One Word - a Thanksgiving ficlet
“I don't think I'm thankful for turnips,” Zach said as he contemplated the off-white blob on his fork. “Unless ...” he added, pivoting the utensil, a well-placed finger on the tines, taking aim.
“Don't you dare,” Samantha warned from across the table and Zach lowered his weapon.
“Maybe you could tell us what you are thankful for, Zach,” Catherine prompted.
“Where?” Father asked, nervously surveying the room. “Mouse, I told you to— ”
Vincent looked under the table for signs of mischief.
“No … thankful for Arthur,” Mouse explained. There was an audible sigh of relief from the congregation. “Keeps toes warm,” Mouse mumbled sheepishly.
“I see,” Father responded, looking a little confused. “Thank you … Mouse, for that rather succinct expression of gratitude. Would anyone else like to elaborate a little on what they're thankful for today?”
“Perhaps, not too much elaboration,” Vincent said, looking down the length of the long table. “Brevity has its merits.”
“We can follow Mouse's lead,” Catherine suggested. “One word thankfulness … who's first?”
“Pipes!” Pascal called out.
“Of course,” Catherine replied with a smile. “Who else?”
“Pie,” William said with a wink as he placed two warm apple pies at the end of the table.
“Mmmm.” Catherine's eyes widened at the sight of the desert. “Now we're getting the hang of it.”
“Home,” Geoffrey offered, leaning into Mary as she wrapped an arm around his shoulder.
“Children,” she said warmly.
“Hey!” Samantha exclaimed, wiping mashed turnips from her face and scowling at Zach.
“Can I reconsider?” Mary asked with a grin.
“Laughter,” Jamie chimed in, nudging Mary.
“Forgiveness?” Zach suggested as he handed a clean napkin across the table to Samantha.
She cleaned the rest of the turnips off her face and threw the napkin back at him.
Catherine, who had walked around to the other side of the table in order to avoid flying vegetables, now took a seat on Vincent's knee. “Love,” she said, placing a kiss on his cheek.
Vincent wrapped his arms around her, leaned close and whispered, “You.”
“Family,” Father concluded, looking at the faces of everyone gathered there who had found safety, warmth, love, and happiness Below. “So very much to be grateful for ...”