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Time This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Every morning I wake up to the normal sun shooting through the left window, blinding me as I try to open my eyes. My dog, Donald, barks up a storm. He insists that every morning at exactly 7:04, he has to go outside. It really is starting to push my buttons. Can’t that damn dog just take a rest?

After I go outside for exactly 2.5 minutes, I realize I have to deal with my boss in exactly 48.6 minutes. I sit and moan for two minutes. Any more I would be late and any less I would be early: it has to be exactly two minutes. Afterward, I do my normal six-minute shower, three-minute shave, two-minute brush of my teeth – just like the dentist told me – and five minutes to figure out what I am going to wear ­today. That leaves me 4.5 minutes to sit and read The New York Times and moan about having to drive 20 minutes to a job that I can’t stand. Once I arrive, it takes 2.1 minutes to hear the lame story about what Ron, the guy two cubicles down, did last night and four minutes ’til I get to hear my boss complain that I never do anything right.

Spending 9.34 hours at my job, driving 26 minutes home (I hate traffic), taking two minutes to take Donald out and only getting 24.7 minutes to myself before lying down in my hard, cold bed and not falling asleep for another 12.5 minutes can really drive someone crazy. At least that is what my therapist tells me. But in fact it does not make you crazy; it makes everyone else crazy for not wanting to know how much time they actually have.

The thing that will make you crazy is if something goes wrong. Something that has been happening the same way for exactly 12.56 years. When that one thing goes wrong, all hell breaks loose. For instance, if you wake 45.8 minutes late because there is no damn dog barking for you to take him out. Which causes you to be late to work, because you have a 20-minute drive and only 2.4 minutes to get there. Then you ­decide in exactly 24 seconds that you have to call in to work saying you came down with something. But after the phone rings for eight seconds, the secretary tells you that something bad has happened and there will be no work today. You wonder for only one minute what could have happened, but then go and take a shower.

The shower is much longer than the normal six minutes. It takes two more minutes to wonder what is the red goop dripping from your body. Then it takes you two more minutes to realize that you probably just cut yourself shaving.

After 45.8 minutes of watching TV, you wonder where Donald is and what really happened today to call off work. You ponder this for 12 minutes, scratching your chin, noticing the red goop is also under your nails. You find that disgusting, so you walk steps, which takes you three seconds, to go wash your hands, for two minutes, in the bathroom that you never use. You look around for four minutes, noticing there is also red goop all over the walls. You quickly – so fast you can’t count the time – open the shower curtain.

In about seven minutes you realize you have to clean up. But suddenly there is a knock on the front door lasting for about four seconds. But you have to ignore it, you don’t have time, you have to clean up in six minutes. But wait, six minutes is too long. You need 4.5 minutes, but that’s too short. The knocking is getting louder and faster, every three seconds, it just won’t stop. You can’t stop either; you have to clean up, but the knocking ….

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 301 comments. Post your own!

IPlayCOD said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 9:48 am:
Writing with all the number really shows what is going on. 
 
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MusiGal said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 9:41 am:
I loved this! You created so much suspense that I was extremely upset when it ended. It has a big impact on most people nowadays because of their schedules.
 
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KatieDavis said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 9:41 am:
I really enjoyed your story. I like the imagery you used when talking about waking up in the morning and having to let the dog out. I also like your use of time, it really shows how people go through their day. The ending was also very suspenseful, which made the story exciting.
 
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hollatyoboylc said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 8:57 am:
This piece was great. Your story wants us to read more of it!
 
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Rebecca G. said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 8:53 am:
I thought it was really suspenseful and really good
 
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bbrockman said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 8:50 am:
The was an very well written piece. It was very thought out and well planned.
 
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CookieViking said...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm:
Very good writing.....i like ur use of time=]
 
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Fadi K. said...
Feb. 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm:
It  is so sad. 
 
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Auburn said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 10:43 pm:
You're an amazing writer, keep it up(: I definitely loved this story
 
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I.Luv.Writing said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm:

I love your use of time throughout the story. You did a great job of having a suspenseful ending. This is piece was unique. 

If anyone has time can you please comment on my piece called "Unforgivable Mother. Thanx....I need feed back.

 
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polkadotkeynes said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm:
You are a REALLY good writer!!!
 
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Beautifuleyes14 said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 9:42 am:
Creepy in a good way of corse!!! I understand it perfectly... it just takes somethinking. You have true writing talent! Way to go :)
 
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Bubbles99 said...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm:
Oh my. This is fantastic. I'm spooked! It took a little to sink in, but then I realized what happened and now I'm just sitting here in shock, awed at the story and your awesome writing skills.
 
elliottch replied...
May 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm :
what happened??? I DON'T GET IT! :)
 
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BlankPage said...
Jan. 22, 2011 at 10:58 am:
i love it , i love the fact that she  times everything in the story and knows that she has only so much time to do so may things.
 
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Lacer said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm:
A writing style combining the ambiguous but undeniably obvious answers with the OCD calculating character, perscribed to a sociopathic bubble of insanity makes me so proud to say I like it.
 
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jesusfreakgirl said...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm:

This is absolutely incredible. It does not need a sequel, as a sequel would take away from the mood and feel of this story. I love that there are so many unanswered questions, that you feel need to be answered, but really don't.

 

I also love that so many people don't get it. The author of this was incredibly talented. Keep up the amazing work.

 
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HelloLove37 said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm:

Keeps you wanting more.

The police at the door?

You killed your dog and boss?

So many questions left unanwsered.(: In other words, I loved it. Keep up the great work

 
writer500 replied...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm :
I agree! Hey check out some fo my stuff and comment! Thanks, you'll like it.
 
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QuietlyBeautiful said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:31 am:
this was amazing.
 
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