The Contest.

I was on my way home from school one day when my phone buzzed with a text. I flipped it open and clicked 'view'

Leslie Riggs:
Go home and go to They're giving away a van that fits fifteen, and a year's supply of gas. Click 'enter contest' and fill out the form.

I turned to Elise who was walking by my side, nodding along with her iPod dangling in her ears.

"This is weird." I say and Elise turns to the sound of my voice.

"What's weird?" She asks.

"This text." And I hand my phone off to her.

"This may be the opportunity of a lifetime...ooh, shiny!"

She hands the phone back to me and I read it again.

"Do you think I should do it?"

'"Can't hurt to try." She says, her words full of sage advice.

When I got home, I booted up my laptop and went on the website. I filled out my name, address, email, birthday, and state and hit send. There. The only thing left to do was wait.

And wait I did. I waited while doing my algebra homework, I waited while writing an essay. I waited while I ate dinner, I waited while I took my medicine, and I waited while I finished the rest of my homework,I waited while I took the rest of my medicine, I waited while I took a shower, I waited while I read, and I waited while I slept.

The next morning, I was so preoccupied with waiting that I barely tasted my medicine, which was a nice change, because it usually tastes so vile that I end up puking it up. I absentmindedly picked up a random book off my bedroom floor, started reading the first page and set out the door, so busy with waiting that I forgot my lunch on the kitchen table. Just as I neared the turn to Elise's house, I remembered I forgot my lunch.

"Shit." I muttered and sprinted back home, my book hastily zipped into my bulging backpack.
I was seventy-five seconds later than normal at Elise's house, which was really thirty seconds earlier than our agreed upon-time,and so I appeared at her back door, panting, "Sorry I'm late, I (gasp) forgot my lunch on the (gasp) table when I was forty-three seconds to your house, so I (gasp) had to run home and get it. I'm really sorry."

Elise stared at me, the stare that I have come to know as the 'Mary for pete's sakes, a late for you is a normal person's early, relax, I'm not even finished getting ready' stare.

"You want to come in?" She offered, still holding her green toothbrush in her hand. Apparently I had interrupted her teeth cleaning.

"I'll wait here." I said, gesturing toward the air, not realizing that my book was in my backpack, tucked away from the danger of airborne particles. Well, that and the fact that my mom wanted me to 'be social' and I had promised years earlier that I wouldn't read while walking with people. Alone though...well, I hadn't gotten kidnapped yet.

"Ok. Be out soon." And she left to finish brushing her teeth.

Thirty-two seconds later, she was out, buckling her backpack snap around her stomach and adjusting the shoulder straps, then putting her one working ipod earbud in the ear that was not facing me.

"How'd the contest go?"

"Great, I entered at the last possible moment, results should be in any minute via email, if we win, we have to take some classes."


"Yeah, uhm, basic stuff like, roadside repair, first aid, navigation, group therapy, individual therapy, physicals, immunizations...the ordinary stuff."

"I understand the roadside repair and stuff, but therapy?"

"They don't want a bunch of psycho-maniacs together in a small space."

Elise paused for several seconds, turned to look me squarely in my eyes. "Then why the hell did you enter us?"

I did not have an answer to that. "We'll just have to act. And probably prepare with note cards."

"You think that'll do it?"

"Sadly, my psychic abilities are still struggling, so I cannot give you a definitive answer."

"Darn it, Mary. When are you going to get it fixed?" She joked.

"It'll have to wait until my X-ray vision is top-notch."

We arrived at school shortly after that and settled into the rhythm of school. I waited in anticipation until my phone buzzed with an email.

Now, I tend to be a very precise person who doesn't break rules. So, I shoved my phone deeper into my pocket and turned to pay attention to my history class. I didn't do a very good job at focusing, as my leg kept bouncing up and down and my fingers kept dancing across the table.

"Ms. Wilson, do you need to go to the bathroom?" The teacher asked.

"No, sir." I said blushing.

Like a dove sent from Heaven, the bell rang for classes to switch. I already had my books with me and my class was right next door, so I leaped out of my seat, scrawling the homework in my planner.

I ran to my next class and sank in my seat, flipping open my phone.


I hastily opened the email and watched the blue bar spread across the screen as it loaded.

"Congratulations! You are the lucky winner of a free fifteen seat car and free gas for a lifetime! Please go to your nearest radio station and present this code to them: ZYXCGFHIP. They will present you with the car and your gas certificate. You need to have all of the aforementioned classes finished within one month. The link below explains how to get to all of the locations. Thanks for entering!"

We had four minutes until the bell rang, so I sent out a text to my friends.

"Great news. Emergency lunch meeting."

The bell rang and I turned my attention to literature.