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.

Join the Discussion

This article has 96 comments. Post your own now!

lmd_4994 said...
Feb. 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm
O my word! This is awesome! I wish i could write this good :D
maryambadran said...
Jan. 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm
you are an absolutely inspiring and incredible writer. :) 
Curly_Sue said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm
great article. i can totally relate to the procrastinating. everyone can.
funnybunny said...
Dec. 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm
what r they called
Akzca said...
Dec. 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm
This is great. I really get the feeling that this was rushed, which adds so much to the story! good job.
SteFanii said...
Dec. 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm
I thought this peice was fantastic because I unfortunatly procrastinate myself... hey by the way I've written a few peices myself about teen drama car accidents, teen troubles etc please comment...thanks
Dakota_Lynn said...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm
I can relate to this personally. I am one heck of a procrastinator, It's rather sad, actually.
NomadArsenal said...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 10:29 am
wow i love this! its totally relatable and beautifully written :)
Hi-5_Girl said...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm
Funny I should be reading this while putting off a huge lab report due on Monday. Love this piece!
funnybunny replied...
Dec. 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm
u r totally right i am doing the same thing right now with an english report
funnybunny replied...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 11:24 am
oh by the way this is a really really good article i really enjoyed it
Thrush said...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm
Awesome, I like it. I take it this is the story you wrote for your class?
Blue4 said...
Aug. 19, 2010 at 11:14 am

Wonderful story, it is very easy for me to relate to. Very interseting to read.

By the way, can somebody read some of my stories, rate, and critisize? Thanks.

purejeanous said...
Aug. 19, 2010 at 12:57 am
Great article, it was very descriptive. I can relate because usually I'm a procrastinator myself.
MyTeacherMadeMeDoIt said...
Jun. 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm
i love the way u wrote this i felt my mind racing and everything seemed to move quickly i was really drawn in good job :)
alberto replied...
Jul. 6, 2010 at 9:44 pm
i really like it,,i am looking forward to open this site always
ThatHair said...
May 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm
How ironic. I'm procrastinating right now. 0_o
charzard said...
May 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm
so done this! but 500 words takes me around 20 minutes to type with no distractions. very good article, though!
CrazyMK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 1, 2010 at 8:23 pm
So relatable! I totally connected with that story. Truly amazing.
CKsback said...
May 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm
Haha!!! So funny -- just today I realized that tonight was the deadline for a writing contest, and I had only written 800 words...I have spent all morning writing. :)
Site Feedback