A Story of Procrastination | Teen Ink

A Story of Procrastination MAG

October 6, 2008
By Anonymous

Eleven thirty-one. It’s eleven ­thirty-one, and I’ve got nothing. Two weeks’ preparation, and it all comes down to this. Gnats swoop around my neck as my pen furiously dances on the paper.

Two hours. Two hours. Two fleeting hours counting down to judgment day. I had two weeks, two weeks, for five hundred words that tell a story, my story, a story of procrastination. People crowd around me, not knowing they are distracting me. My mind is a moth, they are the flame. I fly hopelessly toward them.

A gust of sudden wind rustles my paper, and I look down. Eleven forty-four. I’ve lost precious time! How can I overcome these distractions? Voices endlessly clamor in my mind. The worst thing is, they keep coming … the people, they’re everywhere.

The doors fling open and they rush out of the cafeteria, a sudden storm flooding my workspace like bugs, like caterpillars. They are caterpillars that eat and eat, devouring my blossoming ideas. My ideas are disappearing, leaving me! All ­because of the caterpillars, the people.

The bell. My veins ­con­tract. My heart stops beating for only a second, but it stops. My hands begin to shake uncontrollably. I stand and start walking to fourth period. Fifty-two minutes! I have 52 minutes to write a story, my story, a story of ­procrastination.

My walk quickens to a sprint. I’m running through the halls and I don’t care what they think because they don’t know me. They don’t know my situation. They never could … could they? Have these stressful feelings of frustration and shame ever filled their veins? Has aggravation and disappointment ever pumped through their hearts? Have I been a caterpillar?

Ouch. Wrist cramp! Is this karma for all the years that I’ve been the distraction? Well, the tables have turned all right! Has the distraction become the distracted?

In this sudden epiphany, I arrive at class. Students shuffle around their desks, but the room quickly falls silent. My ideas begin to return and recirculate, safely lodging the wretched caterpillars in their cocoons. My ideas are sprouting. They are growing and I love it.

I love it, but wait … These ideas have been tainted by ­stories filled with laughing, gossip, food, and reality. The characters have changed from knights, queens, and dragons to Benjamin, Angelique, Bianca, Tanner, and Mitchell. Worst of all, the antagonist has become Ernie, fat Ernie! How can I write about someone I hate? My ideas are ruined. They’re tainted and useless to me.

The bell rings. The cocoons are hatching and turning the caterpillars into butterflies. Butterflies that want to stay and live in my stomach, swirling and twirling around inside me. They fill me up. They make me want to vomit, vomit out all of these worthless ideas, and my feelings of shame and frustration.

As I approach the door, I can’t hold them in any longer. I feel the butterflies escaping through every orifice of my body. My pores pour sweat. My veins throb. My mouth spits out words, trying to explain everything I’ve gone through. My dead cat. My participation in extracurricular ideas. My extreme load of classes.

I want to speak, to say anything, but nothing comes. Something. Anything. They’re all excuses anyway, ­excuses that don’t help but delay the inevitability that at the end of this 52-minute class I have a paper due, a paper with metaphors, similes, ­alliteration, brushstrokes, and most importantly with my voice. My voice tells my story, a story of procrastination. All I have left are my poisoned ideas strung together into a story, my story, a story of procrastination.

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This article has 96 comments.

on Mar. 6 2017 at 6:27 am
LeisurelySketches GOLD, Tricity, Other
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Favorite Quote:
Your life has a limit but knowledge has none. (Zhuangzi)

Wonderful writing style, a gripping and humorous plot, and amazing expression. A flawless work of art.

on Nov. 10 2013 at 6:21 pm
Deej6595 BRONZE, Billerica, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 369 comments

Favorite Quote:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Nicely written. The topic is a good one. Is this based on a real experience.

bananacat36 said...
on Aug. 16 2013 at 4:24 pm
i loved this. its ironic because i'm writting an essay about my own struggles with procrastination and i'm procrastinating by reading about you procrastinating! i guess you could call it research.

on Sep. 28 2012 at 5:56 pm
crayola_green BRONZE, Somewhere Near A Corn Field, Other
1 article 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is... his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
-Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Today I had to turn in a study guide ...that I started last night. I spent three hours on it, and another hour on it today in school before my last class (no study hall D:). I know how you feel! This was a fantastic story/essay. Did you actually write this for a class? Nice work!

