January Writing Prompt – The Essay

By Abigail Marshall

“I’ll see you all tomorrow morning. Remember to finish your essays for tonight.”

My eyes jump from my phone to my computer. Finally we’re done, I haven’t been paying attention to this class since 10 this morning. I close my laptop and jump onto my bed. Did she say something about an essay? I don’t think so, I would know if we had an essay due today. I scroll through my phone for hours, switching from app to app until it dies. I let it charge while I open my computer again to find something to watch until I fall asleep. 

After an hour filled with Netflix and Youtube, my phone lights up and I go to check the notification. My only friend in English class texted me to ask what power my essay was about. I ask her what she means, and she reminds me of the essay that I’ve been ignoring for weeks. We were supposed to write about what kind of superpower we would choose if we could have any. Oh no!! My mom is going to kill me if I don’t hand this in on time, she’s constantly telling me how “There’s no excuse for slacking if you’re in your room all day.”

I rush across the room to my laptop and open a new document. I have 3 hours to write, edit, and hand in a 600 word essay. I can do this, I can do this, I can do this. It’ll be fine. I think back to all the times I’ve answered this question as ice breakers at school and camp. How did I answer them again? Oh yeah. I write about the perks of teleportation. Think about all the time we could save! Pollution would disappear completely! Life would be so much easier! I fake my way through the whole thing, barely making the word count, and turn it in without thinking. Thank goodness I got that text. If I hadn’t, I would’ve been dead by dawn at the hands of my own mother. I turn off the bright light beaming from my screen and finally get some sleep. 

I wake up hours later to my alarm blaring in my ear and light streaming through my curtains. I was so tired last night I forgot to close them. I shut off my screaming alarm and realize how badly I need to go to the bathroom. I also forgot to brush my teeth in the confusion. I close my eyes and yawn, but when I open them, I’m not lying in bed. I’m looking at myself in the bathroom mirror. How did I get here? I was just on my bed…I think. I must have walked here. I clean myself up and hear my stomach growling. I need food, I turn to walk downstairs to the kitchen, but I’m already there. This time my eyes were open. In a second, I travelled a whole flight of stairs and 2 hallways. But that’s impossible. I warily eat breakfast and drink coffee before standing in the middle of the room. “Bedroom”, I say aloud. In a flash, I’m standing on my bed. How am I doing this? “Living room”, “Backyard”, “Front door”. I get from one place to another in a second flat. I don’t know how or why this is happening—I’m barely moving! But I don’t want it to stop. I need to test my limits.

In a matter of minutes, I’ve travelled to Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, and back to my room. This can’t be happening. Am I part of some experiment? A TV show maybe? I wait for a host with white hair, a fancy tux and a tie to come give me a huge check for being a part of this insane prank. It doesn’t happen. School starts in 4 minutes, but I don’t care. I’m pumped full of adrenaline and coffee, and now I can teleport. School doesn’t matter to me anymore.

TELEPORTATION! That’s it! I think back to my essay. I remember writing about how exciting and useful it would be to get places with no travel time! I’m not sure how that has anything to do with this, but it’s a start. I don’t really care about how I got these powers, only that I have them, and I won’t stop using them now just so I can sit on my bed and ignore my teachers all day. 

What should I do? I think of all the places I’ve dreamed of going throughout my whole life, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil! Places that seemed so far off from me just days ago are now literally seconds away, I can go anywhere and everywhere, twice! It’s the best day of my life. I buy churros from a cart on the side of a road in Mexico. I visit the Taj Mahal in India, I swim with dolphins in Greece. I buy postcards from every place I visit. I can’t believe any of this is happening; to me of all people! But I don’t question it, I just go with it. Around the world in 80 days is nothing compared to the mere hours I spend travelling to any and every country with a flag. 

I get back home, tired and euphoric after the day I’ve had. Then I remember my mother. Suddenly my high is gone. She’s going to be so angry, I doubt I’ll live to see another day. But if this is the last day I live, I know I’ll die happy. I make it back to my room just in time for my mom to call me down to dinner, I flinch. There’s no way she missed the call from school saying I was absent. I’m a dead girl walking. If I go downstairs, there’s no getting out of it. So I don’t, instead I go to some restaurant downtown. I sneak back into my room and pin up my postcards from every place I went today. I get ready to go to sleep and finally crawl into my bed and close my eyes. Then I wake up,  my curtains are open and my teeth aren’t brushed. I go downstairs to tell everyone about the crazy dream I had.