Flash Fiction: Sally and Julius by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write about something “summery.”

This week’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon. MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming soon, as well as MY BROTHER, THE WOLF, the last of the series.


“Sally and Julius”

by Cathy MacKenzie

“Mom,” Sally asked, “isn’t it kinda neat that July and August, the best months of the year, are the longest?”

“Are they?”

“Yeah, 31 days. Two months in a row.”

“Hmmm, guess so.” Her mother stopped rinsing the dishes and gazed at the wall.

Sally was positive her mother was reciting the alphabet song: “Thirty days have September, April, June, and November. All the rest have thirty-one…”

Her mother wiped her hands on the dishtowel and faced her. “But I thought December was your favourite. And May, your birthday.”

“No, Mom, the summer months are the ones I like the best. And so did Julius and Augustus.”

“Julius? Augustus?”

“Julius Caesar. We learned about him in school. He had an ego, just like Marlene and Chloe. They think the world revolves around them, just like Julius did.”

“And who is Augustus?”

“Augustus is his nephew. Great nephew, I think.”

“I see.”

“So, do you know what Julius did? He named July after him, and he made it 31 days. That was the longest month back then.”

Her mother put down the dishtowel and glanced at her before pouring soap into the dishwasher.

“And then when Julius died, Augustus wanted a month after him, so he named the next month Augustus. And he had to have 31 days, too.”

“You seem to know a lot about them.”

“I do. We learned about them in school. Well, except for the months. I found that out by myself. On the internet.”

“Sounds like Augustus was a tad egotistical, too,” her mother said.

Sally giggled. “I think they were freaky. But then guess what happened?”

“What?” Her mother seemed intrigued, latching onto her every word.

“Then the year had too many days, so they had to take two away from February. And that’s how come February became the shortest month.”

Her mother turned back to the dishwasher, pushed the on button, and closed the door. “Interesting. You’ll have to tell Dad that story.”

“Maybe I will.”

When her father returned home from work, she relayed the story to him.

“It’s an interesting tale,” he said when she was finished, “but what’s so special about July and August? Why did they pick those months?”

“Julius liked the summer, Dad. And so do I. Augustus just took the month after Julius did. Not sure if he liked the summer as much as Julius, though.”


She scampered off, not wanting to listen to anything else her father would say. His “but” said it all. He’d find holes in her story. She had to admit she was a bit confused. What about the other months that had 31 days? How come Julius didn’t make his month 32 days? Or perhaps way back then the months had less than 31 days and his was the longest. Maybe after Augustus died five other egotistical jerks came along and named months after themselves, too, and made their months 31 days. She’d have to Google it. Maybe there was more to the story.

But, for now, summer waited. She couldn’t waste any of it. It’d be over before she knew it.


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/



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