Message to Readers

I had originally published this under a Flash Fiction group prompt. I would really appreciate feedback.

The Semester Challenge

January 10, 2020


Ramona stood at the door, fidgeting with the dismantled doorbell in her hands. Blowing a stray strand of hair from her face, she raised her hand and knocked on the door. Holding her breath in anticipation, she quickly stilled her hands and hid them behind her back. Loud footsteps pounded on the floor right behind the door, causing her to stiffen up and start looking around for a place to hide in panic.

It was too late to hide. The door suddenly swung open and a hulking figure filled the doorway, gazing curiously down at her petite form. 

"Hello," Ramona squeaked out, sticking arm out to the man in greeting.

"Hey, I'm Reuben," he replied in a deep voice that vaguely resembled a rumble. Taking her hand in his, he shook it curtly but firmly.

"I'm Ramona. I uhh... found something that I think belongs to you," Ramona said, slowly removing her other hand from behind her back, handing the doorbell to the man.

Staring at it in disbelief, he took it numbly. Slowly, understanding spread over his features and he let out a thunderous laugh. Ramona flinched at the loudness.

"Let me guess, something red?" he asked her, referring to the semester challenge. Every English Literature student was tasked with making a new friend each semester. This was done by drawing a name from a ballot with the names of the consenting students. Each name was accompanied by a task: To 'steal' an item of said student and introducing yourself by returning it. At first, people 'stole' harmless items like pens and erasers but as the semesters went by, the students began choosing more and more random items. Until it simply became tradition to go as crazy as you can. Although, since the stakes can be as high as the participants choose, few students actually participate.

"Nope. Something that starts with the letter D," Ramona said, blushing furiously at the implications of her statement.

"You're lucky. Mine just said-" Reuben began but was cut off when a yellow blur suddenly rushed past him, splashing water on the both of them.

"Athenia, come on, we've talked about this. Just because Jake can't take a shower to save his life doesn't mean you shouldn't either. Go back in and let Jake finish. Splash as much water as you want on him, maybe he'll take the hint," Reuben said, stomping over to the soapy and wet golden retriever rolling around in the grass. A muffled yell of disagreement sounded from inside the house. Ramona assumed that was Jake.

"It seems as if you're a bit busy so I'll just show myself out. Been a pleasure," Ramona said, rushing down the porch and away from the house.

"I'll be seeing you Ramona Moran. I'm yet to steal something and just warning you, I'm not the type to return it as easily," Reuben said, grinning at Ramona mischievously. 

Surnames were only used on two things at school. Registration and the semester challenge.


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  • January 10, 2020 - 10:04am (Now Viewing)

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