My daughter switched schools in fifth grade. Obvious new-girl jitters. To give her a little surprise reminder that we love her, I printed a funny kids’ meme and put it in her lunch bag.
When she came home she was all smiles. It had been a scary day but at lunch she’d read the meme and laughed and shared it with the kids at her table. They thought it was funny too, which broke the ice and helped her make a couple of friends.
Now that she’s in seventh grade, after printing her hundreds of memes, I’ve run out. However, we recently went out for sushi and she, being adventuresome, tried octopus nigiri. And it hit me: I could write a silly serialized story with short chapters, one that begins in a sushi bar, and I could put a chapter in her lunch bag each morning. The chapters would all end in cliffhangers to keep pulling her through it, and therefore giving her one small reason to look forward to the school day.
So without further adieu, I present to you the first ten chapters of The Ballad of El Tentaculo.