(Journal) Thanksgiving 2026

(Journal) Thanksgiving 2026
Discussion in 'Real Life' started by Raid Master, Nov 23, 2017.
  1. profile

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving is here to sooth any difficulties you might have had experienced throughout 2026, especially with the advent of Terrasphere appearing early in the year. For a large demographic of North American, the tradition of thanksgiving involves being together with family and having a grand meal that includes classics such as roasted turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potato and gravy, but best of all it always finish off with an amazing pie desert.

    What is your character doing for thanksgiving this year? Are they visiting their family for a grand dinner? Or are they stressing about preparing their abode for a sudden visit? If they were alone, what is the day like for them? How do they feel about all of the festivity?

    OOC: All players are allowed one journal-like post or a reflective post for this prompt. If your character happens to know other characters IRL and have plans on meeting up with them, please make a separate thread for that!
  2. img Valerie fidgeted, pulling at her cardigan as she waited with her family for the Hyperloop to arrive. Every year they would take a trip over to Grandpa's house in Michigan for dinner, and every year Val would just have to sit there at the table and be quiet and answer all of Auntie's questions about school and friends (and keep lying that everything was going fine, because it wasn't, but she wasn't allowed to tell anyone that) and that was it.

    And all her cousins would be there. And then Mom and Dad would brag about Val winning all the chess tournaments, and nobody would want to talk with her for the whole dinner because chess was boring. Or, they'd all only make fun of her, and only when the adults weren't around, so Val couldn't complain. Because then she'd sound like a whiny baby, and then Mom and Dad would get mad.

    So, yeah. Thanksgiving sucked.

    ...She didn't even like turkey.

    To make things even worse, the Hyperloop was packed today. Probably because it was Thanksgiving, and people needed to get home. They probably wouldn't be able to get seats, and then Emma would be grumpy because of that, and then that'd just add to the weird uncomfortable silences that happened whenever Val was around her sister nowadays. At least Marcel was nice to be around, even though she knew he was only humoring her to keep her out of his business. She'd take that over the awkward air that developed whenever she was near her sister.

    The next train will arrive in 2 minutes. Please make way for alighting passengers. The next train to-

    The announcement broke Val out of her sulking. She looked up to see people shifting, stepping up to right behind the yellow line. Mom and Dad were moving too, so Val just sighed quietly and shuffled along after them. No getting out of it since it was tradition.

    She just wanted to stay at home. And hopefully get to use the VR adapter. Even though she was still trying to figure things out, the Terrasphere game was pretty cool. Maybe she could see if Marcel would let borrow it for the night when they got back home...?
  3. imgGripping the spoon tighter in her hand, she stirred the pot in front of her. Emilia was always left with this task.. Ever since the incident a few years ago. Despite her parents departing, the fortune they had acclaimed still existed. However instead of their fortune being rested on the parent's shoulders, it was left on Emilia's. With being a part of the higher status of families in Boston came the process of meetings with people, full-scale tea "parties", and dinners (such as the one that would take place later on in the day). It was Thanksgiving, which meant that her home was going to be filled with various family members that Emilia forgot she had until such holidays as this one. Her home would be full of all the guests that her loathing aunt would determinedly invite. Emilia had no say in the matter, despite having inherited her parent's wealth and status (which came along with the very house she was standing in). Despite all of this, she was not all that spoiled. The only awkwardness came from the other high status families in Boston and nearing cities. They did not agree with the fact that she had been the one to inherit her parent's earnings at such a young age. Emilia shook off the despising thoughts and feelings that had boiled inside of her as she took her release on the cranberry sauce in front of her. Stirring like there was no tomorrow. Just think. If you get this done early, you might be able to go on Terrasphere before they all get here. Or maybe you can go out for a walk! Emilia could use some fresh air, or the game she heavily had begun to rely on. The game where anything could happen. She had rather grown fond of the little, yet gigantic world that she had been entered into. There she could be someone different. There she would not have to deal with the fame and statuses that she had to in real life. She could adventure and go everywhere! If I were in the game, I swear my cat ears and tail would have twitched with excitement by now. Emilia couldn't help but let out her charming laugh that sounded angelic enough. Finishing up on the food was now Emilia's main priority.

