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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by ally on October 23, 2008
"We were having a conversation in my math class today about this one kid who never comes to school, and I was thinking about how writing about that kid would make such a great story, so obviously when I saw the prompt I just HAD to write it."


Dan had never heard someone call to him from across the hallway, mostly because he never went to school. Each year he gave it a month, maybe a month and a half, and then just stopped showing up. It was his system. It had worked all his life.

Now 17, he was spending his first ever March day inside the school building. He was wearing a t-shirt because it was spring, but the winter chill hadn't quite left the building yet, and Dan found himself regretting that he hadn't brought a jacket.

As he stood there wishing he had a coat and feeling rather sorry for himself, the shout of "Dan!" reached him. A little shocked, he glanced around wildly until he noticed a short, brown-haired boy running towards him.

"Are you seriously here right now?" the boy asked, his hand running through his hair nervously. "I mean, that's great! Aren't you in my math class next period?"

Dan stared at the boy. He could vaguely remember his name somewhere ... It was Ron, or Rick, or - no, it was definitely Rob.

"Pre calculus, right?" Dan murmured, not used to talking about school. "I remember you from September." An awkward silence settled between the two.

"Well, should we get going?" Rob asked, jerking his head towards the stairs. "We're probably going to be late." As if in response to his question, the bell that signaled the start of the period began to ring.

"Yeah," Dan answered, turning towards the stairs. The two walked in silence for a few moments.

"So ... what made you come back?" Rob asked quietly, his eyes darting over to sneak a glance at Dan.

"I don't know, really," Dan said, as honestly as he could. "I just thought I should be here, you know. To learn and stuff."

"Oh." Rob was quiet for a minute, thinking of another question. "So, did you do the homework?" A tentative smile crossed Dan's face and he laughed under his breath.

"I just started showing up for school, remember?"

The pair had reached their class, and Rob stopped just outside the door.

"If you want, I could ... you know ... help you with it sometime."

A strange look crossed Dan's face, as though he had been asked the same question a long time ago and he was trying to remember how he had answered.

"Maybe, if you're not busy, then ... yeah, that would be great," Dan said, and an expression that resembled relief crossed Rob's face.

"Tomorrow then," Rob said, smiling. "But now -" he jerked his head towards the classroom door "- I think we need to get to class."

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