented by her harassment, did I cry all the way home? How many hours did I spend ashamed, hiding, sobbing in the cupboard? I blamed myself. The one time I shared my woes, Dad argued that it takes two to tango, and I must have done something to offend her.
That fateful day in Year Ten, ejected from the library, I fought my way through the exit crowds down the stairs. Shoulders hunched in a pose of subservience to all others, I concentrated on each concrete step and avoided eye-contact. No Maggie. So far so good. I sighed, relieved.
I heard my name called. I looked up. Maggie sneered in my face. “You wait, I’ll get you!” Her minions scuttled behind her, cackling.
Plucking up courage, I raised my fist, and shook it at her, threatening, “Yeah? Go on! Do you want a—” I paused, now what was it that my brother John always said? “Do you want a tomato sandwich?”
Maggie clucked, accentuating her British accent. Her minions mocked, “How weak!”
I retreated, missed my footing, and slid down the steps. Another round of heckling followed. I picked myself up, and brushed the banana skin from my bottom. The bell rang and I slunk off to Maths where my day worsened under the rule of terror of Mr. Peel.
Extract from Mission of the Unwilling © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2015
Read more of Minna’s unwilling mission…
Her fight for her life and justice against high school nemesis, Maggie…and that evil alien cockroach Boris…
In my first novel Mission of the Unwilling, available on Amazon.
Or experience the ride of Minna’s and her friend’s lives when Boris hijacks their Kombi van, in my novella The Hitch-hiker.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016
Mission of the Unwilling cover and photo © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2015