Tim StiX Magazine


The most important day of my life!

Light at the end of the tunnel vision


Well, here it is.

The most important day of my life.

It has, finally, arrived!

Not that I have been looking forward to it. In fact, I have been dreading it, if truth be told.

When I first knew of its existence, it was a little spot in the distance. Like an ant, just jogging along, at not much more than a snail’s pace.

But each day, it gets bigger and bigger.

Until one day, I start to make it out. Its shape is forming something almost recognizable. A familiar, square-ish, rectangular-ish, type of shape.

And then suddenly … BANG!

There … it … is!

Still in the far distance, but undeniably: a TRAIN.

A large, midnight-blue, stream-train. Trailing smoke behind its sinister engine.

Puff, puff. Puff! Puff!

Not the “Hogwarts Express”, or the “The Little Engine That Could”.


This is, “The Man-eating Boiler That WILL!

Sniggering! Snarling! Sneering!




You may say, “What is it?”

“What does this train represent?”

“What is this dark, foreboding, presence, steaming toward you?”

So, I reply. “The Entrance Exam!”

Da, da, daaahhhh!

“The Entrance Exam?”

“Yes! The Entrance Exam!

The most important examination of my life. A trial, an obstacle-course, a life-size maze, that will determine the rest of my life!

The first step.

The foundation of success or failure.

My worthiness or worthlessness.

My contribution to the entire World; the entire Universe!

Even, my very existence!


I have not been sitting idly, waiting for the inevitable.

Every day, I watch its progress. Feel its presence, as it scents and stalks its intended victim.

It hunts.

I study.

Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Current Affairs. Even Grammar.

Every day. Increasing my knowledge, vocabulary and logic.

I am a robot and a sponge. An adolescent and a vacuum cleaner. Sucking up seeds of wisdom, at an ever-increasing rate.

Friends and family are tired of my repeated requests, for tests and quizzes to determine my progress.

I feel like a damp encyclopedia, that is swelling out of its cover.


But I won’t give up.

I will never give up.

I am determined to beat that steaming dinosaur. Even if I have to stand in its way, or parry it, to make the finish line.

Successful and premier.

You may have heard the expression. “The light at the end of the tunnel is just the head-lamp of an express-train coming toward you!”

Well, there IS, a train coming my way. But the light is a beacon, a guide, a path to Nirvana.


So today is the day.

THE day.

I have studied. I have absorbed. I have sought, gathered and gleaned. And I have prepared.

But am I truly, ready?

My head is bursting. So full of facts, I can barely add seven and nine. Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun cycle our Terran home?

My brain is so full of a bizarre, bric-a-brac of facts and figures; I think Grade 3 Geography is beyond me!

Have I over-studied?

Have I crammed so much information into my cerebral cortex, that there is no logical path from question to answer?

Will my mammalian brain take over and only enable inherent behaviour?

Or, am I thinking of the reptilian brain?

Damn! There is so much useless knowledge inside me, I just cannot think straight!


“Take a breath.”

“You know you have prepared fully.”

“You have aced every test, every quiz, every trial, your tutors have thrown at you.”

“You are ready!”


Well, here it is.

The most important day of my Life.

It has, finally, arrived!

And now, I am looking forward to it.

This is the day, I prove myself.

Now is the time, to take one small step for humankind.

Here is the hour, to set the wheels in motion and build a foundation to a successful career.


There is some movement behind the doors.

I can hear the examiners turning handles and watch the barriers open, as if in slow-motion.

The first glance into: The Examination Room.

Everybody trundles in.

The first to enter appear confident, the next, frightened, and the stragglers. Well, the stragglers are terrified. Dragging their feet.

Quickly finding my allotted position, I sit to a chorus of squeaking chairs and stifled anxiety, as all the Hopefuls drop to their examination postures.


I hear a voice in the distance. As if whispered through water. An ethereal yet commanding voice.

“You have two hours, turn over your examination papers and begin.”


One last deep breath.

One last reassuring smile to myself.

“I know I am ready!”

My hand reaches towards the booklet, to a chorus of, puff, puff. Puff! Puff!

Lifting the pages. The examination. The locomotive. The threshold!

I turn it over, check for my name, and start the duel


Name: Nicky Smith

Class: 1B


  1. 7 + 9 =
  2. 4 – 2 =
  3. 2 x 3 =
  4. 8 / 2 =
Originally Published on Vocal Media

This Article was originally published by Tim StiX on vocal.media.
Tim StiX - Dec 2020
Tim StiX is a Software Engineer with over 20 years experience in Net Technology.
See timstix.com for more information.
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