Flash Fiction: Thanksgiving Excerpt from THE LAST MCNARY

Happy day after Thanksgiving for all who celebrate!

Over on Instagram yesterday, I posted about the book I’m most thankful I read in 2020 (Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco) and talked about why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (hint: food)! See post below.

I also shared a few writing snippets in my story – all of which take place in the “Thanksgiving” chapter of THE LAST MCNARY. You can still catch a few of them (and answer some fun questions), but if you’re not on Instagram, I wanted to post a longer snippet below. Enjoy! This takes place about halfway through the book.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! I am so thankful for each one of you.

“Good morning!” Mercy sing-songs in a bright tone before slamming her hand on the keys of the grand piano behind us, jarring both Miles and I from slumber. 

“What the hell, Merce?” Miles snarls as he blinks sleep out of his eyes and checks his phone for the time. Autumn snickers next to Mercy. “It’s not even five a.m., you savage.”

Mercy ignores him and turns to smile at me. “I see you’ve been hard at work,” she chuckles as I peel my cheek off of the book I fell asleep reading. “Autumn and I have a surprise for you two.”

Miles and I eye Mercy warily as she lumps us together.

“Oh, relax,” she groans, dismissing our expressions. “Since it’s Thanksgiving, I sent a memo from Miles’ desk that donors and staff members will have a half day. After Autumn’s nurses leave, the four of us can spend Thanksgiving together! No studying, no bleeding, no work talk. Just us.”

Both Miles and I blink unenthused at Merce’s chipper attitude before sinking back into sleeping positions. 

“No, no, no,” Mercy whips her head between us. “No sleeping. You two are in charge of decorations and thinking up some party games.”

“How does one decorate for Thanksgiving?” Miles asks, eyes still closed. “Hang bloody posters of conquerors killing indigenous people?”

No,” Mercy scoffs. “Though I appreciate your reminder of the… upsetting root of this holiday. But decorations are so pretty for Thanksgiving! You know, fall leaves, pumpkins, corn, barley; place settings in a cream and brown color scheme with name cards at each seat; drinking goblets that match the flatware…

“Actually, on second thought…” Mercy backtracks. “I’ll take care of that in addition to helping Autumn cook. I think I have an image in my head of how I want the dining room to look.”

“Obviously,” Miles counters. “We’ll be going back to sleep now.”

“Fine,” Mercy concedes. “Just make sure you have games ready for tonight. And please bring something nice to wear,” she adds, twisting her arm around Autumn’s. “Your holey sweatpants/sweatshirt combo is not welcome at the dinner table. We’re visiting Lizbeth tonight so you need to look presentable for that, too.”

“You’re making me dress nice to eat food?” Miles whines, burrowing farther into his blanket.

“Absolutely.” Mercy commands, staring a hole into Miles’ back before catching my gaze in an intense glare. “Even though our lives are total shit right now, tonight is about fun and festivities and family and I demand that everyone will have the time of their lives.”

I nod quickly, frightened to react any other way.

A satisfied smile overtakes Mercy’s expression. “Good. After I drop Autumn off downstairs, I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.”

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