The Test of Troy

This is an exercise. There were three requirements: 1) No back story or background is allowed. It's entirely immediate. It's even in the present tense. 2) The character starts out with a problem, then it gets worse, and then worse. And when it is so bad that it just can't get any worse, it does. 3) All problems are resolved in the end.

The Test of Troy

Troy clutches his stomach. He cannot hear what the biology teacher is saying. He wants to listen. This is his worst class and it's important to him. He can't fail, not if he wants to become a zookeeper, and he wants that more than anything. Well, either that or manage his father's furniture store. He just can't decide. He doesn't want to disappoint his parents, but he loves animals--all of them. Troy stifles a groan. Whenever he thinks about deciding between furniture and furry creatures, it makes him sick and the school pizza roiling in his stomach is already threatening to explode.

As he walks home he's sure he has missed something important in class. He hopes no one sees him; he knows he looks ghastly and is afraid he'll throw up on someone. He sees his friends and cuts through some bushes to avoid them. As he emerges, he nearly knocks someone over. Someone with golden hair, long clean limbs, sun-bronzed skin and pink lip gloss. It's Sherry, the head cheerleader. He's loved her since grammar school. (Whoops, i cant do that, it's backstory. Okay, scratch that...) He blushes and stutters and holds a stack of books in front of his pants.

All her friends are laughing, but she speaks to him kindly. "You weren't paying attention in class, Troy," the goddess says. "The teacher announced that there's a big test tomorrow." She bounces away before he can gasp a reply.

Troy puts his head down and trudges on. A test tomorrow? This is terrible. And did he just make a fool of himself in front of the prettiest, sweetest, nicest girl in the whole world? Will his stomach hold up until he gets home? He checks carefully for cars before crossing the street. This day is bad enough; he doesn't need to get run over too.

"How can this day get any worse?" he asks himself distractedly.

He falls down a manhole.

At least he isn't hurt, but how can he study for biology if he's stuck in a manhole? He looks for a ladder and finds something else.

An alligator.

Menace gleams in its evil, alien eyes as it advances. Troy's life flashes before his eyes. He regrets he's never had the guts to really court the cheerleader. He regrets that he rejected being a furniture seller and disappointed his parents who have done so much for him. But he loves animals, they are all so wonderful and nice, or at least he thought so until quite recently. It's so hard to make career decisions, especially when looking into the gigantic slavering, jaws of a twenty-foot alligator.

He feels so bad he projectile vomits and the alligator runs away.

Troy feels much better. The pizza must have been bad. He climbs out of the hole.

When he gets home, he googles alligators until he falls asleep.

In the morning he realizes he forgot to study. Oh well, he has his life and that's what counts. He has more perspective now.

When he gets to biology, he finds that the test is an essay on alligators! He aces it.

On the way home he finds his near death experience has given him the courage to talk to the Sherry. He tells her he no longer wants to be a zookeeper. He likes cats and dogs but he realizes now that there are some animals he is less fond of. He's decided to sell furniture.  She says that is a good career choice which makes him very attractive as a prospective mate. She says she'd like to help him practice selling furniture. Her parents are out of town. "Come over tonight," she purrs, "and let's see what you can show me a single bed." Pin It Now!

1 comment:

  1. Nicely written. I was thinking the bile in the vomit was going to sear the alligator, allowing him to use the alligator skin to make the perfect ottoman, thus winning favor with his dad and starting a sensation in the furniture world. See you later, alligator :P