A Thanksgiving Tail

Written in response to: Write about a character who struggles to express their thanks.... view prompt

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Funny Holiday Fiction

This is so not happening to me

It can’t be true. The rumors have been flying around this place since yesterday. And for a place where nothing much flies, that is really saying something.

This is my second summer here in Soupsbury, Delaware. It’s a pretty good life. Sure, each of us must scratch in their own patch of dirt to get some of life’s chickenfeed, but I’ve always felt at home here. First, it’s the only home I’ve known. Secondly, I am pretty much like everyone else here; white, proud, and about three feet tall. It is warm most of the year and I spend most of my time outside. When, on the occasions when the weather is chilly, there is always the house with the heat lamps to warm me up. Like I said, a pretty good life.

Apparently, according to the rumor, there is to be some sort of mass extermination, a veritable genocide of all the occupants here. It can’t be true. Some of us wonder “If?” Others wonder “When?” Deep down inside, I believe that even if it happens to all the others, it surely would never happen to me.

Why, I’ve never hurt a fly. Truthfully, I’ve eaten a fair number of flies, but then, they don’t really feel it. Not like me. I am a warm-blooded, feeling kind of guy, a product of the Neil Diamond, Burt Bacharach music that plays all day long from the speakers around the yard. Makes a “fella kinda mella,” if you know what I mean.

The idea that we could all be wiped out - ridiculous. There’s too many of us. I can see hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of us as I look out over adjacent houses, pretty much as far as the eye can see. Sort of a Levittown development; similar houses with similar white occupants, repeated endlessly. I hum “Little boxes, little boxes, and they’re all made out of ticky-tacky, and they all look just the same” to myself as I survey my world.

Maybe some might die. That is the nature of things. When you die, you are taken out to the pile behind the houses. Then the gods of the air, who circle above us and protect us, descend to the mound of corpses and consume us, making us one with the gods.

Yep, that could happen to others, but not to me. I’ve never felt better. But that damn rumor continues to go around.

I’m really pissed

The rumors continue. Some say we’ll die here; others say we’ll be bundled in a truck and taken who-knows-where and killed. I wonder if Schindler is starting a new list. But the outcome of the rumor is always the same. It is all anybody is talking about. It just makes me soooo angry!

It is bad enough that the air gods made us so bulky in the chest that we can’t mate. Some kind of cosmic joke, I guess. First, no fucking sex, and now we are going to be wiped out. This is bullshit!

I want to lash out at everyone and everything. No one stands close to me now. I kick and peck with abandon; who cares if anyone gets hurt? Kill them all and let the gods sort it out. What kind of philosophy is that you might ask; well, it’s mine now!

I am not alone; everyone is in a surly, angry mood. Eyes flash yellow, feet fly. Any imagined insult gets the fighting started. The ground is littered with feathers and blood. “How did we get reduced to this?” I ponder. I used to think we were so civilized.

“Mass murder is not right,” I scream up at the sky while the gods circle and wheel high above. Sometimes they look like black dots; sometimes they come so close I can see the sky through the feathers on their wings.

I curse them all. It is all their fault. What good are gods if they won’t protect you?

Just wait until they pass the chicken-feed plate next worship day. See if I even give one seed for the gods.

My entire belief system is shot.

Just let me have a while longer

Just let me make it to Christmas. Well, past Christmas to be on the safe side. Martin Luther King Day, that should be safe enough.

“What do you want?” I ask the shadows overhead. “Name your price!” No answer comes from above.

I will do anything to survive. I contemplate whacking the guy next to me and getting his wishbone for luck. By the look in his eyes, he is thinking the same about me. We both turn away.

My house, the whole pen, is on edge. Everyone eyes each other with suspicion. There is not a one of us that wouldn’t trade the guy next to us for another week, another day, another minute.

In my mind, I offer up a wing, a leg, anything to remain here. “How about my giblets?” I cry. “They never did me any good.”

In desperation, I shout to the wheeling gods above, “I coulda been a contender.”

I can’t face this

I’m so depressed. I can’t stand facing my impending doom. Knowing that my number, and all my friends’ numbers as well are, as they say, up. It is so sad. An infinite variety of spirits, of souls, of feathers, all to be wiped out. It’s a good thing this is a dry county, otherwise I would get totally shit-faced.

I’m in such a foul mood!

There is no justice in the world. I am acutely aware that everything is fleeting. Enjoy the flower that produces the seed, because the flower won’t be there tomorrow, and the seed will be eaten.

And I was never loved. This proves it. Dumped into an egg; hatched by strangers. Where is my cosmic, life-altering love affair? I’ll never write the great American novel now, nor drive my bright-red Ferrari down Route 66. I’ll never see, do, or have any amazing life experiences now.

Life sucks. I wish I had never been hatched. I want my Paxil, my Zoloft. I’ll try anything if it makes the future look brighter, or longer. If I wasn’t so genetically pure-bred, I’d be willing to be a guinea pig for any drug that makes me happy; at least a two-legged guinea pig. Speaking of which, I saw on Animal Planet that they eat guinea pigs in Peru at special occasions like holidays and festivals. What a fucked-up world we live in!

Will there be something in the feed to keep me going on until the end? It is all I can do not to fold my wings, put my head between my legs, and kiss “the part that went over the fence last” goodbye.

Life really sucks.

The struggle is over

I’m ready to go. It is late October, the leaves are turning on the trees, and I am reconciled to my fate. “Que sera sera” and all that. Maybe it was pre-ordained, or I was simply pre-ordered; maybe I am just riding a downward cycle on Dame Fortuna’s wheel.

The cranberries in the bog over by the shore are starting to smell sweet. I’m sure they will come to harvest them shortly, though I doubt if I will be there when the trucks laden with their bright red cargo make their way up the highway to the separator. I wonder if I will still smell them in the afterlife.

But I am resigned. Life, that pleasure pen of existence, will soon be over for me. I will struggle against the future no more. I will try, in my last few hours or days, to look for the happiness, the good in life. I am reconciled with the gods of the air; they have their job, and I have mine. Mine is to cease to be anything more than a fleeting memory of holiday’s past.

I am ready to go into that cube of light with the blue-white flames that the survivors of near-roasted experiences talk about.

I ponder my fate on the other side. Traditional, smoked or fried? Oyster dressing, or sage and onion stuffing? Perhaps a glamorous send off, a la a Cajun turducken.

And perhaps, just perhaps, the Lions will win the Thanksgiving football game for once.

November 19, 2021 18:12

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