Short Story – Payback

Trying my hand at writing shorter stories. I kept this one at 500 words and under. Constructive feedback is always welcome.

“Hey Danni, what’cha drawing?” Drew asked as he sat down on the bench next to her.

“Nothing!” Danni said, startled by his sudden appearance. She tried to cover the picture, but her forearms weren’t long enough, so she had to lean over as well to make sure he couldn’t see it.

“It doesn’t look like nothing.”

“Nothing special,” she reiterated.

“What’cha eating for lunch?” As he took out his own lunch, Danni quickly closed her sketch book.

“The usual.” She nodded to the peanut butter and jelly sandwich next to her with a bite taken out it, a pack of fruit snacks and a Twinkie sitting next to her.

“We had pizza last night. I snagged some for lunch. Mrs. R let me warm them up in the teacher’s lounge right before lunch.”

“You’re such an ass-kisser,” Danni teased.

“Whatever. It got me hot pizza for lunch. That’s all that matters.” He took a big bite out of a slice, cheese stretching from the slice to his mouth.

“We haven’t had real pizza in so long,” Danni said, staring at the other slices also dripping with cheese and piled with toppings. “All we get are these frozen french bread things. Not as good as the real thing.”

“Want one of mine?” Drew held out a piece.

“No thanks. My hands will get all greasy, then I won’t be able to draw.” Drew shrugged and returned to his lunch.

“I still think you should try selling some of your stuff. It’s really good.”

“Not good enough to pay for.” Not that she had tried. She swung her legs back and forth, her feet not even close to touching the ground.

“You never know until you try.”

“How do you know I haven’t tried?”

“‘Cause you would have sold some by now.” Drew’s pocket started vibrating. He wiped his hands on his pants before taking it out. “Oh shit! I forgot! There’s a drama club meeting today!” He tapped out a response on the phone’s screen quickly before shoving it back into his pocket and piling his lunch on the pizza slices. “I’ll catch ya after school!” He waved as he bounded off.

Danni watched him go, trying not to laugh, but failing. She looked back her plain sandwich before pulling out her sketch book again. She couldn’t let him see what she was doing. Not yet. As she set the sketch book down on the table, she noticed something on the bench next to her. On a grease-soaked paper plate was a slice of pizza. Her shoulders sank as she realized Drew had left it. She told him no. But he rarely listened. Thank god.

“Well, can’t let it go to waste,” she said, picking the pizza slice up with one hand, and her pencil with the other. If she was really careful, she could do this. She went back to work on her sketch. She’d give him some payback.

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