This week's story for Flash Fiction Friday was to write about Thanksgiving,
American Thanksgiving is now nearly upon us. Along with the food and the parades and the football comes all the joy and horror that family gatherings entail.
Prompt: Write a story that takes place on Thanksgiving Day, but please EXCLUDE the following words: Turkey, stuffing, football, parade, family. 1000 words.
I needed an idea for a scene for my NaNoWriMo novel, so used this as my prompt fot it too.
You'll need a bit of a prologue here I think. I'm writing about some Fairy Tale Folk, some characters from the Grimm stories. They've been brought to life by magic in the stories, and now are out of work in today's world. They're in seach for some purpose to their life, and along the way have tangled with some Haitian drug runners with an evil side, possessed by dark voodoo magic, an ancient evil with roots back in Africa.
The stories also have given the characters the power to change their appearance to others, and to give some of the magic back to a story, to help bring it to life as it were, to add believability and emphasis to it. The Grimms ancestors have a booking for the characters to do a traditional Thanksgiving story, sort of a Norman Rockwell meets The Waltons tale, with several generations getting together.
Bruce (formerly the woodcutter, now living in the country doing woodwork) as grandpa,
Agnes (formerly the witch, now a cougar prowling bars) as his widowed daughter,
Red (formerly Riding Hood, now a Goth girl) as Agnes's oldest,
Romulus (formerly the wolf, now a playboy, with long dark hair and a gleaming smile) as Red's fiance,
Hansel and Grethel (yes, those two, they're on loan from their gigs doing commercials) as Agne's young twins.
Unfortunately, while these characters have the best of intentions, this voodoo spirit they are fighting likes to get in and twist their stories. Oh – and they can't really be permanently harmed in their stories. Story is 595 words.
“There’s Grandpa’s,” said Hansel. “I hope he can tell us some stories after dinner.”
Agnes looked at him. “Really? You used to say he was boring?”
“Nope, that was the old us,” said Grethel. “His stories are a little slow at times, but they are a good way to find out about some of the tales we were never part of. They're kind of interesting, and do help us add some background to some of our other roles.”
Agnes was thinking this just might work. The gang were all excited about trying a story again - all of them together for the first time. They were keen on making this story one of a great traditional holiday, a Thanksgiving to remember, with each representing a generation of the clan. In addition, they’d all been looking forward to spending some quality time with each other, just as friends. She turned the car up the lane, admiring the autumn leaves, wide porch with rockers, warm light shining through the windows, a tendril of smoke rising from the chimney - a postcard scene. She could feel the energy building already, the magic weaving its spell around them.
“Agnes,” said Red, “maybe it’s just nerves, but suddenly I’m getting a bad feeling about this.”
“I’m sure it is just nerves,” said Agnes. She did sense a dark undercurrent to the magic though, subtle, but there. She heard an ‘ouch’ from the back seat of the car. She glanced in the mirror - Hansel was pinching Grethel. Beside them Red was still the cute little red head, but the hair looked brassier than before, a little spikier, and there was a piercing through her left eyebrow. She glanced next to her - Rom seemed a little hairy than usual, with teeth a little sharper. And he smelt less of cologne and more of wet dog.
“Too late to cancel now, Red,” she said. “Come on guys. Stick together, we’re a team, we can do this, can’t we?” Silence.
"Come on in." Grandpa Bruce swung the door wide. “Better late than never I suppose.”
“Sorry Dad,” said Agnes. She gave him a look. “We’re not that late, are we? At least we’re here. We had to wait for Red’s fiance, Rom.”
“Hey grandpa!” The twins, Hansel and Grethel, raced past him, heading for the TV room.
“What, no hugs for your grandpa?” called Bruce. “Might be the last year.”
“Come on Dad,” said Agnes. “You’re healthy as a horse.”
“And built like one,” he said. “Oops.”
“Please.” She went to cover her daughter’s ears. “Red’s only seventeen.”
“Mother,” said Red. “I do know the facts of life. And I know about manly men too.’ She nudged her boyfriend. “Rom here knows how to keep a woman happy.” She smiled uncertainly at him.
Rom leered at Agnes. “Yes. I do,” he said.
“OK, come on, lets get inside,” she said. This Thanksgiving seemed to be taking a peculiar twist already, and they hadn’t even got in the door. Red was too slow to have noticed anything, but she was worried Bruce might have. She glared at Rom, but he just shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry, it just slipped out,” he muttered. She stood back to let him go in, and watched in fascination as her hand patted his butt.
Bruce had served them each a very tall glass of wine as they waited for the bird to finish. Agnes had tried to escape with Red to watch the game, but found the twins had the TV monopolized with something called Grand Theft Auto. They had been playing a game they'd invented called Hug the Cat but had become bored after Mister Meow stopped reacting to them and got very still. Agnes decided to let Bruce find that out later on, after dinner.
They went back to the living room to find Bruce and Rom playing some game of their own, a drinking game involving a pocket knife and a blindfold. After she bandaged Rom up, Agnes persuaded Bruce it was time to eat. He’d managed to cook up a magnificent meal – the traditional bird, potatoes, gravy, several vegetables, fresh rolls, and pumpkin pie. Agnes helped Red assemble it all and bring it out to the table, but no sooner had the first dish appeared than the twins loudly announced they didn’t want to eat and nobody could make them. They were whining to be let down from the table when Bruce headed down into the basement. Agnes thought he was going to stay there and drink, but he re-appeared with a large roll of duct tape. The twins seemed genuinely scared of Bruce now, and of the maniacal glint in his eye, so sat quietly while he bound their legs to their chairs.
When they finally had brought all the food out she noticed that thankfully Bruce had stopped drinking and fallen asleep - with his fly open. She threw a napkin in his lap just as Hansel was pointing his cell phone camera at the old man. The boy glared at her. “Bitch,” he said.
“Watch it,” said Red. “Come on everyone, settle down. Look, this will be yummy. I'll do the honours and start slicing, I always wanted to try one of these electric carving knives.”
“Lots of breast for me,” said Rom staring at Agnes's chest.
“Oh piss on it,” said Red. “Let’s go for a good finish.” She swung the vibrating blade in an arc, right through Rom’s neck. Without pausing, she continued the swing and caught the twins. “And that’s for Mister Meow.”
Agnes figured it would be best to leave before dessert. She and Red placed the knife in Bruce’s hand, wiped down all they might have touched, slipped out the front door, and ran for their car.
Epilogue - in the rest of the scene, we find out all are a bit freaked out by this, but unharmed, but the kids likely won't be back for another story. The Grimms may end up finding a buyer for it as a part of a B-movie slasher flick, or on HBO.