on Apr. 26 2012 at 11:35 pm
curlygurlray GOLD, Visalia, California
18 articles 1 photo 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
you have the life you let yourself take.

aha i loved it! it kept me laughing and wanting to know wat u do. i wish u didnt publish anonymously but im happy enough to kno yu got my praise(:

TTTeeSS GOLD said...
on Apr. 26 2012 at 7:11 pm
TTTeeSS GOLD, La Porte, Colorado
17 articles 6 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
There is no such thing as nothing, yet there is such thing as nothing, simply because there is nothing such as nothing.

Same thing I was thinking.

on Apr. 26 2012 at 5:53 am
elizabethlong BRONZE, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 32 comments
Awesome job!!!

. said...
on Mar. 13 2012 at 12:04 pm
Oh, my God. The tension was beautiful. this story reminds me of my old short stories (wonderful thing) and it's written beautifully. I couldn't help but smile the whole time I read it... Even though it was a macabre smile.

on Feb. 20 2012 at 3:38 pm
hedwigy13 PLATINUM, Piscataway, New Jersey
27 articles 2 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Only in the dictionary does success come before work." -unknown

Loved the figurative language. Funny thing is, I end up writing essays in lunch all the time. :D

I love this article! The part about Fat Ernie, Benjamin, Angelique, and all the other distractions were hilarious. The metaphors about the caterpillars and the butterflies were pretty creative too. Now... how to deal with the irony that I'm procrastinating at this very moment...

on Jan. 29 2012 at 2:39 pm
takeflight144 BRONZE, Birmingham, Alabama
3 articles 17 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
"if you could understand a single grain of wheat, you would die of wonder." --Martin Luther King Jr.

this is a great article! you are very talented

on Jan. 29 2012 at 12:40 am
HaagenDazzle BRONZE, Fargo, North Dakota
1 article 36 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own, we have no soul of our own civilization." Frank Lloyd Wright

This was superb! I can definitely relate to this! I especially love the comparison of distracting caterpillars to butterflies flying in your stomach- It was carried out smoothly throughout the entire story-you made the cliche so unique! Check out some of my artwork:) Keep up the great work!

on Jan. 7 2012 at 9:42 pm
firstsnowfalls DIAMOND, Marcellus, New York
51 articles 6 photos 105 comments
love it! i can totally relate.

on Jan. 7 2012 at 11:24 am
hobo12321 PLATINUM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
20 articles 11 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
none, there's too many, although the one about the grapefruit is good. Any by Douglas Adams

Awesome! i like the repetition...

on Dec. 16 2011 at 11:02 am
MarissaWhitecloud SILVER, Oskaloosa, Iowa
7 articles 0 photos 84 comments
This was a really good article! This is what I go through a lot. Keep on writing.

123abc said...
on Nov. 24 2011 at 6:28 pm




1)say your name 10 times

2)say your mom's name 5 times

3)say your crush's name 3 times

4)paste this on 4 other posts. if you do this your crush will kiss you on the nearest friday. if you don't do this after reading this you will get bad luck

send this to 4 other post in 143 minutes when done press F6 and the name of your crush will appear on the screen in big letters



on Nov. 24 2011 at 6:25 pm
Dino-chan BRONZE, Wentzville, Missouri
1 article 2 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"death cannot stop true love only delay it for a while" westly the princess bride

person 1: procrastanators unite!!!!!!

person 2: ...ehhh we'll do it tomarow

Meep said...
on Nov. 24 2011 at 10:20 am

Janina, if you don't understand the author's usage of "caterpillars and veins and stuff", then you don't understand literature.

Actually, I think that ending would've been slightly childish and cliche, especially since this sounds like a college report and therefore must be more sophisticated and original.

on Nov. 24 2011 at 9:34 am
livelife22 GOLD, Orlando, Florida
15 articles 9 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you love me I will always be in your heart, if you hate me I will always be on your mind. ~William Shakespeare

love it! but now ive remembered i need to start my science fair :P 

Ruiki SILVER said...
on Nov. 24 2011 at 9:14 am
Ruiki SILVER, Malabon City, Other
6 articles 0 photos 3 comments
A very relatable topic