Palo Alto Weekly 18th Annual Short Story Contest
Child Second Place

Life Goes On

by Charlie Lin

About Charlie Lin

Charlie Lin often plays basketball with his father or wrestles with his brother. When Lin began brainstorming ideas for writing a short story he decided to draw from his own experiences.

"My dad always says he wants to play basketball with my children, but my mom is always joking that he is going to be too old by the time my children are old enough to play," said 10-year-old Lin.

His mother's light-hearted joke got Charlie wondering about children and what happens when they realize their parents are growing older. He started jotting down his thoughts in the form of the story, "Life Goes On."

"I came to this kid who really likes to wrestle with his dad and then his dad grew older and he couldn't put up with his son's strength. I thought his son might realize it and he might become kind of sad," said Lin, a sixth-grader at JLS Middle School.
"Life Goes On" explores the relationship between a father and his son through the pair's favorite playtime activity: Wrestling. The short story follows the father-son team as the son matures.

Lin has written essays before about other sports such as basketball and hockey.

But he has never written a short story.

He was pleasantly surprised to find that his first attempt to write a short fiction story had won him second place in the contest. Lin said the experience has given him more confidence and a desire to do more writing.

--Lia Steakley

"Mikey! Come here Mikey!" called Mike's dad. "Do you want to watch TV with me?"

"Yes! Yes!" said Mike. "What are we going to watch?"

"Wrestling," said Mike's dad.

"What's wrestling?" asked Mikey.

"Come and see for yourself!"

"OK!"

"Do you want ice cream, too?"

"OK!" said Mike even louder than before, for ice cream was his favorite food.

Although he didn't really know what wrestling was, he knew that he was about to enjoy some time with his dad, with ice cream.

His mom gave Mike two bowls of ice cream, and he carefully carried the bowls to his dad in the living room. He gave his dad a bowl, and they watched wrestling together. When the show was over, Mike tackled his dad, like he had just seen on TV. His dad tackled him back. When their mom went to check on them, she found them playing and rolling around on the ground. As she walked away, smiling, she heard her husband yelling

"1..2..3..4..5..6..7.8..9..10! I won!". Then she heard Mike. "Can we play again daddy? Please?" And that was how it all got started.

Every day from then on, Mike wrestled with his dad. His dad would always win, and they would always have fun. Soon, the boy went to school, but the boy still wrestled with his dad at least twice a day. Once before he went to school and his dad left for work, and once when his dad got home from work. Mike was a nice boy, so he made lots of friends at school. They also all loved wrestling, too. Also, whenever a friend asked him to play, he would say, "Hang on. Let me finish wrestling with my dad!" Mike loved wrestling with his dad so much, his mom bought him a blow-up mini wrestling ring with stretchy red ropes surrounding it. Mike loved it so much that he used it to wrestle with his dad every day. Mike always looked forward to weekends, which meant lots of wrestling. Also, they would often watch wrestling on TV, and now and then Mike would learn some new tackle or move, and each day Mike got better and better. As Mike got better, his dad put more effort into wrestling with Mike.

One day, when Mike was seventeen, his dad wrestled with Mike just like he would wrestle with a professional. He even had to stop and catch his breath once in a while. He was proud of his strong, tall, brave, grown-up, nice, and kind- hearted son.

One year later, Mike was eighteen, and had grown pretty big and strong. When the weekend came, Mike had his usual wrestling tournament with his dad. To his surprise, his dad struggled with him, and Mike actually pinned him down and successfully held him down. He was very happy, but then he realized that his dad was getting weaker, and he was a grown-up now.

He thought about the fact for a minute or two, then sadly went up to his room and softly cried into his pillow.