Edward Starr, called Ed by his friends and Eddie by his mother, sat up straight in his desk on the day of the test, nervously fiddling with his mechanical pencil despite his knowledge that he would pass the test with an A.
The rest of the students in his math class looked normal. Normal levels of nervousness, and cockiness, and normal levels of actually knowing, or just not caring about grades. Certain math nerds in the room were making it look like Edward wasn't the only one getting an A on the test.
Oh well. At least they knew the material they were being tested on.
The bell rang and the chatter of talkative teens died within thirty seconds. One last whisper carried through the room from one student's obscure and confusing conversation and everyone, including the unfortunate whisperer, pretended not to have heard.
Mrs. Devine hurried through the quick announcements and requirements, telling everyone to clear their desks as she passed out the tests.
"Keep them face down until the test begins," she droned, repeating the same words as she did every time, "And don't peek at your neighbor's answers. It's not worth it the price of your integrity."
Cameron, the noisy boy three seats over from Edward, was practically lip-syncing her words as he heard them.
"I'll know if you cheat," the teacher continued louder than before, "And I will give you an F if you do. You may begin."
Edward flipped the paper over and began scribbling answers, only looking at the questions long enough to find out what the answer should look like, then putting in random numbers. As soon as all the questions had answers next to them Edward put his pencil down, placing his elbows on the desk and resting his forehead in his hands. Satisfied with the stability of his position, Ed dived out of his body and into the school section of his mental world.
Instantly he was alone. The new walls around him were white brick, with whiteboards and filing cabinets and posters lining the walls. It had the feeling of a school room, but when he thought about it, he knew it was all made-up. The posters were empty white rectangles and when he focused, he could see through the metal filing cabinets and at the white wall that actually didn't have the texture he had imagined for it. There was only one door, behind Edward.
In the front and center of the room was the Balance, a huge pair of scales to measure Edward's probability of success in… well, everything. The bowl-resembling, plate-like dishes on each side were three feet in diameter, big enough to hold any school supplies he would find in the other room.
Edward jerked his gaze away from the weighing device and hurrying to the door in the back wall, yanking it open to analyze what he had to work with.
The other room was a closet, with imaginary, empty shelves and an imaginary light fixture in the ceiling. The only thing real in the room was the pile of glue bottles in the middle of the floor, reaching almost to Edward's waist even though there wasn't enough space in the closet for that to possibly happen.
Reaching down, Edward gathered as many of the bottles into his arms as he could, turning into the bigger room as soon as his arms were full. Hurrying to the Balance, Edward dumped his burden into the right bowl/plate/dish. A clatter of plastic hitting metal echoed around the room as the glue bottles hit the surface of the dish.
The right scale went down an inch, weighed down by the sticky Elmer's product. It wasn't normal to only have one kind of item to unbalance the scales, but if glue worked, Edward wouldn't complain.
After five loads of glue bottles, the right scale touched the floor, bringing the left side up to the level of Edward's chin.
That should work, he thought with a smile. Now he would get an A on the test, and probably in the whole class in general. The probability was unbalanced now, in Edward's favor.
Closing his eyes, Edward jumped upwards, back into his real body sitting in a real desk in a room without magical weighing devices. His skin tingled as he opened his real eyes and saw his normal classroom.
Almost everyone was done with their tests now, and Mrs. Devine was already collecting the papers, telling everyone to finish the question they were on and hand it in. When she reached Edward, he handed the test over without looking at the teacher.
The bell rang and everyone stood, slinging backpacks onto shoulders and the chatter from before resumed, louder now that the only nervousness was to see their results.
"You'll get the tests back tomorrow," she called over the hubbub.
The students flooded out of the room, and Edward remembered with a surge of relief that math was his last class. His precious hours of freedom were at hand. Now he could find Ryan and remind him about Chad's party. The dufus had probably already forgotten by now.
A finger tapped Edward's shoulder as he turned to leave, and he whipped around to see who it was.
Mrs. Devine stood in front of Edward, glaring at him as if he had stolen all her dry-erase markers. She handed a paper to Edward, and he realized it was his test.
The teacher turned away and went onto her office, leaving Edward alone.
At the top of his test was a big red F, causing his stomach to plummet in disbelief. He couldn't have failed!
Written in smaller letters on the other side of the paper was a note that made Edward's stomach plunge lower and his anxiety reach new heights. He just stared at the message, too shocked to look away.
Don't try your magic on me. I know what you can do, and I won’t tolerate it in this class. There is, perhaps, another class which you might be interested in joining. Talk to me tomorrow. We’ll weigh the benefits.
Edward stood motionless, baffled, confused beyond words. Eventually, through a haze, he managed to fold up the paper, put it in his pocket, and walk out of the oh-so-real classroom, thinking thoughts of a reality that was now promising a bigger world than that in his own mind.
Author Notes: This came from an internet prompt, so hey, they aren't all useless. Um.... Rate this, tell me what you think, and tell me where you think this story may go. I can't promise I'll write more any time soon, because I have a different project I'm working on. Speaking of my other project, if you guys want to read it, tell me, and I'll put the first section on here. Thanks for reading!