The Last Thanksgiving
by David Green
“I can’t believe we’re here,” Laura whispered, suppressing a cough as she hid with Jim amongst the trees.
Four hundred paces away, the European colonists feasted with America’s original inhabitants. Jim and Laura selected this date—when the three-day celebration between the Plymouth pilgrims and the Wampanoag occurred—as they’d scheduled their maiden voyage through time on Thanksgiving. Laura stifled a cough again.
“Your Covid test came back negative, right?” Jim asked.
Laura cleared her throat. “Yes,” she lied. “I wouldn’t be so reckless.”
Heat rose in her cheeks. Laura knew she should have postponed their trip to 1621; she received her virus-positive results that morning. She figured she’d steer clear of the pilgrims and the Wampanoag, and return home without so much as harming a butterfly.
“Right,” Jim said, narrowing his eyes as she coughed again. His smart-watch pinged. “Time to head back.”
Laura watched her partner disappear deeper into the forest, before a sharp intake of breath spun her around.
“You’re neither colonist nor native!”
Laura shot to her feet and coughed full into the shocked pilgrim’s face. She fancied she could see each individual piece of spittle strike the man in his face.
“Sorry,” she yelled before fleeing into the trees after Jim. “It’s just one cough,” she told herself, “that’s all. Right?”
“Where’s the fire?” Jim called as Laura raced by him. The portal’s shimmering lights called her home.
She leaped through. Laura’s vision blurred as she travelled the time-stream, and she swayed when her feet touched the ground. Blinking, she glanced around.
Instead of her lab, Laura stood in an empty field, with grass and rolling hills as far as the eye could see. No planes flew in the sky.
“What happened?” Jim breathed beside her.
Laura fell to her knees, a hacking cough her only answer.
David Green is a fiction writer based in Co Galway, Ireland. Having been published with Red Cape Publishing, Nocturnal Sirens, and Black Hare Press to name a few, David is continuing to work across a variety of genres, and loves to create new worlds and stories for people to enjoy. David is the host of ‘Off The Page’, a monthly open mic designed for aspiring writers to showcase their work.