Fiction 59–Student

The quick reb fox

Flustered, Terrence started over.

The quick red fox jumped ovr teh lazey

Why was this so hard?

The quik fox red jum

He tore out the sheet, fighting back tears.

“Hey Terr, wanna shoot some hoops?”

He nodded. Something he was good at. He closed the notebook, grabbed his dorm key, and joined his roommate.

K: Ah, yes, another one that does both depressing and funny. Tragically funny, but whatever. The setup and tone sets the payoff up beautifully. BRONZE

MD: So much is going on here. 59 words, and you manage to encapsulate a learning disorder; the fact that the learning disorder did not keep this kid out of college because, most likely, he played basketball well enough to get a scholarship; and enough empathy to not be mad or feel this kid is “coasting” on a sports scholarship. GOLD

W: Again, the things in the final paragraph that are left unspoken really help this story. My only quibble is that if his inability to write could push Terrence to tears, would he really be so willing to quit just to play basketball? That doesn’t seem as persuasive knowing that he’s old enough to live in a dorm. SILVER


I recently watched a documentary about kids similar to the one in the story. One student was hiding his Dr. Seuss books so his friends didn’t know he couldn’t read. Anyway, I remain in third place with just two weeks to go. Playoffs are certainly not a lock. Next story has to be about an artist.

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