48-Hour Challenge on writing.com. I found and accepted the challenge with an hour and a half remaining before the deadline. I wrote this story, then took 25 mins to figure out how to submit for the contest. I got it submitted with 9 mins remaining. The only guidance was to write a story of under 500 words while using the song Wake Me Up by Avicii as inspiration.
Desmond is excruciatingly bored, his leg bouncing under his desk as he continues to bite at the thumbnail of his paint speckled hand. His art teacher is going over theory—a complete and utterly hopeless waste of his time. It might as well be trigonometry for all the use it will have after he finishes school.
The gray hood of his jacket is pulled over his head and his sleeves are bunched up around his elbows. Various splotches of neon-orange, red, green and other colors stain his fingertips. And his jacket? It was monotone once—but that day is behind him now.
His jacket pockets are empty, but that doesn’t stop him from periodically sliding his hands inside to make sure. At some point, his accomplices had started rating him out. He didn’t know when exactly, but their jingling as he walked was probably the main cause…probably.
He had become so used to the balls jingling within the cans that he no longer noticed, instead becoming anxious when their sound was absent. If only his teachers could move past their own problems of hearing them, wouldn’t that be fantastic?
Desmond’s walking through school had led to several confiscations and imprisonments of his many, many friends. His teachers had learned to pat him down prior to his entering class, but he had learned as well. The sacrifice of those bygone friends allowed him to learn the value of leaving things outside. Then they would not be confiscated, and the teachers would not hear him as he abandoned their boring lecture.
…which just happened, by the way.
The teacher had started talking about proper form and rules…rules?! The audacity! He had never liked their rules, their coloring books that gave him boundaries to remain within. He didn’t need their approval or to be in their contests. All he needed, he thought, as he rounded the school building and knelt to grab a sack full of moral support…oh wait, he actually doesn’t need anything anymore, sighing as the jingling sack chases away his disquiet.
He finally comes to the wall he had previously chosen. Paint tops are sent tumbling as he liberates the nozzles with a flick of his thumb. The wall’s surface
is was a solid off-white, and the mortar is so near flush with the brick’s surface, that he couldn’t have dreamed up a better canvas.
But Desmond knew his time was limited so he worked fast. His eyes keep returning to a clock on the wall as a corridor takes shape within his newest artwork. Several colored tops now sit on the tile floor around him, an audience watching as he finishes.
The last thing he uses is a sealant but turns to be between it and his art. Facing the can like a camera, the sack clutched in hand, he depresses the nozzle. The can drops away as the bell rings and other kids begin to file into the cafeteria. He simply turns and continues walking down the corridor.