"Tomorrow we are invited to take a field trip to The Bakery," Ms. Plum handed out permission slips to her fifth grade class. "Be sure to bring these back signed so we can all go."
B-r-i-i-n-g, rang the lunch bell. At the cafeteria children excitedly traded food. The treasured prize was a Zoobaybay—an artificially flavored, marshmallow creme filled, candy coated, plastic wrapped, mass-produced cake that had the longest shelf life of any snack. The comforting childhood treats were made at a local factory and rumors flew around the table how the snack logs could survive a nuclear blast and about the old hermit who owned the company. Johnny always lost at bartering and ended up with a stack of soggy PB and J sandwiches. Sloan was usually a ruthless negotiator, but today he simply watched with a grin on his face. When the commotion stopped he pulled his lunch cooler from under the seat.
"Okay Losers, check out what I got at the mini-mart on the way to school," Sloan bragged. The boy carefully lifted a gold foil wrapped box embossed with letters that read: "The Bakery," and untied twine from around the package to reveal a cake with creamy rainbow chip icing that was an exquisite work of art. Kids went wild offering handfuls of Zoobaybays in exchange. "Jealous much?" Sloan laughed.