Chapter One: The Restaurant Around the Corner

Once upon a time there was Earth, a small and altogether insignificant place filled mostly with small and altogether insignificant people. One of these unimportant life forms happened to be Kayla Hairless, who rather looked like she was from a small, strange planet at the other end of the Universe called Smallstrangeplanet, but wasn't. Hairless was very tall and thin, with blonde hair. At the moment she was in The Restaurant Around the Corner, busy contemplating the upcoming school year and whether or not her stupid waiter was ever going to bring her a menu.

"Waiter, waiter!" the impatient girl yelled, pounding one of her abnormally large hands on the table where she was sitting.

"Yes, Miss Hairless?" stuttered the waiter, running over.

"I have been sitting here for over ten seconds. TEN SECONDS, YOU STUPID MAN! And you haven't given me a menu." Kayla could be very grumpy sometimes.

"Madam, your menu is right in front of you."

"Ah. Finally!" Upon opening it, however, Kayla found that the only thing served there was a twelve-foot long spaghetti noodle with either one or two cups of sauce. Kayla closed the menu, sighing in great annoyance.

"Listen carefully. I want a medium Salad, no dressing. It has to be simply Lettuce and Tomato. A couple of cucumbers and carrots would be nice, though." The waiter agreed to this, albeit reluctantly, and walked off.

Lydia McCubbins and David Floren enter, Lydia dragging David in by a leash. They were both geniuses, but Lydia preferred to simply remind everyone of how smart she was while David spent all his time blowing things up. And people, too. This tendency to make everything explode was precisely why David was kept on a leash, and Lydia was assigned the task of watching him since she was the only person smart enough not to be tricked into becoming part of his evil plans. Besides his parents and older brother, of course. But David's parents were too busy to watch him all the time, and his older brother (whom Lydia had never met and knew nothing about) got out of it by sending Lydia money to take care of him.

Most everyone thought Lydia was madly in love with David, and that was why she followed him around everywhere. No one knew that she was paid to keep watch over him, except for Kayla Harris and Whitney Christensen.

In reality, Lydia hated him terribly. But then many people would say that hate and love are almost the same thing.

"How many times to I have to tell you, David? HOW MANY TIMES? I am not going to let you go so you can blow up Switzerland and the White House all in one day. Do you know why? Because your brother, who I know nothing about and have never even met, pays me a lot of money to keep you from doing just that."

David, a tall, thin half-alien boy with blonde hair and blue eyes as well as large glasses, was busy pouting and didn't reply to Lydia's tirade. They both took a seat by Kayla Hairless.

"Are you looking forward to eighth grade, Lydia?"

Not if it's like last year. That was altogether boring."

David, done sulking, decides to contribute to the conversation. "We have a new Algebra teacher this year."

Kayla laughs. "I've heard some really strange things about her. For example, she... uh... wow." She stares at the other end of the room, and the other two turn to see what she's looking at.

Luke Tonnemaker (David's best friend and the person Hairless has decided she will one day marry) has burst in the room, wearing a bathrobe with carrots between his toes. He attempts to hide behind David. Hairless screams, whether from horror, embarrassment or joy we shall never be able to fathom.

"What are those slimy greenish blobs on your head?" Lydia asks, staring in fascination.

Luke sets them down on the table. "They're sea cucumbers."

David stares, entranced by the slowly wiggling green blobs. "Cool! Do they taste any good?"

Lydia prods one of the sea cucumbers with a pen, which explodes with a faint 'pop!' and splatters all over David.

Kayla giggles. "This is just like Men In Black!"

To make things even more interesting, waiters run into the room followed by a Crazy Italian Guy. Upon spotting Luke they immediately grab him, thrusting him toward Kayla. "Here is your Salad, Miss Hairless."

Right about now, I think it's necessary to provide a word of explanation. Luke's initials are L. T., which (as Lydia had pointed out a year or so ago), could almost stand for Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato. There was just no 'Bacon'. So, Lydia and Kayla named him Lettuce and Tomato. Then Kayla shortened it to Salad, because in her opinion lettuce and tomatoes are the crucial ingredients in a salad, and the words 'Lettuce and Tomato' are too long to be remembered anyway.

Kayla sighs. "Why is he wearing a bathrobe?"

It is the Crazy Italian Guy who replies, speaking with an Italian accent. "Because you didn't order any dressing! I kept telling him that," he points to Luke, frustrated, "but five of us couldn't get the bathrobe off!"

Lydia is appalled. "Are you crazy? Give Luke his clothes! Kayla, I cannot BELIEVE you did that! What kind of a pervert are you?"

Kayla turns red, but still manages to protest while trying not to look at Salad. "I meant a Salad made of vegetables! I am a perfectly sane person with no unresolved issues, unlike you."

Lydia glances sideways at David and immediately looked disgusted; David doesn't notice, being too busy licking cucumber entrails off of his fingers.

"Look, why don't we all just order something to eat? I don't want to complain, but I'm starving."

Everyone agrees, and sits down at a large table. The waiters hastily give them menus, afraid of another Kayla-like outburst.

David is very upset at the food choice. "Don't they serve anything except twelve-foot long spaghetti noodles here?" He considers, for a moment, blowing the whole restaurant up.

"We also serve milk, if you're thirsty," interjects a helpful waiter.

"Well," sighs Lydia, "that would make Nit-Wit happy." Lydia is referring to her best friend (along with Kayla). Whitney, or Nit-Wit, as she was usually called, loved milk more than anything in the world. "Too bad she's not here. Where is she, anyway?"

"She had a date with Spot, her imaginary-boyfriend-who-is-a-dog."

Lyd nods knowingly. "Oh..."

David, who has been silent the whole conversation, suddenly stands up and chucks his menu at the nearest window, which shatters into a million-bazillion pieces. "I'm going to go home and play Trogdor and eat pepperoni pizza and listen to Queen and watch The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars!"

Lydia frowns. "You can't go anywhere without me. But... well, that does sound fun. Bye, guys. See you on the first day of school."

They walk off together, David in the lead and Lydia following with his leash. There is an uncomfortable silence. Embarrassed, Kayla tries to fill it with something not silent.

"Well. Um, yes. I suppose I'll be going then."

Luke looks at her strangely. "Me too, as soon as I get my clothes back."

Kayla turns as red as a tomato.