“We should write a story for Thanksgiving.” Alyssa pulled out the much used notebook and handed it to her twin expectantly.
“You don’t think people are tired about reading our other book yet?” Alice asked, rummaging around in her backpack for a pencil.
“No,” Alyssa answered. “You know we haven’t even published it yet. Only our family and Diana and her family has read it.”
“You do remember what happened last time we wrote a book…it came alive.”
“Yeah, but it’s not the first of July. That was just a weird onetime thing.”
“You don’t think it will happen again?” Alice folded her arms and regarded her sister quizzically.
Alyssa rolled her eyes. “No, I don’t think it will happen again.”
“Ok fine. It’s your funeral. So what should we write?”
“Some people may want to hear about our Thanksgiving.”
Alice looked at her sister like she was growing antlers and a big red nose. “What?”
“What’s the matter with that?”
“Why on earth would they want to hear about our Thanksgiving? We’re boring.”
Alyssa’s mouth dropped open in shock. “That is NOT true!”
“Ok, so maybe we’re not boring. But our Thanksgiving was.”
“No it wasn’t! Diana and her family came over and Dad and Mom were able to come too all the way from the hospital! We were able to have it as a family! What’s boring about that? Not many people get to have character’s over for Thanksgiving.”
Alice sighed. “Alright, alright, you win. Go ahead and start the story. I’ll write.”
Alyssa got up to begin pacing. Alice massaged her wrists, which had been behaving a lot better since the salve had been put on it by Eliana. Her pencil scratched out a title; she sharpened it with a frown, then glanced up at her sister and waited for her to begin.
Our Thanksgiving Surprise: by Alice & Alyssa
My beeping alarm went off at six-thirty, and as usual, I was the only one awakened by it. Alice’s soft snores continued as I dressed into jeans, two pairs of socks, rubber boots, a hoodie, a warm scarf, and my coat. I was ready for my walk around Auntie’s neighborhood. It was still dark out, so I brought a flashlight with me for the first little bit before it would lighten up.
Half an hour later the sun began to brighten my surroundings. I could see my breath freeze into little clouds and with an impish grin I began imagining myself as a dragon. A very pitiful dragon that could breathe smoke and ashes, but no fire. I was going around the loop a third time before heading back to Auntie’s house for breakfast.
Sunlight made the frosted grass and trees sparkle. I passed Diana’s house and saw her wave at me through the window. With a grin I walked up their driveway and knocked on their door softly, just in case Mr. and Mrs. Wood were still asleep. Diana answered my knock and gave me a hug.
“You’re cold,” she stated matter-of-factly.
“Yep,” I answered, also matter-of-factly.
“Do you want to come in? I could make you some hot cocoa.”
“Thanks, but I’m on my way back to Auntie’s for breakfast. I thought I’d drop by and let you and your family know that you’re invited to a Thanksgiving dinner at her house tonight if you’re available before I forget altogether.”
Diana repressed a squeal. “Oh, I’d love too! I’ll check with Mom and Dad the minute they get up!”
I grinned. “See you later then?”
“I hope so!”
I waved good bye and finished my walk with breakfast.
Alice soon joined me and we started planning the dinner menu since we had been put in charge of it by our aunt. Since neither of us really liked turkey all that much, we had decided that the main meat would probably be ham, but that we would still have a little turkey just for tradition’s sake. Alice wanted mashed potatoes, and I wanted there to be pumpkin pie.
Once we had finished figuring out the menu, we started making all the food. Auntie helped some, and we managed to get it all done without too many terrible catastrophes.
We took a break in the middle to eat lunch, and Diana came over to let us know that her family was coming and that she had been allowed to stay and help if we needed her.
The afternoon was spent making pies and cooking them: a pumpkin pie, an apple pie, and a blackberry pie. Our lessons in cooking from Eliana, Bettina, and Ray’s mother came in very handy. Otherwise the Thanksgiving dinner would have been simply awful.
At long last, preparations were done. The turkey and ham were steaming on platters in the middle of our table, the mashed potatoes looked more or less like mashed potatoes, and the pies were cooling on the counter. A green salad with other vegetables tossed in it gave a splash of color to our meal and the gravy tasted fine.
