Holly's Horrible Homework

Submitted into Contest #25 in response to: Write a short story about someone writing New Year's resolutions.... view prompt


Holiday Kids


I sink into my desk chair.


The first day of school for 2020 and we already have homework. What is this nonsense? Honestly, somebody should have warned me that grade 6 is so difficult. I mean, really?! Twenty new year's resolutions in one night?

This wouldn’t be so hard if I weren’t so perfect. 

1- be more humble, my pen writes.

“Holly?” my mother calls from downstairs.

I hollar back that I’m doing homework. 

“Holly?!” she says again, louder.

I guess the homework excuse won’t work this time. I yell that I’m coming in just a minute.

“HOLLY?!” she bellows again, loudest.

Why the heaven do mothers do this?!

I storm down to the living room to meet her. She asks me to get her the TV remote, then proceeds to tell me that I shouldn't stomp when she asks me to do stuff for her. That really, I should be more joyful as I do stuff for my mother, as to be polite.

I sigh again and retreat back to my incredibly difficult homework. 

2- be more polite

3- be joyful when serving

I tap my pen against my irritated chin.  Actually, my whole face is irritated.

4- think faster

There is another idea at the tip of my head, and it’s coming, and coming, and com-


My golly, not again.

“Holly?!” my mother cries again, louder.

I politely tell her I’ll come in a minute, but it doesn’t satisfy her.

“HOLLY?!” she shrieks, loudest.

I politely storm down the stairs. Then I politely ask her what the health is it this time, and wait for a response.

This time, our elderly neighbor, Mrs. Hexican, lost her cat in a tree. She doesn’t want to call the fire department because last time, she led them to the wrong tree and they were irritated.  I mean, who wouldn’t be, after scratching against a huge coniferous for three hours, only to hear a mocking meow from the adjacent birch?

So, she called my mom to irritate me.

With polite irritation, I politely clomp outside to the thick tree where the imbecilic feline has lodged itself.  If I hadn’t been so competitive last year, I never would have won the tree climbing contest, and I wouldn’t be in this horrendous situation right now.  But nevertheless, I politely grab the monumentally shortsighted cat from it’s leafy veiling, and politely return it to Mrs. Hexican.

My mother watches this and tells me to be more respectful to my elders.

So I return to my assignment lair and scribble,

5- be more respectful to elders

Then I pause and add, 

6- be less competitive

7- be less irritated

Oh gee whiz, I still have 13 to go!

Hmm. There’s another one on it’s way… I can see it, it’ll be coming round the mountain when it-


Here we go again.

“Holly?!” she calls once again, louder.

I’m already halfway to the living room.

“HOLLY?!” my mother yodels, loudest.

This time, she wants me to help my younger brother tie his shoes. And this time, she wants me to teach him. I’m quite impatient, but what choice do I have? I splice his silly sneakers, then I inform him on the bunny rabbit method, which he doesn’t learn for another FIVE MINUTES. After that, he gallops out to play. 

I wish I could gallop out to play. But I have to go do an assignment

8- be more patient

9- be nice to my little brother

There’s one more resolution slithering into my brain, but I don't bother with it, because I can see the future.


Yep there it is.

“Holly?!” louder.

“HOLLY?!” loudest.

Holly hops and hobbles to her mother. Haha.

This time it’s our other neighbor the pole dancer, Mr. Nood. He’s broken his pole and he needs me to hold it while he duct tapes it. While I grasp his distressed beam, Mr. Nood gives me a lecture on how I should do more exercise this year, and how there’s a reason why so many people put fitness on their resolutions. But only few stick to it. And that I SHOULD STICK TO IT.

Speaking of sticks, his stick is rather sticky with duct tape residue. Mr. Nood is either not a very good dancer, or his pole is just as weak as I am. Except when I’m climbing trees. Stupid tree. Not as stupid as Mr. Nood though.

10-be less judgmental

11- be fit 

12- stick to my new year's resolution this year

13- be more resilient

I’m starting to just use stereotypes now so I put,

14- be more original


It’s like a bad dream.

