Ben sat with his head on his desk, waiting for English class to start. Most students were still in the halls, socializing and fraternizing in short, six-minute bursts. But immediately upon hearing the third period bell ring, Ben was eager to run the short distance from his biology class and take his seat, relishing the few minutes of daydreaming he could steal from a busy school day.

Ben was very close to having a great idea. The idea was floating around the recesses of his mind, not yet articulated, just waiting for Ben to seize it and do great things with it. Whatever it was, it was genius.

He pictured himself chasing after it, the grand idea taking the shape of a shining, lavender butterfly. With light, playful swipes, he tried to catch it in his glowing white net. The net and the butterfly were the only objects of light on this otherwise dark landscape.

With a loud screeching of metal on tile, Heather took her seat in front of Ben, her blonde ponytail almost brushing his nose. As usual, she chatted loudly to some dumb girl she’d known since the first grade, babbling about a stupid jock or whatever it was she was always on about. No one saw, but Ben was shooting eye daggers at the back of her skull.

The idea! Ben remembered with a fright. He shut his eyes. The butterfly was gone. The net was heavy in his hands.

Ben dramatically opened his eyes, heavy with sorrow and loss. Surely his genius would blossom if it weren’t for Heather. Heather was always crushing and spiriting away his beautiful ideas.


About John D. Moore

Writer, cartoonist, filmmaker, and student of Japanese language, literature, and cinema at the University of Utah.

2 responses »

  1. This is a great little piece o’ work. If only there weren’t so many ‘Heathers’ in my life, I would probably be enjoying the wealth of a sultan.

  2. Logan says:

    I only wish that my thoughts in highschool contained genius tragically lost. Most likely they did not.And my secondary education only had five minutes between classes. I didn’t know anywhere else was different until I did substitute-teaching. Spanish Fork H.S. had freakin’ seven-and-a-half minutes.

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