The burner ignited beneath the stew of conflict when, during lunch, the boys chewed with their mouths open. The girls broadcast their disgust by sticking their tongues out. This ugly stalemate continued until the attending adult, Miss Pfafferkorn, intervened.
Though volatile, tensions would have relaxed by recess were it not for the note delivered during snack time by Sarai Bungtower—chief female liaison to icky boys through Darren Wilkerson (whose t-shirt Sarai had kissed during field day 2003).
Boys, read the note. It continued,
Sweat prickled Darren’s palms as he absorbed the note’s import. Despite its undetermined meaning—was it a command for the boys to smell feces or a statement of purported fact?—the message’s aggressive tone could not be mistaken. Hey, thought Darren, I don’t sniff poop! He looked to Sarai and asked, with eyes alone, if he must deliver this cruel message. Sarai nodded. Such a simple thing, a nod. Yet with it—a dip of one freckled chin—the entire 5th grade class of room 3E embarked in earnest upon the path to battle.