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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Katie on January 14, 2008
"This one's for Miss Moody, the only teacher who ever encouraged me to keep writing."

The Unexpected Test

Bobby had always been envious of Tristan. Tristan was popular, handsome, charismatic, and the best athlete in the school. It seemed like he had everything going for him. Bobby on the other hand had very few friends, looked something similar to a geeky beanpole (if such a thing exists), and was shy and quiet. Bobby didn’t even play sports. He played Clarinet in the school marching band. Or at least, he did when someone else got sick.

One day, Bobby decided he had had enough. He was sick of hearing how wonderful Tristan was, and decided to play a nasty trick on him. For days, Bobby carefully planned out every little detail, neglecting all his other duties. “Thursday” he decided. “Thursday will be the day that I’ll show the entire school what an idiot Tristan is.”

When Thursday morning finally came, Bobby casually started up a conversation with Tristan in front of the lockers.

“Phew! I musta stayed up half the night studying for the exam today.”

“Exam?” asked Tristan. “What exam?”

Bobby had never seen that kind of fear in Tristan’s eyes before. He was enjoying every minute of this.

“You mean, you don’t remember? Miss Moody is giving us an exam in science class today. She said that since we’re in high school now and preparing for college, we should learn how to do mid-terms. This exam is going to be thirty percent of our grade.”

Bobby knew that on the day Miss Moody had been talking about the possibility of a mid-term exam, Tristan had been whispering with his buddies about the game that had taken place the night before. He also knew that Tristan had been absent the day Miss Moody had decided that a mid-term exam with that much weight would be a bad idea. Bobby just hoped that Tristan didn’t know this.

“Oh man!!” exclaimed Tristan. “I must’ve completely spaced! How could I have forgotten that there’s a test today? I’ve already got a C in that class. If I flunk this test, then I fail and I can’t play sports anymore! I gotta go study.” Tristan took off down the corridor with science book in hand. Before he turned the corner he yelled back over his shoulder, “Hey thanks Robbie!”

“The name’s Bobby!”

As he watched Tristan turn the corner, Bobby grinned. Finally, he couldn’t help himself and burst out laughing. “That’ll teach him!” thought Bobby. For the rest of the day, whenever Bobby saw him, Tristan looked as if he had fallen apart. His face was contorted into a grimace, his hair was a mess, and gone was his charisma. He wore a worried look on his face instead of an easy smile and jumped at the slightest noise. Bobby had never enjoyed school so much in his life. It was worth any trouble he would get into with Tristan just to see him squirm now. “I can’t wait to see the look on Tristan’s face when he finds out there’s no test today!” thought Bobby.

Finally, science class arrived. Bobby had been waiting for this moment for days. He made sure to find a seat close to Tristan so that he wouldn’t miss any of the action, but not too close, just in case Tristan was so mad he didn’t care who saw him make mincemeat of Bobby. When he glanced over at Tristan, Bobby saw the same wreck that he had been seeing all afternoon. As the class finally settled in, the teacher stood up from her desk to make an announcement.

“Class, please get out your pencils and put your books away. I’ve noticed too many people slacking off in this class lately and several who haven’t been handing in their homework." Here, the teacher glared at Bobby. "So I’ve decided to give you a test today. Hopefully this will help you come to the realization that this class is to be taken seriously.”

Bobby nearly fainted. “This isn’t supposed to be happening!” he screamed inside his head. With all the extra time he had spent formulating the perfect plan to trick Tristan, he hadn’t had time to study at all. As he plodded through the exam, his heart sank. He knew as he walked out of the classroom an hour later that he had failed. He was miserable. How was he going to tell his parents?

“Hey, Bobby?”

Bobby whipped around to face the person calling his name.

“Bobby? I really appreciate you letting me know about the test today. If it weren’t for you, I would definitely have failed. As it is, I didn’t do great, but I’m pretty sure I managed to squeak by with all the studying I did today. I really owe you one man.”

Bobby couldn’t believe that Tristan was sincerely thanking him. Actually, Bobby couldn’t even believe that Tristan had gotten his name right.

“Uh, sure. No… no problem” stuttered Bobby.

As he turned away, Bobby couldn’t help but feel guilty. “I guess Tristan’s not such a bad guy after all” he mused. “And I certainly got what I deserved for trying to play such a nasty trick.”

Sighing, Bobby quietly walked towards Miss Moody’s office. “I guess I'd better start on that extra credit now” he thought.

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