Word Problems

Iris had thirty minutes.

Thirty minutes to conquer what his foe left for him to solve with his wits and brain power.

However unlike the others who relied on their athletic builds or physical prowess, he had a different weapon to guide him through the various puzzles and dangers ahead. He had his intelligence.

Iris took in a deep breath and decided to go on ahead with the first challenge. A riddle of sorts. A woman needed to get to her family fifty-seven miles away yet the method of transportation she planned to used had backfired.

She now had two backup plans and Iris needed to help her figure out which one was more efficient.


Iris gazed at his two options and then went ahead with jotting down various equations he had memorized several nights before to calculate the velocities of each vehicle.

He only had thirty minutes and couldn’t afford to waste too much time over this problem.

Mental math was what would cut corners and shave off any lingering seconds. Why waste time punching in numbers in a calculator when one could easily use their own mind?

“Mam, the best way would be going down the northern route.”

“Oh thank goodness young wizard. Please take care.”

“You too miss.”

Iris grinned as he moved on, tackling each following problem with the same kind of confidence and ease as the previous one. There would be the occasional sliver of doubt in his mind, but these moments were fleeting and he focused on his arsenal of spells and equations to weed through the puzzles so that he could complete this quest.

Thirty minutes now counted down to…

Iris snapped out his trance, taking a glance at the time.

Fifteen minutes. Not too bad.

Iris then got his head in the game once more. His classroom environment of desks, students and chairs vanishing as his hazel eyes gazed down at the black and white sheet of paper before him.

The new problem was that a man needed to build a ladder to reach his beloved pet Scruffy. Issue was, he wasn’t sure how high to build it so that it could sustain his weight and also be cost efficent. No wasted materials.

Iris took a moment to take in the man’s case. He could see the worry in the man’s eyes and then he considered the creature waiting up above. A feline. Iris chuckled a bit as he realized how silly that feline was for not being able to get down by itself.

But now wasn’t the time for games.

Iris ran through the materials in his mind. The lengths of wood needed for each side and the distance needed for each of the pegs to be inserted inbetween the two long ends. It needed to be sturdy. And Scruffy wasn’t a tiny kitten.

The man made a yawn, one that sounded very much like Mr. Wickerson. Iris frowned at the seemingly impatient stranger and doubled his efforts as he continued to lull over the issue in his mind. He ran through various calculations, scribbling down his results and making the needed precautions to make sure that what he would suggest to man would work.

After all if he didn’t do this right. Not only was the man’s life at risk, but so was his grades.

His perfect perfect grades.

“Okay, written down I have the exact measurements that you need to follow. Just make sure not to skimp on the materials any more than what is written here. If you do, I’m not responsible. Got it?”

Iris did his best to sound stern, but the other man simply scoffed. Intimidation wasn’t Iris’s best skill.

Satisfied, Iris doublechecked his answers on his exam and then stood up. The fantasy land that previously surrounded him began to gradually vanish as Iris made his way towards the front of the class to hand in his test.

“Done?” Mr. Wickerson asked, his voice a perfect copy of the stranger whom Iris had helped earlier.

“Done.” Iris beamed.

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