    Leaning on the counter, Emilia wiped the small bead of sweat that had formed on her forehead from working hard and fast. Emilia let out a sigh of exhaustion. She still had two dishes to prepare before her aunt got to the house. They would be there in about an hour or two. The ding of an incoming text could be heard as Emilia's phone went off. Reaching behind her on the counter, Emilia pulled her phone up and read the text that had interrupted her silence. It was from her aunt, which entailed each person whom would be coming. Looks like its not short of a party this year.. There are fifteen different families showing up. Emilia was grateful to say the least, as she had prepared for at least sixteen families to show their faces. Turning towards the other two dishes, Emilia decided her break was over and it was time to get to work.
  4. img *Clink clink, clink*

    A large rectangular dining room was dead silent with the exception of a clinking of a silver spoon against a bowl. The room was lavish indeed. Obviously decorated by a woman with a eye for such things. The table was lined with food that was by far more than would be consumed today. It was over the top even when compared to what Chelsea's parents used to do for the holiday.

    A large turkey sat steaming on a exotic platter smothered in the most expensive bourbon known to man, sweet potatoes with Caspian Sea caviar, champagne of the highest quality... surely the guests were going to indulge in their luxurious meal and give thanks for their great wealth and power this day... oh right. There were no guests because her auntie was a very unlikable person, on top of the fact that she refused to invite any of the 'unrefined' family members. Basically everyone. This was not how Chelsea's parents did things. Chelsea stared across the table at the overweight woman. A big time fashion designer. Yet also horribly reclusive and narcissistic... to the point where even Chelsea's own narcissism was taken aback by how obnoxious the aunt was. Why was she stuck here with her? Yeesh...

    The answer was obvious of course. Her spoon absentmindedly spun in her soup bow, a appetizer. Unfortunately... hunger was not something Chelsea was feeling today. The servants all had served the food and then were promptly shooed away, to some degree... actually scratch that. Chelsea hoped the woman would shoo her away too. Let her be alone so she could focus on other things, her mind was far from this anyway. Alas it was not to be. Not yet anyway but maybe she could encourage it somehow.

    "Aren't you hungry? What's wrong dear?"

    What's wrong? What's WRONG!? Yeesh. The girl simply stare at her aunt more. This was a holiday for giving thanks... well... most of what she cared for was being taken from her. The woman was trying to put on a loving facade now? It still came off as forced and it was not missed by Chelsea. This woman only took her in to have someone to yell in Chelsea's opinion. She would have rather lived with poorer family than this... actually how about her parents not being dead? That would be just grand. Chelsea raised her spoon to her mouth and tasted it. It wasn't bad but she just did not care at this moment.

    Chelsea just wanted one thing.

    Her life back. If not that then a suitable closure to the past she could never return to...
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  5. img Bing Crosby's velvety voice flowed from the radio, assuring the listener that he would, indeed, be home for Christmas. More than a few people complained that Star 105.7 went "continuous Christmas" before Thanksgiving even passed, but Lena had always found great joy in the familiar jingles. She could turn on White Christmas in the middle of July and still enjoy herself.

    And she would be home for Thanksgiving. The thought sent warmth pulsing through her, and as her heart swelled, she bounced a bit in the leather seat of her Ford. By the time she turned into her long, curving driveway, she was squealing. Her long-haired cat watched from the passenger seat with disinterest, by now used to her unusual antics. When Lena finally parked, her fuzzy companion stood, stretched, and trotted over her legs to leap out the open door. He only just missed being mauled by two slobbering mutts.

    "Hellllllo!" Lena cooed, stooping to run her hands over the squirming bodies. She swung her backpack over her shoulder, closed up the car, and strode toward the back door. All the while, the two dogs ran happy figure-eights around her feet while she told them how much she missed them. When she opened the slider and stepped inside, followed by a cheerful parade of two dogs and a cat, she was struck by the familiar scent, familiar warmth, of home. There was no need to knock, ring a doorbell, or wait to be ushered inside. Though she had moved out of the house, out of the state, this would always be her place. And it had been three months since she had visited. Long past due. In a sing-song voice that matched the room's joyous Christmas decorations, she announced her arrival. "I'm hommmmme!"
  6. "Katherine, the turkey'll get cold if you don't come down soon!"

    Alpha groaned, burying her head into her pillow as she kicked her legs up and down, clutching her virtual reality headset like it was a lifeline. After a few seconds of squirming in her bed, she finally dislodged her face from the sheets and shouted loud so that her mother could hear her from behind a locked door and a case of stairs. "Mooom! I told you, I'm busy!" she whined, plucking her earbuds out of the table beside her bed. She was half-ready to plug them in and jam to some music (considering that her only other option for entertainment at the moment, Terrasphere, was unavailable since her parents shut down the internet in order to pester her enough to go downstairs and participate in fun family festivities). She didn't even have anything other than sample songs downloaded into her music player; her entire music library consisted of several songs from the early 2000's such as Linkin Park and a few public domain soundtracks that had her copyright license removed the death of their creator several decades ago.

