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Short Story

UTPB online student Lane Ha demonstrates his creative writing talent with an untitled short story. Ha is from Chillicoathe, Texas.

UTPB online student Lane Ha demonstrates his creative writing talent with an untitled short story. Ha is from Chillicoathe, Texas.

Lane Ha, UTPB online student

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DING-DING-DING-DING, DING-DING-DING-DING, rang Tommy’s alarm-clock.  He rose slowly and turned on the weather channel.  “A warm 80 degrees Fahrenheit without a cloud in sight.”  However, when Tommy went outside to catch the bus it was pouring cats and dogs on his house.  Wherever Tommy went everybody else felt like the room got darker.  Nobody would invite him to after school activities because he would dampen the mood.  When he got to school he saw Sarah.  Sarah was popular, pretty, and fun.  Tommy said to himself, “Why does Sarah always look like she woke up with a rainbow ending in her room and sunshine all around?”  Tommy and Sarah were in science class together.  The teacher assigned everyone to groups for a project.  When Tommy was put in Sarah’s group, he felt like that storm cloud went away and all the fog and rain just vanished.  He felt the warm sunlight on his face and he felt like a blossoming tree in spring.  She went to sit by him and several butterflies covered all the windows and he was nervous.  Sarah said “Hi, I’m Sarah.”  Tommy stuttered and stammered but finally got the words out, “Hi, my name is Tommy.”  “Ya, I’ve seen some of your other projects and pictures in the trophy case from the state science fair.  You are pretty smart, aren’t you, Tommy?”  “I’m not as smart as everybody thinks.  I just don’t do much else.”  The teacher started to say, “OK!  Now that you have gotten acquainted with your partners on to the project. There will be 2 grades: one on the project, and one on how well you manage your time for this project.”  The bell rang and all the students walked out into the hall.

As Sarah and Tommy step out into the hall, Sarah shivered.  Tommy felt goosebumps forming on his arm as a frigid wind blowing through the open door at the end of the hall dropped the temperature in the halls.  Leaves swirled and scattered throughout the halls.  Tommy could see a tall dark haired boy wearing a letter jacket approaching.  The distant rumble of thunder grew louder as the boy approached, pushing underclassmen into their lockers and flipping books out of the hands of passing students.  Papers and leaves swirled about the hall, almost preceding the boy like court pages announcing the arrival of the King.  “Who’s that?” muttered Tommy in disgust.  Sarah sighed, her bright sunny attitude had been snuffed down to a faint glow.  “That would be my boyfriend, Zach.” she muttered sheepishly.  The once low rumble of thunder had grown to an almost deafening din.  Zach stormed up to Sarah and bellowed, “Who the heck is this!?”  Sarah began explaining, “He’s just…”  “Why are you hanging around the school nerd!”, interrupted Zach.  The once crowded hall had emptied, as if the students had been blown away by the howling, icy cold wind.  “He’s just my lab Partner,” finished Sarah.  Her words may as well have been gobbled up by the boom of thunder and the shrieking of the wind.  Zach looked menacingly at Tommy, “Why are you choosing my girl as your lab partner!!?”  Tommy’s mouth was dry.  He was unable to speak.  The foul metallic taste in his mouth made his stomach churn as he looked quietly at his feet.  He only wished that this dark, brooding storm would pass so that he could once again feel the warmth of sunlight on his face.

Sarah, her glow now completely extinguished by the raging storm, tried to explain, “the teacher chose the partner…”  “SHUT UP! Ill get to you later!!” Zach snaps at Sarah.  Tommy’s heart raced.  “Say something!” he thought to himself.  The rain from the storm pelted the windows.  The sounds of the wind and thunder were now punctuated by a new sound, as hailstones began pelting the windows of the school.  Tommy looked at his hands.  His fists were clenched so tightly that his knuckles had gone completely white.  Zach continued, “You are so worthless!  I can’t believe that I even…”

The paralyzing grip of fear eased its grip on Tommy, as he began to feel something new.  The cold, numb feeling in his face had been replaced by a hot burning sensation.  His face, flush, and glowing red, twisted into a snarl.  “LEAVE HER ALONE!!!!” Tommy screamed.  Zach raised his balled fist up to Tommy’s face, “What are you going to do about it YOU WEAK NERD?”  A bright blinding light filled the halls.  Simultaneously there was a deafening KABOOM!  The hall lights went out, leaving the halls dark, quiet and eerily cold.  The exit sign at the end of the hall lit up.  It’s pale red light bathed over two silhouettes standing over the limp shape of a teenager lying motionless on the floor.  A teenager in a letter jacket.

Tommy looked down at his balled fist.  The storm had passed as quickly as it had charged in.  As the hall lights flickered back on, Tommy glanced up out the hall door.  A single ray of gold had just started to peek through the clouds.

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