“Holly?!” louder still.


Our across-the-road neighbor is here, and my mother wants me to talk to him because I have a crush on him. I was literally forced to be infatuated with this boy because he’s a “diplomatic, attractive young man”. This is what you call fan-fiction to the next level.

I mean, he is gorgeous, but  I’ve seen him worship satan. I told my mother about this and she just laughed and said he’s just a Harry Potter fan. What the perdition is the difference?

Anyhow, my dad says I should be more open minded and try new things. But aren’t girls my age supposed to be foot-loose and fancy-free? This is why we have pregnant 13 year olds!

ANYHOW, the voodoo-ist  just came to say hi, so I tell him I’m doing homework and politely slam the door in his face.

Mother makes me open it again and offer to walk him home. I don’t see why I should; he could just call some mosquitoes, math problems and other satanic things to guard him, like a normal satanist.

15- be more open minded

16-try new things

17-listen to my parents

18- be nice to my neighbors

That idea is like a groundhog on it’s special day, poking to the surface, then deciding 6 more weeks of winter and wriggling back to it’s den.

“Holly?” or maybe it’s because my mother keeps shooting at it.

“Holly?!” louder. Come on, say it with me now.

“HOLLY?!” and there it is folks, loudest!

I throw myself down the stairs to succumb to her latest demand. 

“I love you,” she says, much to my surprise.

Okay, you probably saw that coming.

I hug her like a boa constrictor and reflect the kind phrase. 

Then I reach the end of my list,

19- spend more time with my family (mother)

Ladies, gentlemen and unspecified! We have lift off! The bird is in the tree! The cat is out of the bag! (Mrs. Hexican should try bagging her cat.) The final resolution has been revealed to me!

20- LOVE

January 25, 2020 00:59

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Eian Wright
14:58 Apr 01, 2020

A really funny story. Just make sure that you keep in the same point of view the whole time. I saw one spot where you switched from 1st person to 3rd. Other than that, I really enjoyed it!


Tolu Odel
19:04 Apr 01, 2020

Thank you! I guess I should have put that part as a thought italics, huh?


Eian Wright
21:45 Apr 01, 2020

Now that you say that, I understand what you were trying to do. It totally brings out the sarcastic character in Holly. Really great thing you did. Just put it in quotes or italics like you said. Make it clear to the reader. Once again, congrats on your story!


Tolu Odel
00:15 Apr 02, 2020

Thank you! Also, how do you edit stories after they've been submitted?


Eian Wright
03:07 Apr 02, 2020

I actually don't know; I'm rather new here. I guess I was trying to give you tips of what to watch out for on your next piece.


Tolu Odel
03:40 Apr 02, 2020

Oh, okay, thanks.


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Ndekwoh Ojen
18:08 May 02, 2020

You can only edit your story before it's published. Sometimes it takes between 1 to 3 days before posted stories are published. Under your story, you see "Edit submission," click on it to edit and update. That's all.


Tolu Odel
00:38 May 03, 2020

Oh, okay, thank you!


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04:37 Aug 21, 2020

Wow! Nice work!! I really enjoyed reading this!! Keep writing! Btw would you mind checking out a couple of my stories? It would be nice.


Tolu Odel
17:27 Aug 21, 2020

Thanks, Sia! Sure :)


17:28 Aug 21, 2020



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I love this story! I read this three times, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I love Holly, she is very sarcastic but hilarious. Keep on writing, writer!


Tolu Odel
18:16 Apr 14, 2020

I'm very glad you enjoyed it! Thank you!




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Sam Kirk
03:36 Jan 31, 2020

The story until the end was absolutely hysterical. It's a perfect entry for this prompt. I truly enjoyed reading it. Everything was so nicely described that I could feel all of the emotions the characters were feeling.


Tolu Odel
04:54 Feb 01, 2020

Thank you! That is high praise coming from you, I've been reading some of your stories and their quite lovely.


Sam Kirk
16:19 Feb 01, 2020

Why thank you.


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