General Fiction posted February 10, 2019 Chapters: 1 -2- 3... 

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Educational fiction about bullying

A chapter in the book Thomas Gommal Learns about Bullying

Lunch Money

by Shirley McLain

Continuation of the school day for Thomas.
Chapter 2
A group of boys hung out with Crusher. They were his cheerleaders. You know the types who always told him how tough he was, and how whatever he said or did is right. Once you got on the school grounds, it wouldn't take long to figure out that his word was law. If he said, "don't talk," everyone around him didn't make a sound.

Thomas remembered back last spring when a new kid came to the school. Crusher groomed him for the group. Crusher told everyone to be quiet so he could concentrate on what he wanted to do next. The noise stopped at once around his table. The new kid made a mistake and asked Crusher a question. Crusher turned, not saying a word and hit the boy in the nose. Before the new kid could register his thoughts, he's on the ground with blood running over his chin. "I told you to be quiet, didn't I?" Crusher had yelled.

The kid nodded his head, and never spoke a word out of turn again, because others in the group told him the rules, within fifteen minutes of joining. Crusher's first rule, "Tell newcomers the rules." If a teacher noticed the swollen nose and asked what happened, the kid made up a story as if he were playing and ran into a tree. What the kid said the teacher accepted without asking questions.

Thomas got to the school grounds and prayed his friends were out front. It didn't work out that way. There Crusher stood by the front door. Thomas looked around for a teacher, but as usual, no one was seen. He ducked his head, pressing his chin to his chest and attempted to walk past Crusher and his gang.

"Oh, look, boys, Four Eyes Gobbler is here. Glad you're at school today. Did you bring your lunch money for the week?" Thomas reached for the door. One of the gang stopped him.

"Leave me alone, Crusher. I don't want problems with you." Thomas kept his head down and spoke almost in a whisper.

"Well, I have a problem with you, Mr. Four Eyes. You believe you're better than everyone else because the town got its name after your family. Isn't that right Mr. Gobbler?" Crusher said as he looked around to make sure there weren't any teachers within his sight.

"No, I don't. I'm like everyone else here," Thomas said in a soft-spoken voice.

Crusher smiled his best smile and said, "Oh no, Mr. Four Eyes Gobbler, you aren't like everyone else, and you're going to pay for it. I want your lunch money."

"Well, you can't have it. It's mine, not yours. Leave me alone," Thomas said, in an agitated voice.

"Hey fellows, guess what? Mr. Four Eyes says the lunch money is his. It looks like we'll be seeing him later."

"What do you mean, Crusher?" Thomas asked.

"I mean you're going to pay for not handing over your money. Me and the boys will take a pound of flesh instead of the money. You'll leave this school when the classes finish. We'll be waiting for you somewhere on your way home. Is my meaning clear enough, Mr. Gobbler?" The other boys laughed, and Crusher put a big grin on his face. His intense black eyes let Thomas know he meant every word.

Thomas' brain flashed a big red "trouble" before his eyes. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the money his mom gave him for his meals. All the while his mind screamed, besides being a geek, you're a coward! He shoved the money at Crusher and said, "Here, now leave me alone!"

"Thanks, buddy, I'll see you later. Come on, fellas, we got someone to visit." Crusher and his boys walked away laughing.

Thomas opened the door to the school and stepped inside before Crusher could think of anything else to do to him. He didn't know how often Crusher took his money over the past two years, but he knew in his heart once was too many.
"Hi, Mom, is there anything to eat?" Thomas yelled from the front door.

"There're chocolate chip cookies on the counter. Pour yourself a glass of milk. How was school today? Do you like your new teacher?"

Always a thousand questions. I wish Mom wouldn't ask so many. Everything remains the same. "School is fine and so is the teacher. We didn't do much today except receive our new books and find out what we'll be doing all year. Oh, we found out about the rules the school put in place."
Thomas considered telling his mother about Crusher, but couldn't bring his self to do it, so he said: "No, nothing new."

"Mom, can I go over to Andy's after dinner? I want to tell him about school."

"No, you can't. Andy is still running a fever, and Noreen told me today he isn't feeling well at all."

"Please, Mom, you told me I couldn't get the pox since I've already had it."

"Thomas, I said no, and don't ask me again. Get your homework done."

"I need to talk to him about something," Thomas said in his most imploring voice.

 “I'm not too busy now to talk; can I help you with something?"

"No, but thanks, Mom. We want to talk boy stuff. But I do need the lunch money."

Emily stopped what she was doing and walked over and sat down at the table. "Thomas, come and sit with me."

Thomas sat down in his usual chair. "Now tell me what's going on and why do you need lunch money?" his mother asked in a concerned voice.

"Nothin's going on, Mom; I need money because I lost mine. I didn't eat lunch today. When I tried to pay for it this morning, it wasn't in my pocket. I must have lost it on the way to school."

"You are careful with your money, but I remember a few times you lost your lunch money last school year. You need to learn to be more careful. I'll give it to you in the morning before you leave for school and don't lose it."

"I won't, Mom. Thanks, and I'm sorry. I'm going to do my homework now. Are you sure I can't go to Andy's house?"
A mischievous grin spread across his face as his mother drew back to throw the dishcloth at him. He made a mad dash for the door ducking the wet rag flying towards him.

His mother smiled as she put her arm down from the throw. She realized Thomas volunteered to do his homework without being told for two hours to do it. "Something is going on for sure," speaking out loud as if someone else were in the kitchen.



Bullying is a nationwide and possibly a worldwide epidemic in schools among male and females. This book is appropriate for ages 10 and above to help them understand and learn ways to deal with bullying. Please feel free to make any suggestions. I want this short book to be a learning tool as well as a fictional story to enjoy.
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© Copyright 2019. Shirley McLain All rights reserved.
Shirley McLain has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.