Thanksgiving, by Chance

It was Arthur Tea and his two children, Gabriel and Kuai, the neighbor man Zenith Thomas, the old Chinese man Liu that the twins had come to know as their grandfather, and a traveler named Scoffield huddled close about the little table. Arthur had always tried his best to make Thanksgiving a memorable day for his children since they had never met their mother and he felt it important to create lasting memories for them. Outside, in the city of Erie, PA, it was snowing. Nothing settled, just melted into little puddles in the streets. It was still cold, and the coal-burning stove worked overtime. First they would eat, then they would adjourn to the living room for a song or two on the piano and a sort of raucous ecstasy would overtake them all. At least that was the intention. Things rarely live up to intention.

Arthur had initially intended for a 12 o’clock deadline for the feast, but already the clock had won. The meal would be late. He smiled and tried to keep up conversation. The boys’ attention was waning. They had begun their own brand of infighting. And Arthur felt trapped in the sort of societal bondage that one accepts when designing a social event. Scoffield wanted to talk about his travels, mostly, asking from time to time what Arthur had done in his earlier years. Zenith, who knew little about Arthur’s past wanted to hear about these stories but found himself getting frustrated with the interruption of the traveler. Grandpa Liu stayed mostly quiet but was silently judging the host.

That was when the roof caved in. It creaked a bit, as it always had. Such an old house cannot be expected to stand forever. Suddenly it all crashed down, around the guests and their table. No one was hurt at all. In fact, not one person left their seat. One second there was a roof, and the next they were waiting for their Thanksgiving dinner in the great outdoors. The boys, of course, were wonderfully pleased and ran about chasing each other in the rubble. Arthur thought to check on the food but could not find the stove anymore. After considering this a moment, he thought it best to evacuate as the ex-house would be a fire hazard.

This was, of course, when the famous Brothers Tea found the treasure of Marcus Dorwellier. In fact, it was Kuai who tripped over it, the little iron box filled to the brim with Aztec gold. He pulled it out of the nook in which it was crammed, once the kitchen wall, and showed it to his father. Arthur opened it and gleefully declared that they would all go to the Great Stag for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Intention is one thing. Joyful calamity is another.

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