Make It Last All Year

Michael’s feet thundered as he rushed into the room. “It’s coming, mom! The Festival!”

His mother nodded and stabbed the screen on her phone again and again with a steady finger.

“Come on! Come on! We gotta get ready!”

“It’s not that big a deal, Sam,” she muttered.

“I’m Michael!”

“Right. Anyway, it’s not that big a deal.”

“We gotta celebrate!”

“Sam, stop tugging on my arm.”

“Michael!”

“Yeah.”

Michael stomped out of the living room, and then his flurry of feet propelled him to the kitchen. “Dad! Dad! The Festival! It’s almost time! We gotta get ready!”

“What?” He looked away from the tv, knife in hand, herbs arrayed before him.

“The Festival! Can we do something for it?”

“That’s really not the point, Spud.” His eyes slid back to the screen. “Hm. I missed it now. How am I supposed to make supper if I don’t know how to not bruise the cilantro? You wouldn’t want bruised cilantro on your smithen’s pie, would you?”

“Dad, how are we gonna celebrate if we don’t get ready? Are we gonna decorate?”

“Spud, you really don’t decorate for the Festival.”

“Are we gonna give presents?”

“Hm? Look, I’m trying to make supper. Why don’t you go bother your sister?”

Michael slunk out of the kitchen.

Sam giggled when he asked her about the Festival. “Mikey, we celebrate it every day! It’s like the song goes, you’re supposed to make it last all year.”

He scratched his head. “I thought that was Christmas.”

“Whatever. Anyway, I gotta get back to Sarah. She’s got some things going on.”

A knock sounded at the front door.

“I’ll get it!” shouted Michael and the stampede of elephants that seemed to pound from his feet. He flung the door open. “Grandpa! Did you come for the Festival?”

The man with the mustache rolled his eyes. “Mike, I don’t celebrate that old thing. No one does anymore!”

“But we studied it in school! Everyone did!”

“The Festival of Apathy is hardly a day worth getting excited about. A special day to not care? A day to do nothing? Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Grandpa shook his head. “Your dad around?”

“In the kitchen.”

Grandpa tousled Michael’s hair and walked past.

“But I wanna celebrate it,” the boy muttered. “It sounds like so much fun. Then I get to not care…and that sounds like the best day ever.”

I felt like writing something a little slapdash in fifteen minutes… here’s the result. Take it for what it is… a fast writing exercise! 

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2 thoughts on “Make It Last All Year

  1. Wow. This is really interesting–a festival of apathy… Did you mean for the boy’s family to be apathetic about celebrating on purpose? To add the irony of what the festival is about?

    1. Yeah. If I spent more time on this, I’d probably make that far more clear — but the entire point of the exercise is to write for fifteen minutes and edit for five. So there will be holes. 🙂

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