“Does anyone have an extra pen?”

“Is now really the time for this Ben?” His classmate asked in exhaustion.

“I mean if we’re going to die anyway I really want to finish this drawing.”

“BEN! Don’t go talking like that! You’re just going to stress everyone even more. People are aware of where we are, there’ll be help in no time.” Scolded his teacher.

“Okay, my bad sorry. But it would really help me with passing the time until that does happen, so does anyone have a pen I can borrow for the time being? Mines out of ink.”

One of his classmates tossed one to him, and he gave them a friendly nod. He set himself up, holding his phone above his sketchpad with his non-dominant hand to get some light and got to work trying to distract himself from the day and his feelings of impending doom.

After months of working together to save money, doing bake sales and raffles, hosting events and putting on some shows, his class had earned enough to fly down to Mexico for their senior trip. A final hurrah before graduation and moving onto college or work or whatever the future held.


It was supposed to be a week-long trip with votes taken for what event they would do each day, and here they were on the second day in, where the more athletic kids had banded together to vote for some cave exploration, enjoy the natural beauty and the hike out to get there. Even if Ben was far from athletic himself he had to admit it was very pretty, something he wouldn’t have minded taking the time to draw or paint later, at least until an earthquake hit and the cave's entrance collapsed with the class and their tour guide trapped inside. Now this was a little memory that wasn’t going onto a canvas.

So he sat down and ignored the conversations around him, instead focusing on his work to pass the time, losing himself in the task. He was currently working on a parkscape by his neighbourhood. It was somewhere he would go out to draw on plenty of different occasions but it was only recently he realised he didn’t have any drawings of the park itself, despite it being one of his favourite spots. Sure maybe it would have made more sense to start it when he got home, but when he made his realisation he was already on the plane, and he needed to kill some time anyway, so why not?

He wasn’t sure how long he had been at it, he could never tell how much time had passed when he got into his work, when he felt a light tapping on his shoulder. Looking up he saw Steph, a girl he was friends with looking back at him.

“Hey we were all just talking about what we were going to be doing when we get home and graduate. What about you Ben? Going to spend your days making anything crazy?”

“Everything I make is super normal I’ll have you know.”

She didn’t say anything, but the look in her eyes spoke volumes. They had taken a few art classes together, and not everything he made was ‘super normal’ as he said, or for that matter particularly easy to look at. Even the teacher of the class, a true lover of symbolism in work, was a bit taken aback once by his sculpture representing the theme he had been given of despair.


Feeling the judgement under her gaze he quickly broke and answered her question. “If you mean my immediate plans I’ve been working on a piece of cosplay for a con I have tickets for, making chainmail is a long-ass process though. In the more distant future it will be working for a year and then maybe art school if I can get accepted.”

“Wait, go back a bit.” A guy named John called out. “Why are you making your own chainmail? Couldn’t you just buy some or make something that resembles it, or just go in a different costume? That sounds like a huge pain in the ass.”

He gave his head a little scratch and thought about how to answer. “I mean, isn’t it just more satisfying to make it yourself? It just feels more rewarding, you know?”

Everyone went back to their discussion and he went back to his work, only stopping to eat with the others and plug a portable charger into his phone. More hours passed but he eventually finished his work and looked on at what he created.

Not bad, not bad. Linework is a little sloppy in places but this isn’t exactly peak drawing conditions, and I really captured the feeling of a lazy summer afternoon if I do say so myself. Yep this will certainly do.

Feeling pretty good about how it turned out he turned to show it off to one of his classmates, only to find that everyone else had gone to sleep, or was at least trying to. Looking at his nearly dead phone and seeing the time, he decided to take some time to pass out himself, hoping that things would seem more optimistic in the morning.