Friday, July 11, 2014

Original Short Story: "Timmy On Time"

I feel like I should post more stories, so today's post is a short story I wrote on Monday. It's a little over a thousand words, so it's more like a flash fiction than short story, really.

photo from
edited by rcubed

“Timmy, I’m tired of your excuses. Please tell me the truth. Why have you been tardy for the past three days?” Mrs. Sand looked angry now. Timmy Cline could tell because her eyebrows dipped at an angle towards each other, like a cartoon character’s eyebrows would.
          Inwardly, he was confident. Any story he made up right now to waste class time would be better than learning about fractions.
          Timmy took a deep breath, facing Mrs. Sand, although he could feel the stares of his classmates pricking his back. “My mom yelled at me for having mismatched socks.”

          “Three days in a row?” Mrs. Sand raised her eyebrow, crossing her arms. “Really?”
          He nodded, his face clear. “Of course. Why would I lie to you?”
          That was pushing it a little. Timmy knew Mrs. Sand was skeptical, but he knew his story would get more believable.
          “Well, since she yelled at you three days in a row…” Mrs. Sand’s voice trailed off. “Your mother is a little bit unreasonable. Perhaps a home study would be appropriate.”
          Timmy hoped his face didn’t express the freezing doubt that was quickly coating his insides. “Oh, my mother’s always like this when she’s writing a romance novel. You know, ugh gaggle pop yah yah yah!” The class tittered at his onomatopoeia. “Romance writers are like that, you know,” he said confidingly, hoping that he’d swayed his teacher’s intentions. A home study! How boring would it be to study his house!