    "I swear, Katherine...If you're still on that game of yours then you better pause it or you'll be completely grounded!"

    "Mom! I told you that you can't pause a game and I don't even have internet anyways! Urgh! You're the worst!" Alpha yelled at the top of her lungs, feeling oddly content that she put a knot in her parent's plans. Hopefully a Gordian Knot. "Like, you don't even like Auntie Betty! You said she looked fat and she was annoying, remember? Why're you even having a Thanksgiving party?!"

    There was another tinge of juvenile satisfaction rolling in her chest, especially considering that Auntie Betty had been one of the earlier arrivals and was currently, most certainly, down there listening in. She heard a particularly loud gasp and a sudden burst of vindictiveness sparked in her. "And you said Uncle Jordan was just a poor hillbilly from the south and that Janice and Thomas and Clyde were the worst kids you've ever met!"

    Smirking at her contribution to this year's celebration, she immediately pressed on the Play button on her device and relaxed as music began to deafen out any response her mother might've had for her. There was absolutely no way that she was coming downstairs this year with Granny over. She'd had enough cheek-pinching and if it meant discrediting her parents in the process? Well, consider it vengeance for nineteen years of raw cheeks.
  7. img "Well if it isn't Kelly Bride Richardson." The voice was low, coming from a tall man with an arm sling. He turned to the girl next to Kelly after hugging her, ruffling the young woman's hair before dragging her into the hug as well. "Good to see you girls home."

    "We're back, Kai." Kelly entered the house before her friend, despite it not being her own. A small boy ran to attach himself to her leg rather quickly. "I'm home, Frankie."

    The boy grinned brightly as he pointed to a knickknack on the table in the sitting room at the front of the house. "Sis! Sis! I made a turkey out of pine cone!"

    "I can see that," She giggled, bending down to hug him properly, her hair tickling his neck as his did her. The boy then led her to the dining room, where food was already on the table and three adults were sitting waiting for them with smiles. "I'm back, dad. Auntie and uncle, too."

    Frankie led her by the hand to a seat, pulling it out for her- and almost having it fall on his head, much to her chagrin. She flicked his forehead for working too hard, only to get scolded for doing the same soon after. With the excitement of the holiday and the scent of a feast before her, she pulled him into her lap when she sat in the chair with a grin.

    "I'll be your seat today since you set up mine." He complained, but was quick to start eating anyway. The rest of the group- namely her best friend and her 'brother', sat down and joined in. "Ah... It really is good to be home."

    The family, made of two separate homes, welcomed her happily. With a quick word of thanks for the food and a wish to her late mother that she'd see their thankfulness for bringing them all together again that year, she grinned at the ceiling before taking her own first bite of the meal- happily keeping her brother close to her, and feeling her family's warmth fill her again, to make the next month at school just a bit easier.

    "Thank you, mom," She mused softly once more to herself. "Thank you for giving me Frankie... and such a wonderful family to love."
  8. imgAhhhh, Thanksgiving. The worst day to be a pair of pants. For Kyouko it was simply another day, a fact that spread to most holidays and holiday seasons when she worked retail and waitressing, whose workers she included in her prayers every year.

    Actually, most years she dreaded Thanksgiving, not only for the fact that it was a day where most everything was either closed or extra crowded, but for the larger family gatherings. It wasn’t even seeing family itself. It was having to bring flash drive upon flash drive just in case because she could still remember that laptop that hadn’t been updated in a year last year. How this “wasn’t working right” and how she should take a look at it.

    She was the free tech support gal, complete with her own superhero belt. So when her dad told her it would just be a small gathering of him, her, her grandmother, her stepmother, and her stepbrother, well, she breathed a sigh of relief. She wouldn’t have to prepare for battle, have a meal interrupted, or outright tell someone no.

    It also helped that even her stepmom wasn’t big on tradition. Kyouko wasn’t the biggest fan of turkey. In fact, she was pretty sure no one was, and if they said they were, they were lying.

    Still, even if she wasn’t about to go by the motto of “gobble til you wobble” – she was still going to have a nice dinner with family. She hadn’t seen her father since his birthday last August, and she sure wasn’t going to miss a chance to hear how her little brother was doing now that he’d started university.

