CABB’s Winter

Challenge, 2022

DECEMBER HOLIDAYS

DECEMBER 8 ~ PRETEND TO BE A TIME TRAVELER DAY

Days of Future Passed*

by JoAnn Baca

“This is ridiculous. Geoffrey had to know I’d fail him,” Father grumbled when he had finished reading the boy’s paper on Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day. The assignment to his English composition class for an essay on a December holiday had taken a strange turn, and if Geoffrey thought this was appropriate, Father was not pleased. He was about to mark Geoffrey’s effort with an “F” when Vincent cleared his throat very audibly.

“Hmmm? You have something to say, I take it,” Father snapped, looking over his glasses at his adopted son.

“Geoffrey informed me last week of his intentions, and I…”

Before he could finish, Father groaned. “You told him it was a good idea? Really, Vincent, what were you thinking?”

Vincent buried the smile he was fighting with a supreme effort. “I was thinking that Dickens would approve.”

“What?!” Father’s eyebrows shot upwards, and he was just about to explode into what very probably would have been a rather lengthy diatribe when Vincent hastily added, “It is, after all, just another way of exploring the Ghost of Christmas Future’s revelations.”

This argument stopped Father’s mouth from forming his first word of dissent. Instead, he merely frowned at Vincent, waiting for a fuller explanation.

Vincent said, “The Ghost of Christmas Future showed Marley the effects of his current actions. What was that, if not a type of time traveling experience on Marley’s part?”

Father’s frown deepened, his eyebrows nearly meeting in the middle of his forehead. But Vincent could see the wheels turning in his father’s brilliant mind. For a long moment the two men merely stared at each other – one in expectation, the other in rumination.

Father’s frown eventually disappeared. He shook his head and turned back to the essay he had been about to mark. He sat staring at it, perhaps even re-reading it, Vincent couldn’t tell. Finally, he laid his fountain pen to the top of the page and gave it a grade.

Vincent rose to leave the chamber, edging towards Father so that he could glance at the paper on his way out.

The “A” he saw on Geoffrey’s essay made him smile.

_________

(*With apologies to The Moody Blues.)

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