I decided to start doing some Reddit writing prompts to help streamline my writing. I tend to be a bit verbose. This was and is my first attempt at it. I forced myself to write it quickly and tried to limit my length to match the attention span of the average Redditer. It still a bit long but I’m getting better. For a sleepless 3 AM story it turned out ok.
The Writing Prompt
“Far in the future, parents now purchase the traits of their perfect child. They decide everything from intelligence to looks. Better qualities cost significantly more money. Tell me about the imperfect life of the most expensive child ever born”
I glanced down at my doodle in progress while professor Gaul prattled on about one number or another. Every circle perfect, not a single smudge marred the penciled shading, and every flaw perfectly calculated. Da Vinci himself would envy it. Surely someone would buy it for a few bucks at lunch. Three more just like it and mom could stay home from work for a night…maybe.
With an annoyed sigh I raised my head to face the front of the class. Professor Gaul had always been a problem. In English I flashed my winning smile, in ethics my BS prose could sway any debate, in science I just had to spend one lunch a month helping out in the lab, but Gaul wanted my attention. Something I simply refused to give. I knew more than he ever would, why should I waste my time with him? Another needlessly complicated problem awaited. “Glad that you’re still with us Edwin. Now would you mind solving the problem on the board since you obviously already know it seeing as you’re not paying attention.”
“Obviously.” The kids close enough to hear snickered and Gaul glared. I had mumbled too quietly for him to be sure, but he knew all the same. He just couldn’t do anything about it. For the first time this month I scanned the board. Chapter 4! How had he only taught to chapter 4? He wanted me to do his job. Not this time. In my mind I built the problem, saw the models and graphs, and bit by bit I whittled down to the answer. Not even complicated. “3 plus or minus 2i.”
Gaul’s nose crinkled and his brow creased, but you can’t punish a kid for being right. Even if he thought I cheated he couldn’t prove it. “Well smart ass why don’t you show the rest of the class how you came up with that.” He extended the chalk and waited, impatiently tapping his foot.
I knew what he wanted. He wanted me to show a step by step method that would get you to the answer, but completely miss the point. Why parrot the cold methods of the old and dead when the answer held so much perfection and beauty? I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. Instead of the line by line step ladder expected I started to draw the concept from my head. Not half way through the first curve he pushed me away from the board. The cloyingly sweet scent of his cologne filled my senses. No man should ever wear that scent.
“I’m sick of you cocky attitude. I want you out of this classroom. I don’t care what the Dean says I’m failing you.”
I stood in shock and anger. It didn’t really matter. I could test out of this class, the next class, and the next class. The doctors gave me the ability to memorize entire textbooks in mere days and the artistic mind to visualize concepts with ease. That perfect memory allowed me to speak six languages, to debate politics with senators, to handle complex problems and their solutions in my mind, it allowed me to remember the first argument my parents had when their fixed loan rate hadn’t been so fixed, to recall the faces of every agent that dragged my father away to work off his debt, the exact brand of whiskey on my mother’s breath before her first night in her new job, the ability to match each scent on her the next morning to those that called themselves my mentors, and the sense to know it was all my fault. Tonight marked the second Tuesday of the month; the day before that cloying sweet scent would linger in the kitchen while mom made my breakfast with her head hung in shame. She shouldn’t feel that way; she did what she could, what she had to. She just wanted me to be happy and to bring my father home.
Chalk dust began to fall from my clenched fist. Not tonight. With a quick flick of my wrist I turned that line on the board into a middle finger before mirroring the image with my own hands. Professor Gaul turned a new shade of red and charged me; just like I planned. With ease I side stepped before burying my knee into his groin. I couldn’t hide my sneer when he slumped to the ground. At least he would be icing it instead of using it tonight.
The class cheered as I walked out the door. Why wouldn’t they? I helped them cheat, I made them laugh, and I got them in and out of all sorts of mischief. They loved me. Everyone loved me. Everyone except myself.