Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day Twenty-Six: Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the day, I thought I'd share the one-paragraph Thanksgiving story I recently submitted to a contest. It didn't win, but it did get read and tied for fourth place.

Tom shivered in the chilly November wind, a worried look etched on his face as he realized his friends were disappearing, one by one. He'd heard rumors all his life about Big Jack and what he did to you when you reached a certain age--the atrocities he allegedly committed; but didn't Big Jack take care of them? And wasn't it he who provided their sustenance, who tended to them when they were sick, who gave them shelter? No one knew for sure what really happened when Big Jack singled you out because no one had ever come back; but what he'd overheard Little Jack tell Annie yesterday had made his blood run cold. Kind of hard to believe someone who seemed so caring could also be such a heartless monster. Still, as the day wore on, and more and more of his friends took that one-way trip wrapped in Big Jack's arms, Tom's fears grew. "Gotta keep my head," he thought, "--try to think of a way to survive. " It was almost supper time now, and he saw Big Jack walking in his direction. Very nonchalantly, Tom began to ease to the rear of the nervous, dwindling group gathered in the yard. "If he doesn't see me, if I can just make it through the day, I'll be okay," he thought as he suddenly found himself pressed up against the rough siding of the building. No time left to run, no place to hide, his heart sank as he resigned himself to his fate. Gathering his courage, he vowed not to cry out as Big Jack scooped him up in his arms, held him close, and said, "Yes, Tom, you'll make a fine Thanksgiving dinner."

[Can you find the secret word hidden in this story? If you think you know what it is, post your answer in the comments. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving--but keep your head.]

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