Superheroes Don't Eat Veggie Burgers

Superheroes Don't Eat Veggie Burgers by Gretchen Kelley Read Free Book Online

Book: Superheroes Don't Eat Veggie Burgers by Gretchen Kelley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gretchen Kelley
When I didn’t, he said he’d make my decision easy. Next thing I know, I’m in my locker.”
    He adjusts his glasses. “Look, I need to go to the office, Charlie.” He starts to push past me, but I grab his arm.
    â€œWhat are you thinking, Grant?” He must be living on the same planet as my sister. “Are you nuts? Telling on Boomer is like a suicide mission. You really want to be on that maniac’s radar?”
    â€œShut up, Burger,” he hisses. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
    â€œListen.” I put my arm around his shoulder. “We’re measly sixth graders. Our job is to lie low and not call attention to ourselves this year.”
    He pulls away from me and lifts the bottom of his shirt. A dark stain is spreading across the front of his khakis. “I’ll tell you what I know, Burger. I know that if I don’t call my mom and ask her to bring me some new pants, every single person at this crummy school is going to know I just got the pee scared right out of me. Think that’s going to help me not call attention to myself?”
    He shoves past me, and this time I let him go.
    I drop my head in my hands. Boomer Bodbreath is one dangerous human being.

    I decide to tell Franki about Grant’s run-in with Boomer, but I leave out the pants-wetting part. Some stuff is just too personal to tell a girl, even if she is your best friend.
    I should’ve known the whole thing would make her flaming mad.
    â€œI told you, Chuck,” she mumbles through a mouthful of veggie burger. Franki’s on the free lunch plan at school, but she’d rather eat one of my dad’s burgers any day. He always puts an extra one in my lunch box, just for her.
    â€œTold me what?” I smash my milk container flat. I’m not in the mood for one of Franki’s lectures today.
    â€œThat things would get worse,” she says, waving her burger in front of my face. “Take my stepfather, for instance. That man is a bona fide, card-carrying bully, and he’ll keep doing what he wants until somebody stops him.” She stabs at a soggy green bean with her fork but just moves it around on her tray. “Last night? He came home with four of his buddies and told Rose to clear the table so they could play a round of Texas Hold’em. When I reminded him that it was a school night, you know what he did?” She doesn’t wait for my answer. “He told me to make myself useful and go round up some beers.”
    I take a small bite of my own burger, but I can’t seem to swallow it. I wonder how Dude would handle a guy like Carl.
    â€œAnd you know what Lila did?” I shake my head, but I can already guess the answer. Lila is Franki’s mom and is pretty wimpy when it comes to Carl.
    â€œShe hustled me into the kitchen and begged me to be nice for once, saying it would make everyone’s life much easier.” Her eyes blaze. “Ha! That man’s life couldn’t get any easier if someone walked in and handed him a million bucks.”
    She stuffs the last of the burger into her mouth and chews with such force, I’m afraid she’s going to break a tooth. Watching her, I think about the time my dad said that someday Franki is going to be quite the looker.
    â€œStop looking at me like that.”
    â€œLike what?” I say too quickly.
    â€œI don’t know, all … moony faced,” she says, rolling her eyes at me. “All I’m saying, Chuck, is that kids like Boomer grow up to be guys like Carl.” She picks up her tray. “And someone has to have the power to stop them.”
    And then she’s gone and I can’t stop wondering: When did Franki Saylor turn into such a girl?

    That afternoon, I rush home from soccer practice, knowing Pickles is already there. When I get to our driveway, I see the beat-up yellow Volkswagen bug parked

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