    Smiling to herself, she checked how she looked in the mirror one last time before leaving heading into her kitchen. She knew that as the two household “gamers” that they’d touch on the subject eventually. It was a shame he likely didn’t have access to Terrasphere, but then, that would probably eat up more time that he could afford. Time that his mom probably thought was better put toward finding a girlfriend, although that wasn’t exactly a subject Kyouko wanted to touch on herself.

    Besides, she had all the company she needed already. As if on cue, her little black cat walked towards her as she brought out a tin canned chicken.

    "There you are you little porker," she said opening the can. To her surprise, he ignored the food as she reached for things, and motioned as if to follow her out the kitchen. "Oh no, no. I'm not bringing you. If I did there'd be nothing left for the rest of us."

    Not hesitating a moment longer, she made her way out the door. She texted her dad that she was coming over, ever thankful for many things. Friends. Pets. Family. But also that she wouldn't be facing turkey sandwiches for the next three weeks.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  9. Lucia didn't have anything particularly interesting going on in her life. Certainly she could have Thanksgiving and do something nice in reality, but her family events were largely quiet, just as average and normal as she was, they didn't do anything incredible or out there. She didn't really want to be a part of the festivities either, having long since moved out and started her own life she didn't really have anyone to have turkey with. Instead, she found herself in game once more, sitting down at a table in her territory as a duchess. A sweet smile on her face as she glanced around the small table.

    Joining her were a variety of undead types, some who couldn't quite sit down, and others who made a show of it. To her left was Sylvanas, the loyal Wight Queen, the Undead commander of her knight order. The Tal'darim had been faithful supporters of her since their order first began, clad in black armors, with exposed skulls and blazing eyes, the rank and file soldiers had a uniform look to them with no flesh, but they were still just as sturdy and strong as their commander. Sylvanas at least, with a head of cotton white hair and pale dark grey skin that matched the color of ash sat at the table beside her with the same picturesque indifference she always held towards most things. Upon meeting Lucia's gaze though, the Undead knight's frosty demeanor warmed briefly with a gentle and faint smile. "Miss, are you cold? Should I add another layer on?" She asked, as concerned for her health as always. Sylvanas always felt a deep debt to Lucia since being raised, the undead woman had too much in common with the necromancer when it came to the despair they both felt from mediocrity. Lucia had managed to save her from that, but Sylvanas was very aware that Lucia still suffered from the feelings that plagued her. Answering with a silent shake of her head, she continued turning her head with a musing smile.

    Beyond Lucia, at the opposite side of the table was the familiar face of Mortimer. While the phantom gentleman wore only a silver mask in place of his face, his demeanor was always very calm and tranquil. Not the excitable type, instead he meticulously began carving meat and moving it across the table from the bird they had roasted earlier. Placing a few slices on each person's plate one by one. Noticing Lucia's gaze, he hesitated briefly before gesturing at her with the utensils. "Would Matriarch prefer the white or dark meat? If memory serves, the white meat tends to be the more tender while the dark is often more flavorful? Perhaps a bit of both?" "Both, with gravy please." Lucia spoke back contently earning a nod from the phantom as he continued about his duties providing service to the table. Mortimer had always been the one that Lucia found the most down to earth among her undead supporters. Where others were quirky or silly or unique, Mortimer seemed very normal and natural, very unassuming. It was hard to remember sometimes that he was a vicious assassin famous throughout his era as a monster.

    Continuing on, Lucia found the short stubby skeleton, one of the pair who served as her groups diplomat. Lucia had raised this one with the prospect of being her kingdom's last line of defense, a lich that was very adept at creating hell from a cascade of spells. Internally he was a very vicious and pragmatic individual, one that would snip away threats before they could develop. A harsh and ruthless interior that remained hidden in a sheath until a threat appeared. When there was none however, it was a lazy creature, as if trying to sleep and rest forever like true dead, it enjoyed relaxing. Lucia had instructed it to tell jokes or set up lunch booths whenever possible, while it didn't quite understand why she would ask it to do so, it complied with a smile, willing to work with Lucia's strange and bizarre plan for it. "Boss, how about a drum stick for me and my brother?" It asked, spreading a noticeable smile as it's jawline contorted when Lucia nodded back. It rested it's head back at the table contently in wait for it's turn for food to come.

