The New Normal Thanksgiving
by Peggy Gerber
Lynne was just taking the sweet potato casserole out of the oven when Dave sauntered in, grabbed a spoon, and scooped out a mouthful. “Mm,” he said. When he saw his wife grimace, he added, “You really outdid yourself this year.”
Lynne chuckled, gave her husband a kiss, and said, “I would kill you, except that I am so happy we are finally having a normal Thanksgiving again.”
Dave agreed. “I know what you mean. I am so sick of talking about pandemics and waves and viruses.”
“Yes,” Lynne said, “It’s been exhausting.” A warm smile began spreading across her face as she proclaimed, “But today will be wonderful. We are going to see all of our children and grandchildren, and even crazy Uncle Freddy and Rose.”
Five hours later, sated and happy, the family embarked on their annual tradition of taking turns saying what they were grateful for. Uncle Freddy began. He said, “I’m grateful for the delicious food,” then patted his stomach, loosened his belt, and right on cue, expelled a load of gas.
Four-year old Max screeched, “Uncle Freddy farted!”, and the children roared with laughter. Rose smacked Uncle Freddy on the head, to which he responded, “Hey, it made the kids laugh.”
“Next time,” Rose said, “Just tell a joke.”
When it was Lynne’s turn to speak, she said, “I’m grateful I didn’t have to make any of the complicated specialty dishes this year. Not the vegan loaf for Jill, not the gluten free stuffing for John, and not the dairy free pumpkin pie for Zac. No offense guys, I love you.”
With dinner finally over, the family began their newest tradition: they put their hands together in prayer, and said, “Next year in person,” and removed their virtual reality headsets.
Peggy Gerber is a poet and short story writer from New Jersey who can’t resist entering Umair’s micro fiction contests. Her stories and poems have appeared in many publications including Potato Soup Journal, Daily Science Fiction, Terror House Magazine, 101words.org, and many others.