A Dangerous Game

Submitted into Contest #142 in response to: Write about somebody who likes to work in silence.... view prompt


Fiction High School Teens & Young Adult

She was playing a dangerous game.

A very dangerous game.

A most precarious game.

A game full of risk.

A game full of trickery.

A game full of uncertainty.

It was Finals week. Three days more to go and the semester would end. Three days more to go and she could enjoy her break. Three days more to go and she could bask in the sun and not have to think about anything and everything for a while. Three days more to go and she could finally relax. Three days more to go and she could finally get some proper sleep.

Alas, that would still be three days more from the present. Sleep was the last thing on her mind right now. Since right now things in the present weren’t all that well and good and dandy. She was in big, big trouble.

Four tests, one due tonight, and a 1200–1500 word essay that was also due tonight. No sleep indeed. She was screwed. Majorly screwed. Good thing the test due tonight wasn’t on a major subject or she would be majorly, majorly screwed.

It was already around 7 pm, about five hours until midnight. That would give her around four hours or less for her to write, polish, and finalize her essay and around an hour or less to take the test.

Easy. A master procrastinator like her could do all that in a breeze. It was like a personal record each time. She could have a PhD in procrastinating with the rate she was going. Though her being an avid procrastinator would likely not get her an actual PhD in anything. She could do this. She could very easily do this. That is, if she could only get enough peace and quiet to be able to focus enough to speed write her essay.

Some peace and quiet, that was all she needed. She needed silence to concentrate. Late night hours past midnight and until the early morning hours when everyone was still asleep were the best hours to work. She could concentrate then. Unfortunately for her, both the essay and the test were due before midnight. 11:59 pm to be exact. She was screwed.

She would normally work in her dorm room. Wrapped up in the comfort of her blanket as she worked and wrote nonsense on her laptop just to fill up the word count.

Alas, it was not so. She could not stay in her room. Her roommate decided to bring in her girlfriend to their room. What started out as cuddling under the blankets while they watched a movie, they did not pay attention to, on her roommate’s girlfriend’s laptop, turned into an all-out argument. This was complete with all the screaming explanations and angry crying and incoherent arguments these type of arguments typically included. No amount of music could drown out their argument in the background. So yes, her dorm room was out of the question.

It was already 7:31 pm and only half of the very rough draft was written. Hoodie on, laptop and notebooks in her bag, and a bottle filled with energy drink in hand, she left to check the Common Room/Dining Area of the dorm. That place was also out of the question. Some students were having an early celebration party. Loud music was playing over someone’s Bluetooth speaker, a few plastic cups were on the floor along with an unfortunate opened bag of chips, and there was some suspicious looking spilled liquid in the corner of the room. She suspects someone probably sneaked in alcohol. A few of the students were clearly tipsy and were swaying and dancing and jumping around to the music. How she wished she could somehow join them. But she needed to pass this semester and this essay and the test were crucial to that happening.

And so, out she went, into the freezing cold of the night, across the empty school parking lot and across the field just to see if the library was open. It was open, thankfully. It was 7:59 pm when she reached the library. Peace and quiet at last.

She wasn’t the only one at the library. She could see other students busy typing away at their laptops. Some were near the book shelves trying to find books or maybe references. She saw another student quietly crying in one of the desks. The student was trying to discreetly wipe their tears and carry-on writing. She tried not to stare too much. They were probably really stressed out and overwhelmed, they could not help it and broke down. She understood how that felt.

She found a comfortable spot and set up her things. She set up and turned on her laptop, it was already 8:02 pm, and continued to write her essay. Only the rhythmic click-clack and tapping of the laptop keyboard keys and the occasional cough or clearing of the throat could be heard through out the school library. This was perfect. Finally, some peace and quiet.

She lets the words flow out and form. Her own keyboard tapping joining the rhythm of others. She focuses on the words, just trying to get her initial point across. After a while, she checks the time. 9:58 pm. She still has time. She glances at the word count. Eight hundred and ninety-one words. She needed around a bit more than three hundred more words to go. An imaginary clock ticks in her head, urging her to hurry.

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

She searches up synonyms.

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

She over explains some words and phrases.

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

She repeats words and phrases just enough to give them emphasis but not too much that they become redundant.

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

She writes up any filler nonsense that somehow still relates to the topic, just to fill in the word count.

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

She desperately searches for anymore words, phrases to expound, other more words and phrases to overexplain, other more filler information that relates to the topic that she could add to the writing.

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

Tap, tap, tap

She feels someone tap on her shoulder. It breaks her focus. She feels as though she has just been brought back into reality.

It was the librarian.

“We close in five minutes.” The older lady says to her gently, and softly. It somehow felt comforting and a bit pitying to her.

“Okay. Just let me finish up.” She says in response.

She checks the time. It was 10:27 pm. She checks the word count. A thousand and a hundred ninety-eight words. She adds three more words where she can add them. Word count reached! She saves the file, submits it, and packs up her things. As she exits the library, she remembers her test. She sprints across the field, past the empty school parking lot, and into the dorm building. Hopefully her roommate and her roommate’s girlfriend were done fighting and have vacated the room. If not, taking the test with all that noise would be hell. At least the essay was done. She still had time. She could do this.

April 22, 2022 09:52

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