    Glancing on, at the opposite end of the table from Mortimer sat the Lich's brother, a taller skeleton, wearing armor that appeared to be made from tin, decorated with sparkling glitter and shined up nice enough to shimmer in the light. This one was given the role of the dim witted mischief maker and warm hearted supporter of all life. As opposed to the more ruthless diplomat, the taller one was more of the kind hearted optimist that truly believed in the good of all creatures and peoples. It's character of being in charge of showing Humanity the glory of the Undead while also becoming friendly with them was accepted readily and genuinely. Loving and adoring his mission and role, he even made his own outfit out of tin and soft metals to try and fit the part better. Unlike the others, he didn't seem to notice Lucia's gaze at all as he swung his fork around the table. "Nyeheheh! We bravely fought this time comrades! The silly Hyumans certainly noticed our might and usefulness! No doubt next time they'll be begging the boss to work with us!" He spoke proudly, as if pinning a badge on his chest posing dramatically in his chair with an outstretched hand. As animated as always, he earned a chuckle from Lucia who continued on looking at the one on her other side.

    This one was different, from the other 4 undead, it was peculiar. It's body still unstable, pale skin occasionally becoming tough furs with a shifting and rippling figure that made it hard to feel safe around. Despite that, Lucia still chose to be close by, knowing that if it's physique ever went out of control she could be there to stop it and quiet the magical reaction. It was one without a name, unlike the others, Lucia simply hadn't thought of one yet, but it's presence at the table made it clear it was just as valued as her other generals. With a content expression, Lucia lifted a hand to pat it's rippling shoulder. The flesh suddenly twitched, muscle peeling back towards Lucia's hand as if trying to grab on and pull it in like a monster. Lucia felt the bonding process, but pulled back snapping the connection without hesitation, only to continue petting with a bit more force to make sure the twisting musculature of the creature didn't get a firm hold on her again. "It's okay, you'll find yourself soon, for now, try to have a meal, let's see how you do at blending." Lucia instructed, but the creature just glanced down at it's plate. Movements seemed difficult, as if lifted a hand, other hands would occasionally separate from it, twisting and contorting. One grabbing a fork while the other just grabbed the meat itself with a clawed hand. Lucia only shook her head with a kind smile, this one would get it eventually, abominations were always difficult to teach in the beginning phases.

    "Thank you all, everyone for being with me on this day. For me, from my original home, this was a very special custom. I'm glad I could share it with you all."

    "A toast, to the Matriarch, may her efforts bare fruit."
    "... A dumb toast Mortimer, think of something more eloquent."
    "How about, let everyone enjoy the warmth of some'body'?"

    It was a somewhat rowdy event by the time things got started, but it made her feel at home, at peace. Far more then that 'reality' of her's ever did. Truly if she did have a home, a place where her spirit came to rest, it was here. Thinking once more about how thankful she was for this place, she lifted her glass to gently clink it with those among the table to enjoy a nice time with her closest friends.
  10. Dad had to work again, and mom refused to make dinner unless she was sure that dad would be home for it. Which she wasn’t. So Eru and Dael sat at home, eating turkey TV dinners and watching other families enjoy themselves way more than they were.

    Unfortunately for the twins, neither cared to cook, especially not Dael, who was already lazy beyond all belief. But as Eru stabbed his lukewarm microwaved turkey, he mused, “I probably could have afforded a turkey this year. We knew dad would be busy, which meant mom wouldn’t cook.”

    Dael just gave him a grunt as he munched on the green beans. Eru sighed and wondered if Dael really understood how much Eru needed him. It wasn’t until times of family like this where he understood just how much Dael’s laziness and apathy really got to him. Dad busy, mom waiting for dad, and his brother being an uncaring deadbeat.

    Did anyone wonder why he lost himself in these other worlds? The answer should have been obvious. About the only real caring family interactions he had was he monthly phone call with his grandmother who was glad to know hat Eru was as successful as his father, and not so happy about Dael. He pushed his plate away, unfinished food garnishing it like a pile of shame. What good was being successful in life if nobody cared? If nobody shared the enjoyment?

    “Maybe I’ll get a ham for Christmas,” he muttered as he stood and moved to head to his room. “I’m going to play Terrasphere,” he told Dael, who only grunted again as he ate slowly, staring at something on his cell phone. “Happy Thanksgiving...” he said softly to nobody in particular, as he locked his door to fade away into another world once again.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  11. "No mom, I've been going." Sabine sighed away from the speaker of the cheap cell phone, dented and cracked, as the muffled voice of her mother carried through. She scowled and wrapped her free arm around her torso as if it would protect her from the scathing tone.

