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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Writing Challenge Submissions

Hello Lovelies! I received some mindblowingly original submissions for last month's Thanksgiving Writing Challenge, and as promised, I am sharing a couple of them today. I sincerely thank all of you that participated. Your writing keeps getting better and bette

From Elizabeth Douitsis

For Today

“Be thankful today, because you never know what will happen tomorrow.” This is my motto, but Gwyneth, my my eldest daughter already knows that. She has heard me say it many times. She is so sweet to help me out with Thanksgiving dinner, but today she looks worried. My famous blue apron, the one I have worn every time I make Thanksgiving dinner for the past forty seven years hangs around my neck, nearly trailing on the floor, and I hurry to check the turkey in the oven. I put my hand too close, but the oven is not hot at all. Maybe that is why my turkey is not cooking.
I hear Jeremy and Susanna laughing. My two youngest grandchildren always bring a smile to my eyes, but when I go to kiss them they run away. Never mind, they are busy playing. I go to fill the water pitcher, and Gwyneth calls out in concern, “Not that water, Lisa,” Since when does my daughter call me by my first name?
There is a strange man in my kitchen with a curious bracelet around his wrist. He looks rather lost; I should help him. “I will call a taxi for you to get home,” I tell him and reach into my apron pocket for some change. But it is not an apron. A blue bed sheet is draped around my shoulders, trailing on the floor. I call for Jeremy and Susanna, but they do not respond to their names, and this distresses me.
“I need to get my turkey,” I say, moving towards the oven, but there is only a plain, cold, cupboard next to a fishbowl. This room is sweet and sunshiny, but it is not my house.
“Lisa,” Gwyneth says, taking my hand, but her name tag says “Nurse Peggy”. There is a bracelet around my wrist too, and then I gasp as it all comes back to me. The forgetting, the looks on my grandchildren’s faces when I couldn’t remember their names, putting my keys in the dryer, my clothes in the toaster. Nearly burning the house down by accident, and finally coming here, to Wellington Retirement Home. I don’t know what to think, except that maybe I need a new motto: Be thankful today because you never know what happened yesterday.
“You have some visitors,” Peggy says, and I look up, confused.
The door opens and my family comes in. My younger children, Ben and Gracie and their families, my Gwyneth with her husband Paul and their children. Jeremy and Susanna rush up to me with smiling faces. “Happy Thanksgiving Grandma,” They say, and there are tears in my eyes as I kiss them. They came to visit me; they didn’t forget me.
Delicious smells of turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie fill the room, and Ben and Gracie re-enter carrying platters of steaming food as the children gather round. Gwyneth smiles and hands me my blue apron. “Happy Thanksgiving, mom.” She says. And then I do start crying.

From Jeremy Westphal

"The Price of Supper"

The old man crept from the farm house out towards the barn. While his thick glasses and slow hunched gait suggested a degree of vulnerability, the axe in his hands was wickedly sharp. He passed through a fence and came to the entrance to the barn. He paused in a moment of indecision. The grumbling of his stomach completed his resolve.
The creaking doors allowed sun light to chase away the last of the shadows within. The soft clucking of dozens of chickens searching for seeds was all that could be heard as the door became still. The farmer looked across the length of the barn. At the other side stood his opponent, the turkey.
The turkey stared over the chickens and across the floor. The old man swallowed hard, managing, "Morning Gobbler."
The turkey's nodded as he spoke, but it was obvious that his polite tone was forced, "Farmer Brown."
The farmer scratched the stubble on his neck as he continued, "Well, you know what day it is." He chucked nervously, "It's the day to be thankful, the day of giving thanks, Thanksgiving."
The turkey raised his wings and slid a single foot back with a scratching sound as he hissed, "Thanksgiving, yes, but it will be my ancestors that will be thankful for the beating that I will be giving you!"
The old man's eyes narrowed and he gripped the axe, "So I see, Gobbler. This is going to be the hard way."
Gobbler responded with mocking politeness, "Tell me Brown, is there any other?"
The old man cried out with anger, "You damn dirty bird, I've got young ones to feed!"
The turkey turned its neck giving forth a popping sound, "Bring it on old man. Lets see how you like the stuffing knocked out of you."
Both combatants charged forth. The air filled with frightened, flapping chickens, desperate to avoid the fury of both warriors. The turkey jumped high, spinning like a top. The old man fell into a slide upon his knees, seeking to dodging the deadly feet of his foe. Gobbler's foot unleashed its violence upon a solid target, but it was not the one he intended. Feather's flew and the impacting shock wave ran the length of the chicken's body like a stone thrown into a pool. The innocent bird was sent flying out of the barn, yolk of not yet laid eggs, flinging from its lifeless body.
The farmer's robe clad wife witnessed from the porch of her home as the chicken was tossed from the barn. She watched curiously, unfazed by the thumps, grunts, and groans within. She did wince twice, first at the sound of breaking timbers, second the sound of shattering glass. She looked on, a displeased look forming on her face. She called out, "Harold? Harold!" She paused, "HAROLD!!!"
From the barn she heard her husband cry, "Yes, Dear?!" followed by a loud crash.
The farmer's wife yelled, "Sally called! The kids are up early! Could you stop giving dancing lessons and hurry up?!" She was only answered by an even louder racket than she had heard before. A spare wheel for the back of the tractor came rolling out past the barn door. She shook her head as she stepped back into the house.
Hours later, the side of a minivan being opened was more akin to horse chutes at a race track. The racers though were three running, bounding children. Full of excitement, they competed for knocking space on the door of the farm house. The farmer's wife answered.
All three children chimed in unison, "Grandma!" There was an exchange of hugs and kisses as the children's parents followed at a more leisurely pace. The children all sniffed deeply and were more brief in their greetings as they pushed passed their approaching grandfather. He chuckled. He couldn't blame their impatience at the smell of his wife's pie.
The younger couple came to the porch to greet the older couple waiting in the door way. The younger woman looked in shock at the black circle about the older man's eye, asking, "Dad, what happened to your eye?"
The old man smiled, exposing several fresh gaps from absent teeth and said, "Just the price of supper."

xo Hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned for my next challenge.

Content by Lauren Oliver - Copyright 2011. Blog designed by Ella Press Studio - 2011.

Author Photo by Jonathan Alpeyrie - Copyright 2010. Original Font Idea by Erin Fitzsimmons - 2010.