The car screeched to a halt across two parking squares. Zach bolted out— feet pounding the asphalt— racing over cracks and parking lines, between parked cars, to the double-doors—
“What are you trying to do?” The man popped up from out of nowhere, wedging himself between Zach and the Church door.
“I’m here for the Arithmetic Standards Scale,” Zach panted out, palms sweating against his clenched fingers.
“That test began ten minutes ago.” The man said, looking him over as if he had caught someone attempting armed robbery.
“— I still have time… here’s my ID…”
“I can’t let you in.”
“Look… it’s two and a half hours… I paid for this test, I have ID.”
“I can’t help you.”
Zach looked up again— and it hit him. He recognized that heavy-handed gait… the meaty face and its cowboy grin. It was familiar, even if he now wore one of those official-looking nametags that marked him as a “test helper.” A mark of distinction.
“Can’t, or won’t?”
“You should’ve been on time.” The man drawled, “There’s nothing I can do if you aren’t on time.”
Zach caught his breath, then looked him in the eye and said,
“Yeah, you can’t do nothing. That’s all you’ll ever do.”