The Last Day of School

[Preface] Tuesday was the last day of the 2010-2011 school year. My students had already had their "graduation" or moving up day, all of their projects and final assessments were finished, and they even had their field day the day before. Naturally the students came to school with a bit of a "we're doing work attitude?" on the last day. Some may call me a hard-ass in these situations because I always have something for them to do (mostly because I don't want to just babysit a bunch of kids with nothing to do). And so each of my classes wrote a creative writing response to the following prompt... including me. 

"Write a story about a town that runs out of its sugar supply"

My story, which my students thought was hilarious simply because I chose one trouble-making 8th grader as the main character, follows [all names changed etc...].

Tuesday, May 24th was a beautiful, sun-filled day. For some it was made even better due to it being the last day of school. Everyone was all smiles, well almost everyone. Matty Maxwell Anders was, at the moment, not happy at all. Unlike many other students, today was not his last day of classes. His school year had been extended in direct correlation to how many times his name had been written on the board during the course of the school year. And for Matty, that equaled exactly the entire summer for him to continue his classes with the exception of a three day break before the next school year began. No, Matty was probably the least excited student to be found in a 100 mile radius. 

Plus, Matty had only just learned of this consequence that very morning and therefore had spent the last hour sitting in the corner of the classroom, curled up in a ball, wiping his tears against his shoulders, and slamming his glasses onto the floor, over and over again. The other students occasionally glanced over at him, but for the most part, they ignored his wails that were making their way across the classroom, just as they had tried to ignore his behavior throughout the school year. 

Suddenly a thought occurred to Matty. He adjusted his now mangled glasses, broken and off-kilter, back onto his face. He thought,"If I can't have fun, no one will!" His mind immediately pictured the goodies that were sitting in Mrs. Lowder's room waiting for all the good boys and girls to enjoy their end-of-the-year party. Cupcakes, and cookies, and doughnuts, and chips, and sodas...Matty was practically salivating at the plan that was forming in his mind. He stood up quickly in the small room where the 8th grade spent much of their time. Matty knew that in order to make his plan work he would have to escape what he clearly viewed as his solitary confinement. He also knew that he was fast, and could probably slip out undetected since Ms. Adams and the rest of his classmates were ignoring him. 

Matty made sure to continue his sounds of crying so that the others wouldn't suspect anything. If Ms. Adams had been looking in Matty's direction she would have seen Matty slinking across the back of the class in an exaggerated tiptoe, with his glasses all askew, and drool dripping from his mouth and chin. He actually looked very much like a zombie and this would have scared Ms. Adams considerably since she had always been a little concerned about zombie invasions- a fear that was only made worse by a nightmare she had of two past students turned zombie, but that is a whole separate story...and that was only if she had seen him, but she didn't. 

Matty snuck through the backdoor, closed it quietly and took a moment to evaluate his next step. Manic and hyperventilating, Matty sprinted out around the back side of the school, toward the pick-up/drop-off parking lot. He monkey climbed the gate and dropped down from the 6ft metal fence ignoring his supposed sprained toe. In fact, he took this moment to rip off his foot brace and spike it onto the ground. "Ah, Ha, Ha!" he laughed maniacally. 

He ran to Mrs. Lowder's room and slammed open the door before realizing he needed some sort of bag to hold everything he planned on acquiring. He ran to the storage shed and grabbed a handful of huge trash bags. Back to Mrs. Lowder's room he ran, slammed the door back open, and immediately began throwing every cookie and cake he could get his hands on, into the bags. Mrs. Lowder and the sixth graders were so shocked to see one of their classmates so obviously having a psychotic breakdown that they were completely caught up watching what was taking place. Plus, Matty's appearance at this point was frightening. He was foaming at the mouth, and had spit flying everywhere with each one of his spastic movements. His glasses were broken, he had only one shoe, and his hair was sticking straight up from his sweat. The class just sat there, mouths open in awe. No one moved. 

Matty realized this could work to his advantage. He quickly filled two bags, ran across the playground with his loot, and stashed it into the bushes. He proceeded to pay a similar visit to each and every classroom at the school. He even broke into the kindergarten graduation celebration and took all of their goodies too- laughing sinisterly as he shoved cookies and doughnuts into his mouth. As he made his last exit out of the last celebration he swiped the graduation cap off the head of a five year old boy, turned, bowed, tipped the cap, and said, "Bidet,good sir" as a thank you. 

Every class was simply too shocked to stop him. By this time, Matty was covered in frosting, chocolate, sprinkles, crumbs and anything else you can imagine. He squatted next to his bags and bags of treats behind the bushes. No one knew where he was. He shoved his hands blindly into the bags and accepted each and every item his fingers could latch onto. With each new sugar filled treat that was pushed into his mouth and down his throat, his plan of attack grew bigger and crazier. Matty was on such a sugar high that any consequences of his actions did not even enter his mind. As he feasted, his eyes darted across the parking lot. He needed out, but was unsure how to make it happen. 

He spotted a car emissions testing site conveniently located across the street. He watched for a few minutes as a car was left running to be checked. He also noticed that the next vehicle in line was a small school bus, older, one that was obviously not used for student transportation. Matty understood that this was his chance, maybe his only chance to escape and turn the next stage of his plan into action. He kneeled, peered through the fence, and waited for the perfect moment. Matty watched as the employee stepped away from the bus that was left running. 

Matty bolted toward the gate, startling a few parents who were at the school to take their five-year-old home. When later asked, Susie's parents said it was quite a sight. They said, "Matty looked as thought he had been decorated with frosting and topped with leaves, dirt, and twigs." Plus, they said he was running erratically, zigzag instead of straight, which investigators later determined was caused by the poor vision due to his broken glasses, and his wearing only one shoe. 

Matty made it to the bus, jumped up easily into the driver's seat and proceeded to hijack the bus. He screeched out of the emissions testing area, flipped a U-Turn (so loved by Arizonians), and halted and lurched the bus as he attempted to switch gears in the old manual bus. Sugar was on his side though, and somehow he managed to figure it out, AND pick up his goodies along the way. 

This was the last anyone at Matty's school ever saw of him again, but it was not the last they heard of him. Matty continued his spree of goody looting until the city was completely empty. Every now and then a video from a convenience store surveillance, or ice cream shop, or a grocery store would turn up on YouTube showing Matty, still manic, still covered in cakes and cookies, and most importantly, still completely distracted from his schoolwork. 


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Maybe it's because I know this "Matty" well and could totally see it all happening. He must have LOVED your story too. Any chance to be the center of attention, right?

  2. I remember our last day of English! I think you had us presenting on 'Lord of the Flies'. I actually like having to do something on the last day of school, it's such a bore when we just laze about for the bell. Also, the official demonym for Arizona is 'Arizonan'.

  3. You never cease to surprise me Jacob :) Thanks for the culture lesson. (demonym=why you scored so high on your ASVAB)


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