He was only fifteen.

It didn't make any sense.

He stared at his handwriting. He glanced at the blackboard and then at his paper. The blackboard returned fire with contempt. He stuck to his guns. He glared.

The classroom was your classic square design, populated with a score of potentials and a singular authority. The desks were arranged in a donut shape so that everyone could face the center of the room and each other. (Some stupid pinko hippie design, an older teacher would remark.) It was English. Third period. 11:30 in the A.M. An inside joke held by the faculty.

It was one of those timed writing assignments. The topic was a phrase, several words, chalked neatly for everyone to see. Write whatever you wanted, she demanded. One page, no more than an hour.

Typically, he waited and the acquiescence of the room filled his mind with thoughts of nothing. The collective noise of scribbling pencils and pens on wooden desks was the preamble to his daydream of nothing.

He thought of a guitar, a two hundred dollar used piece purchased from someone at work, and he wished he knew how to play it like a heroin-induced Kurt Cobain. He thought of the day that lay ahead, six more periods of the same. He thought of the girl sitting across from him, eyes he so yearned would lie upon his. She had a great rack. He was tense and rigid and his sweat crept upon his neck just as fast as angst on a Friday afternoon. He saw a tick on his desk. He thought of that tick that somehow crawled into the building through human carriage, a lone ranger of nature. It would later latch onto his leg, but he would never notice. He thought of everything.

He thought of himself. His physical appearance. The apparition in the mirror. The lines that edged his face, his angry eyes, his stern and weathered look. He wondered if he could incorporate this into his writing. He thought of what he would look like in five years. In ten. Twenty. Premature thoughts of back pains and wooden canes. He thought of what his years meant and how these years meant nothing and that the future ahead meant everything. A blink of an eye, his father once diagnosed.

A half hour went by with only a paragraph written on his college-ruled paper. Metaphors, metaphors, metaphors. It was water under the bridge. It was the death of Shakespeare, lynched by hired actors. It was the dull blueness of the sky that matched the dull blueosity of the ocean. A puppy barked in German, a frog stayed green in New Mexico. Trolls lived under bridges. It was Christmas Eve and flaming bags of shit rained down from the heavens like the Second Coming of Christ, a chapter he felt should have been included in Revelations.

Fifteen minutes left.

The ultimate metaphor: the bridge. He would write a short story about this guy who worked at a supermarket and hated his job. He hated his boss. The burden he carried and his mundane life. He would constantly lust after this beautiful girl (with great tits, just like the girl sitting across from him!), but he would never get the girl because she would be dating this jerk jock, varsity clad and straight out of an eighties teen movie, and geeks like him never get the girl. He would routinely hit her and treat her like shit. He would linger like a two minute old fart until one fateful day when he would tire of his female friend's abuse and confront The Boyfriend. He would hit him and --

-- she would not approve! Instead, she would slap our hero plainly on the face (OMG WHY DID YOU HIT HIM?!@#) and walk away with Mister Jerk Assholing Jock Motherfucking Motherfucker. Nothing happens. Our hero would ride off into the sunset with wisdom and experience forever ingrained in his soul. He would cross this bridge and it would be symbolic of something. He would also quit his job, confirming a somewhat happy ending.

He would channel this into eight sloppily penciled paragraphs and he would get his 'A', baby. He would get his fucking 'A'.

Pencils down.

Two days later, he would receive his grade, an 'A' written in red with an encouraging "Good Work!" jotted on the side of two-day old loose leaf paper.

It was the shittiest thing he had ever written and he wished he was dead.