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!

millz said...
May 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm
Great, well written story. I can soooo relate. you described the feeling perfectly
GraceM said...
May 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm
I really thought this was amazing. The repeating of words reminded me of echoes off of the walls in your head. I don't regret the time it took to read this. It was truly fabulous :)
Chrissy L. said...
Apr. 25, 2009 at 1:07 am
Ha, caterpillars. I love it!
ChildOfGod said...
Feb. 2, 2009 at 12:15 am
It was really very accurate, but i am funny about veins and puke and *shiver* it was gross, but very well written. Its the horrible feeling across about what it's like to have procrastinated or to just be a procrastinator. I'm not really one, but sometimes... It's a great piece of writing. You should use that as your story! See! You can write under pressure. Those people inspired you to write. Look for the positives!
Zero_Kun said...
Feb. 1, 2009 at 10:07 pm
I love it! The repeated words really help stir up the frenzy and panic. I've had this feeling maaaany times before.
dudeio said...
Jan. 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm
we our selves have had these problems many many times we need help!

great Write though i like the metophores and simile
great job!!!

Beatrice Buffallo said...
Jan. 29, 2009 at 7:03 pm
A little wierd. But still a very cool piece. I could have never has wrtien such a story.

Beatricebuffallo said...
Jan. 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm
I thought that this was a great story showing the stress of being a procrastinater. ( i am one my self)
absten is really coolio said...
Jan. 27, 2009 at 7:20 pm
we generally liked thiis piece but it's kinf of gross with the whole vomit thing. and they kept bringing up bugs and veins popping, and we know it was supposed to be like metaphors and similes but it was just kind of gross. yeah.

it was pretty good.
jaquetem replied...
Nov. 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm
...? okay???
agp1995 said...
Jan. 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm
way and i mean way tooooooo many repeats i liked but you cant get to into a repeated story without the repeats i love it sorry to disapoint!
KristineMarie said...
Jan. 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm
This is a very well written story and I can relate very well to it.
Jazmin N. said...
Jan. 11, 2009 at 11:08 pm
Great story. I can relate, but this is more extreme from my own procrastination.
Joy said...
Dec. 20, 2008 at 6:51 am
This was quite an interesting story. Very real and well-written.
Nikki said...
Dec. 19, 2008 at 7:07 pm
Great Story
boston418 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm
Hahaha I love it!  I relate, lol!
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