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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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eelrtb18 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm
i kept wanting to read more!  i enjoyed reading this but was a little confused towards the end.  keep writing though..it was very good!
 
Amiee said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm
man, that was scary o_O but great anyway!
 
writergirl2 said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm
Did he murder someone?
 
SpringRayynThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm
I don't understand what's going on at the ending.
 
ForsakenThirteen replied...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm
Isn't it obvious? He killed his boss and dog! I loved it!
 
SpringRayynThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm
Oh apparently it wasn't obvious to me.
 
BeatleMania16 said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm
AMAZING! i love how you dont' put any emotion into it, just the facts and time measurements (not sarcasm)...its really cool.
 
bethy4916 said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm
It really captures time itself. It's like time is everything, everywhere, everyone. I don't know... but it's great!
 
ProfessorLaytonRox said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 10:44 am
Wow. That was really interesting. I really was drawn into it.
 
Crogirl said...
Sept. 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm
Really good descriptions, you don't know what the story is really about untill the end, and then you realize that there were some hints...
Great job. I like how the character is psihologicaly very well descripted.
 
Annieboo said...
Sept. 12, 2010 at 9:50 am
I like how you used time for different things to pull it into your tittle.  By the way, it was really interesting to read.
 
theartgeek97 said...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 9:23 pm
hmm...that really confused me at some parts...well, i'm not all that great at math so that might be why....try going in a bit more detail! Otherwise, i think the story's really great.
 
Kael96 said...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm
This was incredible. No wonder it was published. I really enjoyed the constant number theme--it really  tied the story together. Wonderful work!
 
Jacob97 said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm
Wow! Great Work, Katie
 
CiCiJoLee said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm
wow. it get really intense at the end...lik omg clean up clean up then go answer the door! the ending is really good though in a way. To me it sums up the whole piece~ really unique
 
juliam This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm
numbers numbers numbers! Geeze oh my... but great in a way too. :)
 
WickedPrincess said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Interesting...
 
SilverspeakInkpen said...
Aug. 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm
awesome work!
 
CLC93 said...
Aug. 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm
I think I got it. Is this sort of like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde where the main character is like Mr. Hyde? Did he kill his boss and the dog because they got on his nerves? Is that the reason behind the tragedy at work and what caused the red goop? This was good! :D
 
Darkchloe14 said...
Aug. 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm
Oh God. What did you do to the dog?! Thats all I could think about at that last paragraph. That was FREAKIN' AWESOME.
 
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