A Story of Procrastination This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 6, 2008
Eleven thirty-one. It’s eleven ­thirty-one, and I’ve got nothing. Two weeks’ preparation, and it all comes down to this. Gnats swoop around my neck as my pen furiously dances on the paper.

Two hours. Two hours. Two fleeting hours counting down to judgment day. I had two weeks, two weeks, for five hundred words that tell a story, my story, a story of procrastination. People crowd around me, not knowing they are distracting me. My mind is a moth, they are the flame. I fly hopelessly toward them.

A gust of sudden wind rustles my paper, and I look down. Eleven forty-four. I’ve lost precious time! How can I overcome these distractions? Voices endlessly clamor in my mind. The worst thing is, they keep coming … the people, they’re everywhere.

The doors fling open and they rush out of the cafeteria, a sudden storm flooding my workspace like bugs, like caterpillars. They are caterpillars that eat and eat, devouring my blossoming ideas. My ideas are disappearing, leaving me! All ­because of the caterpillars, the people.

The bell. My veins ­con­tract. My heart stops beating for only a second, but it stops. My hands begin to shake uncontrollably. I stand and start walking to fourth period. Fifty-two minutes! I have 52 minutes to write a story, my story, a story of ­procrastination.

My walk quickens to a sprint. I’m running through the halls and I don’t care what they think because they don’t know me. They don’t know my situation. They never could … could they? Have these stressful feelings of frustration and shame ever filled their veins? Has aggravation and disappointment ever pumped through their hearts? Have I been a caterpillar?

Ouch. Wrist cramp! Is this karma for all the years that I’ve been the distraction? Well, the tables have turned all right! Has the distraction become the distracted?

In this sudden epiphany, I arrive at class. Students shuffle around their desks, but the room quickly falls silent. My ideas begin to return and recirculate, safely lodging the wretched caterpillars in their cocoons. My ideas are sprouting. They are growing and I love it.

I love it, but wait … These ideas have been tainted by ­stories filled with laughing, gossip, food, and reality. The characters have changed from knights, queens, and dragons to Benjamin, Angelique, Bianca, Tanner, and Mitchell. Worst of all, the antagonist has become Ernie, fat Ernie! How can I write about someone I hate? My ideas are ruined. They’re tainted and useless to me.

The bell rings. The cocoons are hatching and turning the caterpillars into butterflies. Butterflies that want to stay and live in my stomach, swirling and twirling around inside me. They fill me up. They make me want to vomit, vomit out all of these worthless ideas, and my feelings of shame and frustration.

As I approach the door, I can’t hold them in any longer. I feel the butterflies escaping through every orifice of my body. My pores pour sweat. My veins throb. My mouth spits out words, trying to explain everything I’ve gone through. My dead cat. My participation in extracurricular ideas. My extreme load of classes.

I want to speak, to say anything, but nothing comes. Something. Anything. They’re all excuses anyway, ­excuses that don’t help but delay the inevitability that at the end of this 52-minute class I have a paper due, a paper with metaphors, similes, ­alliteration, brushstrokes, and most importantly with my voice. My voice tells my story, a story of procrastination. All I have left are my poisoned ideas strung together into a story, my story, a story of procrastination.

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 96 comments. Post your own now!

LeisurelySketches said...
Mar. 6 at 6:27 am
Wonderful writing style, a gripping and humorous plot, and amazing expression. A flawless work of art.
Deej6595 said...
Nov. 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm
Nicely written. The topic is a good one. Is this based on a real experience.
bananacat36 said...
Aug. 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm
i loved this. its ironic because i'm writting an essay about my own struggles with procrastination and i'm procrastinating by reading about you procrastinating! i guess you could call it research.
crayola_green said...
Sept. 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm
Today I had to turn in a study guide ...that I started last night. I spent three hours on it, and another hour on it today in school before my last class (no study hall D:). I know how you feel! This was a fantastic story/essay. Did you actually write this for a class? Nice work!
curlygurlray said...
Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm
aha i loved it! it kept me laughing and wanting to know wat u do. i wish u didnt publish anonymously but im happy enough to kno yu got my praise(:
Aliescha L. said...
Apr. 26, 2012 at 5:53 am
Awesome job!!!
. said...
Mar. 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Oh, my God. The tension was beautiful. this story reminds me of my old short stories (wonderful thing) and it's written beautifully. I couldn't help but smile the whole time I read it... Even though it was a macabre smile.
hedwigy13 said...
Feb. 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm
Loved the figurative language. Funny thing is, I end up writing essays in lunch all the time. :D
I love this article! The part about Fat Ernie, Benjamin, Angelique, and all the other distractions were hilarious. The metaphors about the caterpillars and the butterflies were pretty creative too. Now... how to deal with the irony that I'm procrastinating at this very moment...
takeflight144 said...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm
this is a great article! you are very talented
HagenDazzle said...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 12:40 am
This was superb! I can definitely relate to this! I especially love the comparison of distracting caterpillars to butterflies flying in your stomach- It was carried out smoothly throughout the entire story-you made the cliche so unique! Check out some of my artwork:) Keep up the great work!
firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm
love it! i can totally relate.
hobo12321 said...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 11:24 am
Awesome! i like the repetition...
kairi.kaylyn said...
Dec. 16, 2011 at 11:02 am
This was a really good article! This is what I go through a lot. Keep on writing.
123abc said...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm




1)say your name 10 times

2)say your mom's name 5 times

3)say your crush's name 3 times

4)paste this on 4 other posts. if you do this your crush will kiss you on the nearest friday. if you don't do this after reading this you will get bad luck

send this to 4 other post in 143 minutes... (more »)

ksaurus200 said...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm

person 1: procrastanators unite!!!!!!

person 2: ...ehhh we'll do it tomarow

cefluvr43vr said...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 9:34 am
love it! but now ive remembered i need to start my science fair :P 
Ruiki said...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 9:14 am
A very relatable topic 
bribrat232 said...
Nov. 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm
nice totally get what is happening very unique
fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm

very cool and original!


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