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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)

TITLE: River Fest
By Alice Zvacek


I opened the newspaper this morning on a quest, when an article caught my eye. It was about a lottery winner who made a snap decision to buy his ticket. That term “snap decision” blind-sided me. Is that what I did – make a snap decision? If my decision had been different, how different my quest in that newspaper might be.

Friday morning my 13 year old son Garth started in, “Mom, can I go to River Fest with Jared and Clay and their mom?”

I was trying to feed eight-month old Hannah and keep three-year old Abbie from wearing her oatmeal as a hair ornament. “Garth, I’m kind of busy right now. We’ll have to talk about it later.”

“But Mom, they’re going right after school!”

“Garth, I have to think about it. Go see what’s taking Matt so long.” My seven year old is a notorious slow-poke.

“Oh, Gross!” I hear Garth call “Mom he stuck something down the toilet and flooded the bathroom again!” Great here's another crisis to deal with! My husband always picked the best weeks to go out of town.

“Both of you finish getting ready now!” I called as I waded into the bathroom to turn off the water. By the time I put towels down to soak up the water, Garth had cleaned up the girls and they were looking at me from the batroom door. “Mom, I really need to tell Mrs. Forrest now, so she knows to wait for me when we get home from school.”

As we carried the girls to the van for the drive to school, I thought about it. We had been to River Fest many times. It had a carnival and music for the adults. There was usually a beer garden, but that didn’t get going until later in the evening. Garth went places with the Forests all the time.”

“What time are they getting home?” I asked as I loaded the girls in.

“Jared told me 10:00.”

“Alright, run and tell her you can go, but you have to take the money you made babysitting. I’m not giving you any money!”

“Ok, mom!”

I had barely seen him after school. He rushed in changed clothes, snatched a still warm cookie and ran out the door.

“Be Good for Mrs. Forest.” I yelled after him.

I had made a snap decision to let him go with our neighbors without even asking God about it. I didn’t even think about it. It was an easy decision. He had the money. We had gone to River Fest before. He had gone lots of places with Elizabeth and Jared and Clay. It was almost a non-decision.

That nightat the carnival, Garth saw some kids about his age picking on a mentally retarted man. They had pushed him down and laughed when he fell. Garth knew that one of the boys was a kid from school with a real mean streak, but he didn’t want to let the man get hurt. Garth yelled at the boys to stop. What Garth didn’t know was that the boys had come to River Fest as part of a gang initiation. Charley, the boy that Garth knew, said “Well if it isn’t Mr. Goody Two Shoes. Well, look what you’re going to get for sticking your nose in this time.” He pulled out a gun and shot my son point blank in the chest.

I wonder if I hadn’t made that snap decision, would I be on a quest to find my son’s obituary in the newspaper.

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