Chapter 1:


The Most Stressful Hour Of My Life

I sat down at my desk, ready to learn today about the wonders of history and all that surrounds it. 

My fellow classmates, for whatever reason, seemed rather anxious. Their constant feet stepping and tapping of their pencils filled the quiet room with noise, and I began to wonder, did I miss something the other day?

Confused, I leaned over to whisper to my friend, who continued to tap his pencil on his forehead. 

"Is something happening today? Why is everyone looking so anxious?" 

Looking at me as if he was dumbstruck, his surprised face soon turned into shock, then worry, as he leaned over to whisper the sentence I would never have wished were said to anybody in the world.

"Dude, did you forget we had a test today? Like, the biggest test that we studied for yesterday?"

At that moment, shock filled my head. How could I have forgotten to study for such an important test? How did I forget that we even had a test? I hadn't even noticed as I was thinking about the whole thing, that my mouth gaped open, as my friend continued to look at me with surprise.

"You are so screwed."

I leaned back into my seat, as I found myself suddenly lifting my right foot up and against the floor repeatedly, I tapped my pencil against the wooden desk to escape the noise that began to swarm into my brain.

Just as I felt myself releasing my tension, the blaring voice of my teacher sent chills down my spine, as I saw the rest of my classmates bury their notes into their bags, following the teacher's instructions.

"Alright everybody, the test is going to start momentarily. I'll be passing out the tests and you will be able to start as soon as everybody has received a copy."

I couldn't focus on her words. The realization that I had even the little amount of time to study, the little amount of time, and I didn't take because I was confused as to why everybody was studying for no reason. 

No, this must be a pop quiz. It has to be.

I had no recollection of my teacher ever speaking about a major test, let alone giving us time to study. What type of class only gives a student a day to study for a test that determines their careers? What type of craziness is that? It's unbelievable!

All the while I was focused on how the properties of this test didn't make sense, I saw my teacher making her way towards my desk, the fresh stack of papers just released from her printer ready to be handed out to me. I had no wish to even see what was on that paper, I despised it.

As she got closer, my pencil tapping quickened. My feet began to leap up and down against my desk as I could feel my knees bumping against the wood. I could feel sweat forming on my forehead as my teacher finally reached my desk, simply placing the paper and proceeding to the student in front of me.

I didn't want to look down at the monstrosity that awaited me. It was too much to handle. 

After finishing handing out the papers to the rest of the students, my teacher returned to the front of the classroom and gave a short speech before allowing us to start the test.

"Now guys, this might seem difficult, but I assure you that if you were ready and studied for the test like I had told you so to do the night before, this will be a cake walk."

Oh that's so easy for you to say. You probably gave me a water bottle that contained a hidden sleeping pill that made me nap during the whole class, making me miss you saying that so that you got to see me fail the class.

No, you're just mocking me so that you get to see me struggle and laugh in your head that my utter defeat amuses you.

"You have one hour to complete the test. Which starts... now."

Almost instinctively, I looked down at the paper that beckoned me with its allure. Gulping down the air that rested in my mouth, I could only watch in terror as I saw the behemoth of a test that I was supposed to complete.

A six paged, demon of a test mocked me with its numerous amounts of multiple choice questions and short answer prompts. 

I shakily held my pencil in my hand, as it even pained me to write my name on the test, as I began to comprehend the questions that were on the test.

I had no idea what any of this meant. 

No, maybe I do know and I'm just acting like an idiot. All this pressure just got into my mind that I didn't study that I didn't even have to study because the test is so easy. I'm sure of it.

Before proceeding to answer the first question on the test, I stealthily looked around the classroom, before my eyes slowly wandered towards my teacher's front desk.

I had to blink three times to realize what I was witnessing. My teacher had put up a clock on her desk which seemed to have held a 60 minute timer mark.

So why is it that there were only 50 minutes left to take the test?!

Ana Fowl