Movie Day: A Short Story


Katherine Timm '25, staff writer

The room was dark as Heather, and her friend Cory entered Mr. Hull’s classroom. “Great,” Cory groaned as they took their seats. “Another day of this boring movie. By the way, have you finished your part of the paper?”

It was common knowledge at their school that Mr. Hull always assigned his sophomore U.S. history class three days to write a group paper on a Revolutionary War battle. A more benevolent teacher would have given the students class time to work, but Mr. Hull made the class sit through The Patriot instead. That would help them remember the year of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

“I’ve finished my part, yeah,” Heather replied, “but Owen hasn’t even started. I swear if he doesn’t….” She trailed off as Owen walked in with his friend Ian. They took their seats just as the bell rang, and Mr. Hull walked into the room carrying the DVD case.

“Okay, everyone, we’re going to finish The Patriot today,” he said. He paused at his desk, then pointedly added, “And remember, your papers are due tomorrow.” Heather glared at Owen, hoping he would get the message. He didn’t – in fact, he already had his AirPods in.

The music started, and the class assumed their movie-watching positions: Ian frantically worked on his paper, Owen watched an infinitely more exciting video, and Cory tried her darndest to pay attention to a scene that could best be described as “The Patriot Stares Longingly at His Love Interest – Pt. 87.”

Heather, on the other hand, took the liberty to whisper at Owen angrily. “Owen, what gives? You haven’t done your part of our paper – you know, the one that’s due tomorrow?”

Owen took out his AirPods and stared at her in confusion before asking, “What paper?”

“I told you!” Heather whispered back, trying to make herself heard over the cannonballs flying across the screen. “The paper that’s due tomorrow! The paper you haven’t even started!”

“But I did,” whispered Owen.

“You just said you didn’t even know what paper I was talking about, you liar!”

The class was barely watching the movie anymore. Everyone – except for Mr. Hull, who was obliviously grading papers at his desk – was staring at Owen and Heather.

“I’ve done the paper for this class if that’s what you’re talking about,” said Owen. “Since when were we working on it together?”

“Since Mr. Hull assigned it! We got partnered together, remember?” Heather was nearly yelling at this point. Even Mr. Hull looked up.

“Heather, please. We’re trying to watch the movie.” He said it like he was forcing himself to believe it.

“But Mr. Hull, Heather and I weren’t partnered together,” replied Owen. He looked like he wanted to comment on the movie, as well, but thought better of it at the last minute.

“Of course, we were, Owen! Just check the document I sent you!” Heather said as Mr. Hull turned up the movie’s sound to drown out her and Owen’s argument.

“Fine.” Owen opened his emails and showed Heather the document. “See? Right there. ‘The Battle of Yorktown, by Heather Norwich and…’”

“DONE!” yelled Ian as the cannon fire ceased. “Sorry, it took me so long to get that paper done, Heather. I thought I was working with Cory.”