“Fifteen minutes left,” the teacher called, prompting the students to type more furiously.

Marta looked at the page on her computer screen: For Part B, Please Write A Fictional Story of Your Choosing. Since This is the First Assignment of Fifth Grade, the Guidelines are Loose: Your Story Must Have A Twist Ending!

Maybe my story should end with a literal twist. Someone baking bread or something. 



Ok, Don’t worry Marta, you still have an hour left. U got dis homie!!!

Bobby loved baking and he loved things that were shaped weird. 45 minutes left what on earth did i do with the last FIFTEEN MINUTES???

Bobby kneaded the bread with his floury hands.


Bobby looked at the bread dough and decided it needed some excitement. So he twisted it.

Nononononno heeeelp this is awful.

Ns 3u8’0 5y yu’jezfkjd.sh euh 5/ean tbgze sijetaP

Oh dear. I only have half an hour.

That was all she had done. Marta had spent most of this time letting her mind wander off, in hopes that it would come back with a story. But it would only return with more panicked thoughts, which she transferred onto her computer.

Heaving out a sigh that would blow a little pig’s house down, Marta allowed herself to zone out once again. She stared at the empty seat in front of her, where the student had used the bathroom and never returned. George was known for that. He was one of the ‘cool’ kids (except when it came to appearance, then they were known as ‘hot’) that took twenty minute bathroom breaks. They hoped to look like they were skipping class, but just ended up giving the impression that they had diarrhea. Marta knew that they didn’t have daily stomach issues, but she had no idea what they could be doing, wandering around the boring halls for an entire twenty minutes. After growing more and more curious, Marta decided to come up with her own reason for why George took so long to use the bathroom.

Marta minimized the tab that her incomplete story was on and got up to ask the teacher to excuse her. After receiving some frown filled permission, Marta left the room in search for George.

“Excuse me,” Marta asked some pretty sixth grade girls, “Have you seen George?”

The girls scanned Marta from head to toe, taking in her not skinny enough jeans, brown Sketchers and short lashes. They snorted and began walking away. While one girl laughed at Marta’s severe lack of fashion, the other turned around with a guilty look on her face and pointed to the left hallway. Marta nodded and continued her quest. 

It didn’t take long before Marta found George. He wasn’t anywhere near the bathroom, of course. Instead, he was hiding behind a fake tree in the corner of the hallway. Marta began towards him, in a manner that would put so-called quiet mice to shame. Suddenly, a patch of wall behind the tree opened and George slunk inside with a curious Marta at his tail. Still ignorant of his pursuer, George stood silently in the strange hallway within the hallway.

“Boo,” Marta said.

George let out a scream that would allow him the role of a frightened heroine in a horror movie.

“Down there!” A voice called from the other end of the strange hall. Echoing, angry footsteps began to storm towards Marta and George.

George glared at Marta, but not for as long as he would have liked to, before running in the opposite direction of the footsteps. Marta followed for obvious reasons.

“What happened?” Marta asked when she caught up with George.

“You happened!” Snapped George.

“But what are you doing in here? What is this place? Who is chasing us? What have I done?” Marta became more frazzled with every question.

But George only frowned and continued running, so Marta followed suit. It was no use though. The stomping footsteps eventually got louder and louder until they surrounded Marta and George.

“Well, as I live and breathe!” One of the pursuers sneered, “George Loffington! And your girlfriend.”

Marta and George forgot to be afraid and burst out in mocking giggles.

“Girlfriend?” Snorted George, “I don’t even know her name!”

“Girlfriend?” Marta laughed, “I don’t like boys with chronic diarrhea!”

George abruptly stopped laughing, confused and slightly insulted. “Anyhow,” George looked at the apparent leader of the group that had surrounded him and Marta, “Georgette! It’s nice to see you. Well not really, but…”

Georgette snapped her fingers and said, “Take them away!”

The rest of the group followed Georgette’s commands as if they had rehearsed it a million times. In a fluid motion, they had Marta and George, and began marching through the strange hallway.

“Excuse me folks,” Marta said in her sweetest voice, reserved only for the old ladies at church- and the occasional kidnapper, “But I don’t think this is necessary. You see, I actually don’t know what’s going on and I’m just in here by mistake, so-”

“By mistake?” The man carrying Marta exclaimed, “Was it a mistake that you were there at the exact moment George figured out the password to get in here? Did you just accidentally pick up your legs and follow him in here?”

“Not quite sir, but if you please-” Marta was cut off yet again by a stern look from Georgette. 

Marta wasn’t going to allow herself to get kidnapped when she had a story to fail write. She looked around desperately for an escape, but could find none. Sighing, Marta allowed her tense body to relax and give up on the man’s shoulder. That’s when she felt something strange in her pocket, and remembered the smoke bomb that she had brought for present and speak (a more ‘mature’ version of show and tell). 

In a burst of energy and inspiration, Marta wriggled her hands free and brought out the smoke bomb. She never planned to use it in the classroom of course, because she was pretty sure that that would get her in a bit of trouble. Smoke and bombs in schools were never a good thing- this was made apparent when the smoke alarm went off. Marta never thought that the school would bother hooking up the secret hallway’s alarm to the school’s, but she supposed safety was always their first concern.

 The smoke from the inner hallway and the screams from the outer hallway distracted Georgette’s crew and gave Marta and George the opportunity to gallop away. Marta followed George until they were on the roof of the school. There, they had a widescreen view of the chaos that was being conceived beneath them. The emergency department would be there shortly, so Georgette and her gang would have to hightail it. 

“Marta,” George said with adoration, “You saved me.”

Marta nodded. George swept her into a warm hug and leaned close to her ear. 

“I bet you didn’t know that we’re after you though,” George whispered.

“We?” Groaned Marta.

In response, George brought out a pair of handcuffs and bound Marta in them. Marta looked around the rooftop desperately, as George contacted Georgette on a walkie talkie, telling her that Marta was ready for pickup. All hope was lost just because Marta wanted to satisfy her curiosity.

“Ten minutes left!” The teacher called, snapping Marta out of her daydream. By now, students were finishing their stories and handing them in.

With a ‘cool’ smirk on his face, George walked into the room and took his spot in front of Marta. Marta looked at her screen and smiled. She knew that the teacher would give her extra time if she asked, and her mind had finally come back with an idea.

June 19, 2020 23:38

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Denise Brown
04:51 Jun 25, 2020

Hi Tolu, I've read your story and like it very much. It reads well ... once I'd got through the beginning part where you have used capitals and some strange exclamations for dialogue. I struggled to get my head around that. Once past though, the story unfolded nicely with a lovely twist at the end. I didn't realise it was going on in Marta's head/daydream until the end. I would say that there are some areas that are a little wordy and an economy of words could give you more punch - we all do it! for example - "The smoke from the inn...


Tolu Odel
17:15 Jun 25, 2020

I hate feedback... from microphones! Thanks for the tips. The beginning part with the strange dialogue was supposed to be what Marta had written so far. I tend to struggle with wordiness, so thanks for that!


Denise Brown
06:42 Jun 27, 2020

I struggle with wordiness too but am getting better at seeing it in my work and in other’s work more so. I look at every sentence of mine now, and every word - does it work? Does it add? Re the intro on your story ie what Marta had written so far, think you could cut that right back - think back stories have a tendency to be boring and don’t capture the reader. Go in with something hard hitting!


Tolu Odel
21:20 Jun 27, 2020

Thanks a lot! I personally don't think this story was my best work, but I always want to improve.


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