    "You know this means a lot to me, of course I keep my appointments. I'm not a child." The woman bit back another biting remark as she was cut off. The irritated expression quickly melted into confusion. "I- How do you-" She hissed in a breath. "It was one time, I'm not giving up or anything. It just, it hurt after that trip to New York and I pushed and I needed more than a day back-" Without conscious thought, her hand peeled away from her side to drift downwards. She didn't flinch as her fingers pressed into the joint despite the bolt of pain that shot through her nerves.

    "I'm fine. And no, dad and I aren't doing anything." The next sigh was softer, more resigned. "Because he doesn't celebrate it and it's not like you're here, Major Bertrand."

    The silence on the phone was deafening and she forced herself away from the counter of her small apartment's kitchen to move to the balcony. The glass slid to the side with a little effort and she stepped out into the biting cold. Even if it had been a few months, she still hated New Jersey with a passion. The plumes of steam from her breath reminded her of a midnight hunt in the low Pormont mountains. When her mother spoke again, she certainly didn't jump at the sudden noise.

    "Is that supposed to make me feel better? I told you I'm fine. Tell Jeanne, Alix, and your airmen I said 'hi.' You guys have a good time. Love you. Bye." She hung up without another word and tossed the phone back into the house, the small device bouncing on the bed a few times before getting lost in the covers. There was a time when anything thicker than sheets would have been too much. Muscle produced a lot of body heat and since her injury, she'd been buying more and more blankets as the nights grew colder. The woman chewed on her lip and looked over what of New Brunswick she could see from the small balcony.

    Finally, the cold became too much and she stepped back inside and slid the door closed behind her. She listened for the soft click of the lock behind her before walking slowly over to the bed to sit down. "Stupid." Sabine hissed at herself as she sat down carefully, leg aching in response. Even that little bit of cold was enough to make it feel like she was walking with a rusted railroad spike lodged in between her hip and femur. "Stupid, stupid, stupid." She grabbed the bottle of pain medicine nearby and turned it over to read the label she had a thousand times before. Gwyn never needed it. She didn't need anything but magic to patch her up in the game and Sabine bore her teeth down at it as if the twin war hounds were there with her to do so.

    Like the phone before, she threw it and tried not to care about how little pills were left to clatter around inside it as it bounced and rolled across the kitchenette's laminate. With both hands, she pulled herself back onto the bed and let the tension bleed out of her limbs. The VR tech on her bedside table waited for her to break and yield. To give in and escape to it. And she would.

    Sabine dug through the pile of blankets for a moment before she found the discarded phone. She might as well send an email first. She had a new appointment to make after missing the last. That first. Then she'd go check on Nathair and make sure the damn snake hadn't made of meal of its new sibling. Maybe Kyupin's little bakery would be open? They didn't exactly celebrate Thanksgiving Day in France so her father had little interest and her mother and sisters were too far away. She hoped Kyupin had family members to spend the holiday with, but a selfish part of her hoped she'd be there waiting.

  12. Strange.

    It wasn’t all that colorful, was it? Compared to the eyepopping colors of Terrasphere and the constant mixture of merriment and terror, real life really was dull now. After staring down the Reaper and cheating Death a dozen times, there was a certain…disconnect between reality and fantasy. This peace and tranquility calmed her in a numbing fashion, but more than that, it simply bored her. Dark eyes flicked about from one object to another, expecting a wolf to lunge out from the curtains, a ghost to material through the ceiling, a mimic to swallow her whole as she opened the fridge.

    But there was none of that, and she wasn’t armed anyways, that strangely addicting tingling sensation that indicated magical power now gone. Just flesh, bone, and blood. A single organism sitting in a room too small, and a room too large, bound by flesh and powerless. A cold slice of turkey and leftover rice sat on the table, complimented by wilting vegetables that were discounted in the neighborhood grocery store.

    “Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Her parents were working again, and she clasped her hands together in silent prayer, wishing them success in their dead end jobs. Was she afraid to become like them, slaving away with no progression, no raises, and no reward? Yeah, that fear was always there, wasn’t it? Looking at them and seeing her future carved down into her very genes. A resiliency and strength that could only push forwards futility against human limits. Real life was unkind and merciless. It took forever to make progress, and you lose your status of ‘special’ much too quickly. There were smarter people out there, after all. Better people. Richer people. More influential, more self-assured, more charming, capable of grasping and materializing their dreams and goals.

