“My name is Daya Cromwell, and welcome to Thanksgiving 3024! As families are no longer a social construct, you will proceed to the nearest ‘Thanksgiving house’ and the people inside are your family for today!” Daya’s preppy voice sounded from the T.V. I sighed. I hated Thanksgiving! What was the point of it, anyways? It was supposed to ‘keep up morale’ but everyone I knew hated it.
“If you don’t know what to do, simply turn on the T.V. at 2000 hours and follow along with our actors! Thank you for listening, and have a lovely Thanks-” I powered off the T.V., got up, and stretched.
The couch was lumpy, and so was my bed. The old gray wallpaper was cracked and peeling. Everything was old, and cracked, and used. In fact, my government supplied T.V. was the only nice thing in my house!
The ‘living’ room was right next to my front door – or lack thereof – so I walked ten paces and was standing in the road. The road was cracked and covered with weeds. Stop signs were bent over, and cars (that’s what I was told they were) were covered in ivy and grass. One, a ‘Lamborghini’ had a tree growing in it.
I looked down the road, and sure enough, there it was. A large, freshly painted suburban home. The kind of place the old people used to live in, with a kitchen, a bathtub and two sinks, with more than three rooms. . .
I shook myself out of my reverie and carried on down the road. Finally I arrived, and knocked on the creamy white door. A jolly middle-aged woman sprung out immediately, saying:
“Oh, hello love! I’ve been cast as your mother this Thanksgiving.” With that, she grabbed my wrist and drew me into the house. The light was warm and yellowy, and delectable smells swam in the air. I was dragged straight to a spacious kitchen filled with ladies chatting. There were about twelve of them there; thank goodness it was a big kitchen.
“Oh, Lydia, you have to hear about what Vladia did last month. . .” A woman rushed forward, grabbing my ‘mother’s’ arm. Sending me an apologetic look, Lydia rushed off with the other woman.
“Oh! Hello. What might your name be?” I turned around, and saw a young woman around my age looking at me. She must be a ‘cousin’, I thought to myself.
“I’m Delia,” I decided to lie. “What’s your name?” She beamed at me.
“Lovely to meet you, Delia, I’m Elizabeth, or Betty for short.” I could tell she was trusting, and I felt bad for a moment.
“Great. I’m assuming your one of the cousins?” She blushed.
“Yea. I am.”
“Great.” We just stood around awkwardly for a moment before she decided to break the tension.
“Ah, my favourite type of silence. Awkward silence.” She joked. A startled laugh escaped me. She smiled.
“Hey, It’s kind of loud in here, and I think ‘Grandma’ is about to hit one of the ‘Aunts’ with a wooden spoon. How about we wait in the parlour until it’s time to eat?” I suggested.
“Sure! She said, and that is what we did. Finally the time rolled around, and an old lady with a wooden spoon marched out of the kitchen and yelled
“Dinner time!” We scrambled into the dining room and sat down quickly together.
The room was a gorgeous light brown, and the table and chairs were mahogany. The table was draped in a white lace tablecloth. On it was a silver platter piled high with flavour cubes, and a huge, golden brown turkey. Flavour cubes were an invention of a European scientist who was in America when he noticed something about the food; everything was either super sweet, cinnamon-y, salty, vanilla-y, buttery or cheesy. So those were the flavours of the cubes. The ones on the plate were salty, buttery, and cheesy.
“Alright. Dig in, everyone!” The proud old lady beamed. I helped myself to three mouthfuls of turkey, a salty buttery and cheesy flavour cube. I ate them quickly and leaned back into my chair, my belly full.
I felt a looming presence over me, and turned around to see the old lady.
“Dear, you can’t only eat that! You’re far too skinny! Eat more, eat more,” she said, piling turkey onto my plate. When she had finished, she looked at me expectantly, told me to eat up, and returned to her seat.
I hovered over the plate with my knife and fork, pushing it backwards and forwards. I couldn’t eat anymore, but I knew I had to.
“Cristina, mind your manners!” The old lady said, talking to the young woman on her left.
“No!” The young woman – presumably Cristina – shouted back. “I’m done! I’m sick of this! You’re not my family! I don’t have a family! The government took them from me! My little brother! He was three! They took him, they took him from my mother, and I don’t -” She cut off when she noticed the old woman had blanched as white as snow.
“What have you done,” she whispered. Then louder, she said “Cristina, your foolish words have doomed us all. Soldiers will come soon, and they will take us all away. We’ll never see the life of day again.” Panicked whispers circled around the table.
A knock sounded at the door. I felt the blood drain from my face, and my breathing quickened.
“They’re here,” the old lady said. She slowly rose from the table, shuffling in the direction of the door. I heard the door creak slowly open, and strained to hear the conversation. There was a loud electric crackling noise, and a dull thud. Everyone got up, screaming and weeping.
In the confusion, I slipped subtly into the kitchen. It was empty but for the ‘cousin’ from before, who was scrambling around, opening and shutting cupboards.
“What are you doing?” I whispered.
“Looking for a place to hide,” she replied.
“Hide in the oven,” I said. “There ought to be space there. I’ll put some pots in a different cupboard and-” and electric shock hit me like a wall. I fell over. Soon after, she joined me on the floor.
A white-suited person with a needle bent down and pricked me.
Blackness overtook me.
I never woke up.