          Mrs. Sand looked thoughtful, and ice hurtled through Timmy’s bloodstream. Whenever teachers looked thoughtful, it only meant one thing.
          But Mrs. Sand surprised him. “Go on with your story, Timmy. We’ll all listen.” She sat down at her teacher’s desk, and Timmy had the floor.
          He had no idea where to start.
          “Well, um…” He bit his lip and looked at his tattered sneakers. “We got into this biiiiiiiiiiig argument.”
          Looking up, he met the blinking stares of his classmates.
          “And…my little brother—Percy—threw his eggs at her.”
          Immediate laughter ensued. “Threw his eggs at her?” Mrs. Sand asked, sounding shocked. Timmy thought quickly. “Percy’s going through that phase, you know? Like in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Fudge goes through the throwing-food phase?”
          There. That should please Mrs. Sand. They’d just read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing together as a class, even though they were only in third grade.
          “I don’t think Fudge goes through a throwing-food phase,” said Myra Sandoval, a girl with braids and big red glasses.
          “No, remember? He throws his salad at the wall,” said another boy, Robby White.
          “It was his peas, you dummy. And his mashed potatoes.” Sarah Dominic was scornful. “Not his salad.”
          “Peas are vegetables. Salad is a vegetable. What’s the difference?” Robby asked, standing up. “They’re both green!”
          “Not if you put carrots in it.” Now Joey Duncan jumped into the battle. “Carrots are orange.”
          “I never put carrots in my salad.” Robby crossed his arms. “Carrots are disgusting. They’re too hard.”
          More and more kids entered the argument, and it turned into an all-out shouting match. Some of Timmy’s classmates had even opened their lunchboxes to show everyone what salad looked like.
          Timmy looked over at Mrs. Sand, who seemed to be enjoying the argument that was breaking out. She caught his eye and winked.
          A teacher wasn’t supposed to do that!
          “Guys!” Timmy shouted. “Guys!”
          They all looked at him, the room falling silent.
          “Remember? I’m trying to explain to Mrs. Sand why I was tardy.” Timmy raised his eyebrows. “Do you mind?”
          To his surprise, everyone sat down.
          “So after Percy threw his eggs at her,” Timmy recounted, taking a deep breath, “she started yelling at Percy.” He gulped, looking over at Mrs. Sand, who had a slight frown on her face. “But my father came in and took Percy away and spanked him, because my dad doesn’t believe in kids going through ‘phases.’ You know?”
          Blank stares.
          “Anyway, my mother said, ‘Timmy, please help me do the laundry’ and—” Just then, Timmy was interrupted by Sarah Dominic, who flipped her long blond hair and said, “My mother doesn’t make me do the laundry.”
          “Spoiled brat,” said somebody from the other corner of the room. “Sarah Dominic is a spoiled brat! Sarah Dominic is a spoiled brat!”
          “Who said that?” Sarah demanded. “I am not a spoiled brat!”
          Timmy felt helpless. “I’m trying to tell my story here!” he yelled. “Can you guys just listen to me?”
          Sarah glared at Timmy. “Not until we find out who called me a spoiled brat! I am not a spoiled brat! I fold my laundry! I bet your mothers don’t make you fold your laundry!”
          “Yes, she does!” Robby stood up. “And you are a spoiled brat! You have your own pink cell phone and your own maid and you think you know everything!”
          “Well, I know more than you do.” Sarah leaned forward until she was nose-to-nose with Robby. “At least I know that carrots are in salad!”
          “I knew that!” Robby’s ears and nose were turning red. “I just said that I don’t like them in my salad!”
          “GUYS!” Timmy hollered. “Will you listen?”
          Robby sat down, but Sarah remained standing. “Why do we have to listen to you, anyway? Doing the laundry is boring. Your story was boring. I’d rather do math.”
          The entire class gasped.
          “Let’s listen to Timmy’s story,” shouted Joey Duncan. “I don’t want to do math!”
          Timmy took advantage of the short silence that followed. “So my mom made me do the laundry with her, and it was really hard to get the egg yolk off her shirt.” A couple kids were nodding, like they knew what it was like to get egg yolk off a shirt. Encouraged, Timmy went on with the story. “But then I accidentally pressed the wrong button and the suds started coming out of the open machine, and it looked like it was snowing!” He smiled, imagining the scene. “My mom started screaming and running everywhere and she was like, Ah ah ah ah ah!”
          The class laughed again, but Sarah raised her hand. “Mrs. Sand?” she asked.
          “Yes, Sarah?” Mrs. Sand almost looked like she was enjoying herself.
          “When are we going to do math?”
          The teacher shrugged. “Whenever Timmy is done with his story.”
          Sarah slumped down in her chair, rolling her eyes. “I bet nobody’s even been where there’s snow. I mean, we live in California. But I’ve been up in the mountains. My parents took me skiing.”
          “My parents took me sledding,” Joey said. “Up in the mountains, too.”
          “Skiing is better than sledding,” Sarah said coolly. “It’s more expensive.”
          “It is not!” Joey looked indignant as he stood up and glanced at everyone around him. “It is not, right, guys?”
          “Sledding is more fun!” Myra Sandoval said.
          “Yeah!” added Andrea Spencer.
          “No, skiing is more fun,” protested Sarah, whose normally pale face was turning bright red.  “Skiing is.”
          “Yeah, skiing is,” Robby said. “Skiing is more fun. My grandmother took me skiing.”
          “Who says grandmother anymore?” Joey made a pah noise with his mouth. “That’s for sissies!”
          “It is not for sissies!” Robby shouted. “My older brother calls her Grandmother! And he’s not a sissy! He’s a police officer!”
          The entire class burst into a noisy cacophony of arguing. Spitballs flew everywhere. Girls screamed.
          What is going on? thought Timmy. What happened? He looked over at Mrs. Sand, who was grinning and looking at him. She seemed to read his mind, because she stood up and said, “All right, everyone!”
          The entire class quieted.
          “Timmy, thank you for your…story. You may go back to your seat, and I hope that next time you are tardy, you will bring a slip from the office.”         
          Timmy nodded and went back to his seat, immensely relieved.
          “Now, class, please turn your books to page seventy-two, where we will learn about fractions.”
          I think I’ll just be on time from now on, Timmy thought.

Hope you enjoyed reading this!

P.S. What was your favorite part of the story? What do you think I need to improve on? Leave lots of constructive comments below!