by The Individual Voice
"Last-Minute Lara" her mother called her. Late to school and meals. Studying for tests all night before.
So, it was no surprise that Lara waited until the night before the writing contest deadline. Two hundred and fifty words. How hard could that be? She was spewing out thousands a day for Nanowrimo.
Of course the thousands would not be read by another soul, and Jason’s contest submissions were read by everyone who was anyone in the literary blogosphere. The shorter piece required logorrhea edited down to size, hacking at adjectives, adverbs, repetitions, clarifying, specifying, condensing.
So Lara started a story about writing a story, clever, she thought, for a last minute foray into the closing contest. But hunger drove her every few minutes into the kitchen for snacks: ice cream sandwiches, cups of tea and blueberry bread to quell her anxiety.
Why did she do this to herself? Lara knew. She grew up in a rushed house, the clocks set seven minutes ahead (five would be too easy to figure out). When they went to weddings as a family, they would arrive an hour early, to beat traffic, hanging around while the immediate family took photos and the band set up. They would leave and hour early, too.
Lara munched on her blueberry bread, swallowing her anxiety, and peeked out the window. Dawn had arrived, pink and blue clouds announcing the contest deadline.
Oh, wait a minute. The deadline said PM, not AM. She still had the whole day.