Right as I pulled the last pie from the oven, Diana’s parents arrived and whispered something to my aunt. Immediately, I became suspicious. She glanced in my direction and quickly looked away when she saw me looking at them. The adults went outside and talked in private. I was burning with curiosity, and it didn’t help when Auntie went to her car and drove off leaving me and Alice as hostesses.
Needless to say, I was a little distracted when serving dinner. Alice hadn’t noticed the whispering, so she blissfully served the turkey and ham around the table. I was in charge of the gravy. That was the first mistake.
The second mistake came when my aunt showed up, opened the door, and ushered in my parents.
“Mom!” I shrieked in joy. “Dad! You’re here!”
Alice’s mouth dropped open. “How…?” She was at a loss for words.
The third mistake: I dropped the gravy in Mr. Wood’s lap in my eagerness to hug my parents.
Thankfully, since they lived so close, he was able to go home and change. So it wasn’t quite as bad as I had thought it would be. Very embarrassing for me though.
After dinner and dessert had been eaten and cleaned up after, we all sat around in our living room to play the “what are you thankful for” game. I’m sure you have all heard of it. And probably have played it too.
My dad started us all off. His eyes twinkling, he winked at me. “I thought I could say that I was thankful Mr. Wood wasn’t burned by that gravy, but decided not to.”
“Thanks Dad,” I mumbled, my cheeks burning. “You’re such a comfort.”
He laughed. “Instead I want to say that I am so thankful to be here with my family and friends on Thanksgiving. It would have been so boring at the hospital.”
My mom, sitting next to him and holding his hand, smiled across at me with her don’t-get-upset-at-his-teasing-he-does-it-to-me-all-the-time look. “I’m thankful for my family too, but I don’t think we’re allowed to say the same thing twice, so I’ll choose something else. I’m thankful that my husband and I are still alive after our terrible car accident.”
“Me too!” Alice piped up from next to Mom. “Can that be my thankful thing?”
“No copying,” I reminded.
Alice drooped. “Bother. Well, I guess I’m thankful that I didn’t spill gravy on anybody.”
I glowered at her. “Could everyone please just drop it about the gravy already?”
Alice grinned. “I’m also thankful that our dinner wasn’t a complete disaster. I had my doubts about it at first, but I guess everything turned out fine. Even the mashed potatoes.”
Everyone agreed that the dinner had been delicious. I was relieved to see the word “gravy” disappear from conversation.
My aunt was next. “I have to say how thankful I am for not having to make the Thanksgiving dinner! It was so nice to not have to stress out about it.” She smiled at Alice, Diana, and I. “At least, not very much.”
“I’m thankful to have Alice and Alyssa as my friends!” Diana exclaimed since she came next. And creators, she mouthed towards me.
Mr. Wood nodded in agreement. “I’m glad to have you all as friends too. It was so nice to have a place to have a Thanksgiving dinner and friends to share it with. Especially since we’re new in this area and all our relatives live in different states.”
“I’m also grateful that I didn’t have to cook anything, but since I’ve heard we can’t copy each other’s thankful things, I’ll just say that I’m thankful for our home in this neighborhood. I was worried when we left our old home that we wouldn’t ever fit in…but now that we’ve been here for s few months, that fear is well over.” Mrs. Wood squeezed her husband’s hand and gave her daughter a hug.
I was last. “I’m thankful for books,” I said. “It’s kind of off topic, but that’s what I’m thankful for. That and the ability to write books.”
“And I’m thankful our book is almost edited so we can finally publish it!” Alice added.
“We’re thankful you were able to write that book with your wrists being the way they are,” my mom said.
“And that it was so interesting,” my dad put in.
“I think we’re ALL thankful for that,” I answered.
After the Wood family had left, we all sat together in silence for a moment, enjoying a family time that we had been starved of for the last couple months.
I spoke at last. “When are you and Mom going to be able to come home forever?” I asked Dad.
He smiled. “Within a week. The doctor says we have to stay a little longer so that they can finish observing our blood pressure and making sure our hearts aren’t beating irregularly in our sleep. After those tests are done, we’re free to some home.”
“Then,” I added. “I’m thankful you are coming home soon.”