Prompt 300-Cheat

Have you ever cheated on a school homework assignment or a test? Do you still regret it to this day?

Joey leapt out of bed as his alarm blared for the final time. He squinted at the clock and muttered a curse that his mother would have scolded him for using. The bus would be at the end of his street in ten minutes. He shoved his books and folders unceremoniously into his backpack. He barely had time to brush his teeth while he got dressed, but somehow he made it out the door in time to catch his bus.

Jeff and Maureen had saved his seat for him and they waved groggily as he shuffled up the aisle. “Mornin’,” Maureen yawned.

“Oversleep again?” Jeff chuckled.

Joey shrugged his bag off his shoulders and set it on the floor between his feet as he sat next to Maureen. “I was up late finishing that lab report for Mr. Munroe.”

“Ugh, my data was all kinds of screwed up. I’m probably gonna have to redo it.”

“Could be worse,” Maureen said. “At least you got data. I have to go to a make-up lab at the end of the week because I was out sick during the actual lab.”

“I might be there with you anyway,” Jeff sighed.

Joey closed his eyes and listened to them talk. There were a few more stops on the way and it would be another fifteen minutes before they got to school. He just wanted to ret his eyes for those precious few minutes. Their discussions of the homework assignments had him doing a mental check of his own list.

He’d done the lab last because it was just data manipulation that he could do in his sleep. His math homework had taken the biggest chunk of his night but it was a welcome change from the dry reading he’d had to do for history.

“That vocab sheet was tricky this week,” Jeff was saying. “I kept mixing up provincial and pastoral in the fill-in-the-blanks section.”

Joey opened his eyes wide. “Is that due today?”

Maureen and Jeff exchanged sidelong glances. “Same as every Wednesday,” she said.

“Did you forget to do it?”

Joey groaned. “I got so wrapped up in Mrs. Jordan’s polynomials that I forgot all about English.” He had English first period.

Maureen was already unzipping her bag. “Here, just copy mine.”

“Hey, you never let me copy your homework,” Jeff groaned.

“That’s because you would never learn anything if you did. I know Joey is good with vocabulary and would have no problem getting the right answer if he did it himself.” She handed him the paper with a stern expression. “This isn’t going to become a habit, ok?”

He could have cried. “I owe you one,” he said. One missed assignment wouldn’t be the end of the world, but he didn’t like missing them all the same. He hurriedly copied her answers to his own sheet. She was right about him, he never struggled with vocab. He was already memorizing the words as he transferred them over and understood all of them. He handed her homework back to her with a smile. “Thanks. I’ll help you study them for the test on Friday,” he added to Jeff.

“Yeah, alright.” He grinned. “It’s a date.” Maureen rolled her eyes as the boys laughed, but she didn’t regret helping Joey out at all.

Notes: Sorry for the late-ish post. My laptop kept freezing up on me while I tried to get this going. The only cheating I ever did was in this same vein, and usually I was the one letting people copy my homework, not the other way around. Mostly just friends who I knew were busy with extracurriculars and just spaced out on a worksheet here or there.

As far as tests go, I was the type of kid who would stare off into space to work the problem out in my head before putting pen(cil) to paper or just straight up get lost in thought. When I would catch myself doing it, I would panic and wonder if the teacher saw and had thought I was trying to peek at my classmates’ work. I was a “good kid” and so the idea that a teacher thought I was being dishonest or disingenuous was anathema to me.

But anyway, it’s Friday. It’s the weekend. We survived another week. And hey, look at that, we’ve written from 300 prompts! Let’s go for 300 more! I’ll have a new list on Sunday. See you then!

PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!

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