    All while those things remained hazy and distant for her. Terrasphere was a mistake, wasn’t it? Now that she had tasted the glory of a new, fresh, unexplored virtual world, how on earth was she going to capture the beauty of this dull, monotonous one?

    A violent strike of her fork speared the slice of turkey meat, splitting it in half as she bit down on it. It was dry and unappetizing, but food wasn’t easy to come by in reality, what with droughts becoming more and more common in agriculture focused countries. Even if it tasted terrible compared to the food she could grab in Stokbon, she ate and ate and consumed and refreshed, downing the slurry down with a glass of tap water. The plastic cup thunked against the table as she slammed it downwards, wiping her lips. Her legs were getting antsy, her body thrumming for movement, but her stamina was so much worse in reality.

    Another cup of water, to extinguish the hunger pangs of her stomach, as the flat chested girl internalized the bitterness that was springing up, drowning it with brighter thoughts. They had a house, they had heating, and they had internet. Her father spent his vacation time doing overtime to afford her a proper camera that now laid untouched by her bed. Her mother wove a new sweater for her in her spare time to keep her warm because she was interested in taking photos up in the mountains, and now she lounged about day and night in old t-shirts.

    God, she needed to try harder. Needed to strike the balance. Needed to figure out how to balance this. Needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to needed to nee-

    A sharp breath.

    Fists balled up against her eyes.

    This room was too small and too large for her.

    He still hadn’t buried her.
  13. Arthur's Audio Journal: Thanksgiving Special

    So it's that time of year again? Could have swore it was just Halloween yesterday. Strange how time seems to fly these days. I guess it's like what Grammy always used to tell em: the older you become, the shorter your days. That old woman wasn't lying.

    One more chance to be thankful for all the things I have, huh? Man, I can't believe I've been too busy to remember to buy those plane tickets. I really wanted to fly back home and see Mom again. I'm sure she's having a rough time. I bet Jonah is still being a burden on her too. Kid's old enough to move out but he's still trying to stay on Mom's money bottle.

    Dang, it's gonna be so weird without being able to talk to Dad this year. I can't ask him about the ranch or how many calves have been born this year. I still can't believe the old man is gone. I mean, I knew he was sick, but I didn't think it would be so soon. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it. I shouldn't have left home like I did.

    It's not that I regret leaving, y'know. It's just... Idunno, I guess it's just that I wish I could have been there with him and Mom and Jonah. It wasn't right for me to stay gone these last 4 years. I wonder how many nights they sat up and wondered how I was doing? Why I didn't call or send a letter or something. I'm sure it had to eat away at them. But damn, I just couldn't handle everything back home. Dad was sick, and I... I just didn't want to accept it.

    I guess, it all worked out though. I mean, I can't change things now. It's too late for that. But, well, there's things I wish that I could. See, I loved them. They were my parents. Well, Idunno, more than just parents. Dad was like my hero. He taught me to ride and rope cattle. He showed me how to help out if a cow was having a hard time birthing her calf. I'll never forget the first time I saw calf, fresh in the world, taking its first steps. I can't believe I'll never be able to stand beside dad and watch that again.

    It's just the little things, y'know. The little things are the hardest to miss, I guess. The way he buttoned his shirts from bottom to top. Or how he always put his left boot on before his right. When his glasses were fogged and he's wipe them on the collar of his flannel because it was the only place he hadn't wiped dirt off his hands. Dang, Dad sure did a lot of things different than I do.

    I'll never forget that one time when I skipped school and tried to hide out in the barn. I snuck a whole box of sugar cubes out there with me and was feeding them to the horses. I think I would've gotten away with it if I didn't jump in that fresh stack of hay and start sneezing. Man, those were some good times. Dad wasn't even mad, he just wanted to know that I was alright. It sure worried him when they called home from school and said I hadn't showed up. Bus driver never pulled out again until I was either on the bus or Mom told him I wasn't going.

    Crap! It's getting late already. I got finish getting dressed for dinner. I guess I'll be back another time. Happy Thanksgiving. Take care now, ya hear.
  14. img"I'm so glad you could make it!" The voice of a female resounded on a grand dining table. "Axel, our head chef, made sure to get the finest turkey in all the country, my dear." Her annoying voice continued. "I'm certain you will love it. And make sure to mention it to your dad, right?" Disgusting. She wasn't even good at it.

