Blog: Deadlines part 1

So, I thought I would do something different and share part of a short story that I am working on. I hope you enjoy it.

The day always started with the announcements, always. There was a short burst of static and then the plaintive voice of the secretary Doris would blast through the school. She’d say the date “Oct 23” then she would quote some daily words of wisdom. “Life isn’t about deadlines.”  Ray smirked at the irony, Doris continued. She read the day’s announcements about activities that nobody really cared about. But then she said something that even her voice couldn’t make uninteresting.

“And our condolences to Mr. Dart, whose deadline is coming soon.”

The entire class stared at him now, Mr. Dart who looked pale and had sunken eyes.

“Surprise” he murmured. One of the girls who wore too much makeup brought her hand up to her mouth.
“Mr. Dart, I’m so sorry. We’re all going to miss you in a few days?” She exclaimed with mock concern, gum smacking around in her mouth. Roy thought she was lying. If she cared at all she would have paid attention during class. If she was going to miss him so much why was this first class that she wasn’t just messing around on her phone? No, she wouldn’t miss him – just like how most people wouldn’t. Sure, by the picture frame on his desk (the one he kept glancing at) it was pretty obvious that he had a family. But they must have known it had been coming for awhile. This deadline doesn’t just sneak up on you.

Mr. Dart was young for his deadline, couldn’t be more than thirty. He was probably still building a family. People with the earliest deadlines always had the most kids. Maybe it was a way of leaving their mark – leaving a legacy. Roy thought that was stupid. His parents had tried it with him and his sister. But now, well they don’t talk that much. Roy didn’t plan on having kids.

Most people had decently long deadlines – if there was such a thing. They’d have a nice life. It would be long enough to accomplish some dreams, but they still fretted over wasted time. They’d spend their younger years partying, trying to suck as much living out of life as they could. Roy thought that was stupid too. Because when their deadline got closer they realized that it wasn’t living as much as it was forgetting. Then they’d spend years trying to fix what they’ve broken: relationships, families, opportunities. But all the while they were turning back time, the deadline was getting closer. It also gets closer. That’s what scared people.
Most people, not Roy. He had made his life about deadlines. He planned every minute of everyday. He didn’t as much have a life as he had a schedule. But that schedule was going to take him places – he was sure of it. Then his life would be remembered.

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