Friday Fast Fiction: Going for Last Place


DSC_0331 - CopyIf Chester Martin had an epitaph, it would be, I was last. At 16 he had no idea of what to do after high school—he preferred to stay in the background and finish last in every school activity.

One day the senior class gathered in the auditorium. The principal grasped the podium and announced: “One of our seniors had a perfect score in both sections of the SAT test. This is a first for our school. Please join me in congratulating Chet Martin.”

Chet already knew his scores but hadn’t told anyone. He remained seated during the applause and considered that for once in his life he was first.  But when a TV reporter shoved a microphone in his face after school and asked what college he would attend, Chet responded: “I’m not going to college.”

Three months later Chet was standing at a convenience store counter when two armed men stormed in. The handful of customers screamed, save for Chet who confronted them. The cashier told police that Chet acted like he’d done this before—he punched one man in the face, grabbed his gun and pulled the trigger, striking the second man.

For the second time Chet made the front page of the newspaper—this time as a hero. The next day two college presidents came to his house and begged that he attend their school at no cost.

And this is how Chet ended up in a dorm room with – at his request – the last person admitted to the school as his roommate

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