Read Harold the Zombie from the beginning HERE.
Harold sat in his classroom surrounded by his fellow classmates and students. His teacher was reciting the rules for the upcoming examination with the practiced ease of someone who had said these same words a hundred times. Please use a #2 pencil, keep your eyes on your own test paper, answer as many questions as possible in the allotted time, and when finished please bring your test to the front of the class and go back to your desk to wait patiently on the other students to finish. Harold and the other students had heard it all before.
Once the test packets and scantrons were finished being passed out the test would begin. Unfortunately Harold was bored. He didn’t want to take a test. He had always found them tedious, and tiresome, but over the last few weeks Harold had discovered a love for reading. He had immersed himself in books, and had hardly taken his nose out of a book for the last three weeks. He had enjoyed reading before, but recently his love of stories had grown to near obsession. Currently he was reading a fascinating book by Neil Gaiman called “Good Omens” and right now he wanted nothing more than to be done with this silly test, and back within the pages of his book.
The test packet lay in front of him. A thick gray workbook with a seal on the outside right edge. Harold took his pencil and broke the seal when he and the class were instructed to do so. He turned the first page and read the instructions. They were the same words his teacher had said not 5 minutes before. Sighing he skipped the large majority of the instructions and moved onto the first question. It was a simple math problem. Looking at the next several questions Harold discovered there were 25 questions testing his comprehension with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. He answered them quickly.
Moving to the next section he was quizzed on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and spelling. Again he answered each question without any hesitation or pause. The test questions seemed easy, and he wondered to himself why they were asking such silly questions. It was at this moment that Harold looked up and around the room. His fellow classmates and students all sat hunched over their desks staring at the their individual scantrons and workbooks. They all wore expressions of concentration and confusion. Gary chewed on his pencil while he counted out numbers on his fingers. Janice seemed to be on the verge of crying as she struggled to know which box to fill in on the scantron. On and on it went as Harold looked at each and everyone of his classmates. Each of them seemingly struggling to answer each and every question.
Harold was surprised, and wondered if he had been given the wrong test by accident. Going back to the front of the workbook Harold reexamined each and every question and reviewed his answers. He was confident on every single one. So with nothing left to be done about it he stood up, test in hand and walked to the front of the room.
His teacher was not paying much attention. She was reading a novel which Harold had enviously noticed she had pulled out of her bag. The cover showed a man and women embracing in a strange and funny way. His teacher seemed enraptured by the story and had taken no notice of him, so Harold coughed quietly in hopes of getting her attention. His teacher looked up.
“Yes dear? Did you have a question?”
“No Mrs. Studle. I wanted to turn in my test as you said.”
His teacher looked confused. “You can’t possibly be done already. It’s only been 15 minutes and you have a full 45 to complete the test.”
Now it was Harold’s turn to be confused. Why on earth would it take anyone 45 minutes to complete such a simple test he thought to himself. But then he thought of all his classmates behind him, and remembered the looks on their faces as they struggled to find the answers.
“That may be so, but I am finished.” Harold said as he handed his scantron and test packet to Mrs. Studle. She eyed him suspiciously, but took the test from him and told him to sit quietly till the end of the allotted time. Harold walked back to his desk and pulled a worn out paperback out of his backpack and began to read. But in the back of his mind something bothered him. Did he receive the wrong test? If he didn’t than why had it been so easy for him, but his fellow classmates struggle? Something wasn’t right, and Harold intended to find out what it was.