    "Gertrud!" The head of the household cut in as 'Gertrud', the disgusting woman's name, gave him a scornful look but ultimately falling silent. This was awkward. Why couldn't she just disappear? But instead, here she was, sitting on the dining-table of "Raina, why aren't you eating anything? The meat's really great!" A third voice asked. A boy about her age that was about the only person in the world she truly disliked. "How often do I have to tell you not to talk while your mouth is full?!"

    "..." Raina forced the sad look out of her face with a smile as she started eating. She knew the difference. The difference when her own father simply asked her to do something and when he commanded. Nobody disobeyed her dad's command. Not even the heroic Raina... .

    Cutting out her surroundings, the blonde girl simply continued to eat. Thanksgiving was supposed to be a get-together of sorts. So why did they suddenly started fighting? This atmosphere was just terrible. But... she had to tough it out. Simple as that. At least the food was actually really great. That didn't help her feeling like dead inside though.

    "SILENCE! Both of you." The blonde-haired girl didn't even know how much time happened between the yelling as the father silenced the entire family with a single word. He looked quite annoyed and very angry. Just like that, however, the awkward silence returned.

    It took maybe a minute before the man spoke up. "So, Raina, how long has it been since you're betrothed to Sebastian? 3 years if I am not mistaken? Surely, by now, something must have happened?" - "Father!" Sebastian's father tried to say in a teasing voice. Maybe an attempt to get on her good side by acting some sort of 'cool father' approach. After all who the hell would ask something like that? Exactly. "I remember the first kiss I-" First kiss? The world around her faded out once again as a certain face appeared in her mental image. NO.

    It was just a play. An act. Not real. Stolen. On top of it all, it was digital! There was no reason to feel embarrassed about it. No reason to even remember it. She barely even knew that guy... Cain, was it? Though, seeing Sebastian's face upon the revelation that Raina was not the pure maiden her father marketed her as, was all too tempting.

    "-ina... RAINA!" The blonde flinched as her name was most likely mentioned multiple times by now. Taking a good look around, it seemed like the atmosphere had gotten even worse. The mother was nowhere to be seen? Was it... another fight? For trying to make an impression on her this sure was a disaster.

    Nonetheless, with all that had happened, the for once very docile Raina took a look at the clock. Only 20 minutes passed, her suffering had only started... .
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  15. Ahh, Thanksgiving. That meant a break from working at the diner, meaning that she had plenty of time to help out at home. A few of her friends from class had complained about having to take long trips to relatives' homes to have dinner, while others were more excited about it. But Dongxue didn't have any family in the States aside from her own parents, and none of them were about to fly back to China just for a weekend, so she found herself with an abundance of time on her hands.

    Her parents weren't that big on Thanksgiving. Neither was she, really. When she was in elementary school she thought making hand turkeys was cool, and getting to have pumpkin pie and turkey was amazing, but it wasn't that different from any other special occasion. Dad would cook a big, special meal, they would all eat together, sometimes talk about anything and everything like how Dongxue was doing in her courses, or Mom's plans for the winter holidays, or Dad's newest hobby. And that was it, really. It was a cozy little thing, meant to be warm and quiet and comforting.

    She didn't feel very thankful, though. Not after what had happened in Terrasphere lately. Everything just felt like a bit swirling mess, but most of all she just felt tired.

    Still, it wasn't anything that she could reveal to her parents. There was no way they'd approve of her playing games, and no way that they could understand why she was so upset about it even if they were okay with her playing a game.

    So when Dad asked if she wanted to help prepare dinner, she put on a smile and agreed. He was happy that she was developing an interest in cooking these past few weeks, though he didn't know where it came from. Dongxue had made up something about cooking being an important life skill to learn, and that was accepted easily enough. And it was true, but prior to starting Terrasphere, she didn't really have any intention of learning. So, that was at least one positive that Terrasphere had given her. One, among the many, many negatives.

    ...She should probably stop playing. Maybe it'd be healthier. But she had resolved then, after the assassination, to stay, to take responsibility, and to help. And besides, the thought of quitting and going back to a dull, mundane life after getting a taste of Terrasphere was an awful one. No matter how much awfulness the game threw at her, she couldn't find it in herself to leave.

    Back in the present, she was left to vegetable and stir-fry duty while Dad worked with the oven. If she spent a lot longer than usual washing her hands in preparation, he didn't notice. Through the water and bubbles, she could swear that her fingernails were a brittle white, that the skin seemed marbled and pale. She picked up a familiar pungent smell under the lavender soap, though nobody else seemed to notice it.

    Gritting her teeth, she scrubbed harder at her hands. She had to get them clean.