“…And that was the biggest turd I’d ever saw.”
The professors clapped nervously, all looking at each other in turn. “Uh, thank you, William. You do realize that this is a dissertation defense, so…”
William nodded, turning around to reach into his backpack. He pulled out a small idol, holding it up in front of him. “For my project, I created a gateway into another realm.”
A bearded professor stood up. “Absurd! There’s no way he could have accomplished this on his own without help from his parents! I don’t see one single drop of glitter or piece of glued macaroni anywhere on his dissertation piece! Feed him to the Shredderworms!”
The other professors looked on. “We no longer execute kindergarteners, Professor Bread. Remember the last Parent-Teacher meeting?”
Bread grimaced. “A dark day indeed for learning. How can we encourage our youth to strive for greatness without the threat of spending years digesting in the stomachs of the majestic shredderworm?”
“We were told to put smiley faces on good papers, and hope that the failed students would just commit suicide instead.”
Bread shook his head in anger. “Wimps. We’re creating a nation filled with them. In my day, a child happily let his professor flay the flesh from his bones if he got the wrong answer.”
William gazed into his project, letting the distant voices speak to him, changing his body with the foul words that rolled off their abysmal tongues. He felt his form losing its shape, his voice growing deeper, hair growing where there hadn’t been hair before.
Professor Toast turned to the boy, watching the display with some boredom. “Young man, another child already took the project on changing into an abomination against mankind.”
Bread nodded, pointing at the boy. “Exactly. Begone from this place until you’ve made something that has macaroni, glitter, or some combination thereof. I know you stole the idea for that unholy artifact off of an internet site, and I won’t tolerate plagiarism in this kindergarten class!”
William spoke in a voice that shook the room while looking down at his shoes. “This is my favorite artifact, because it looks like my favorite rabid animal from the show ‘Unlikeable People Dying Painfully.’ It looks like Foamy the Dog!”
Professor Toast squinted at it through his glasses. “It does look like the beloved house pet that can no longer distinguish between enemy and family.”
Bread’s eyebrows perked up. “Complete with infant-chomping action?”
Bread hopped down from his perch, moving within range of the child’s newly-grown tentacles. They swept at him, but the professor dodged around them, his eyes on the likeness of the popular action figure.
Toast leaned out, trying to grab onto Bread. “Don’t do it! It’s only a child’s recreation of it!”
“I must have it! It’s the only clue left that shows the way to the fabled toy collection, said to grant the internet auction wishes of any who possesses it. I must have it!”
“But what of putting children with poor grades in a wheat thresher? Who will stand up for our right to do that once your gone?”
He began to shout back, but then turned to look Toast in the eye.
Toast reached even further. “I know we’ve had our differences in the past. I know I implied that people shouldn’t be put to death for not knowing the answers to useless questions, but I was wrong. The future needs people for its quiz game shows, and if we don’t start training them with mortal fear now, no one will! But you’ve got to grab my hand if that’s going to happen!”
Bread looked at the child, seeing the poor recreation of the thing he actually wanted sitting in his hands. Somewhere in the distance, someone began to play a sad guitar riff. Unfortunately, due to an inner ear infection, he couldn’t feel the rocking sadness of the tune.
He reached out for the effigy and was swallowed up, his body bursting into a spray of glitter and macaroni.