I don’t often include holidays in my novels, unless it’s something like Halloween. However, once in awhile a holiday scene crops up. With American Thanksgiving looming on the horizon and Canadian Thanksgiving a few weeks past, I thought I’d share a scene from Full Measure (which was my NaNo novel a few years ago.)
Daphne Winstead is a young, upcoming accountant. She’s been hired to go over the books for a psychiatric practice because the head of the practice believes that someone is embezzling funds. She makes friends with his personal assistant, Karen, and finds herself invited to Thanksgiving dinner with Karen, her family and friends. Karen has an ulterior motive to inviting Daphne to dinner, she wants to introduce her to her brother, Ralan.
Karen and Luc arrived with Fanny at 10:45. Luc helped her carry her pies and bags downstairs while Karen waited in the car with the baby. About half an hour later, they pulled up at Ian’s. All kinds of wonderful smells filled the air. Daphne inhaled deeply. It smelled so much like home, she almost cried. Her phone rang. Luc took her pies inside as she struggled to answer.
“Hi, darling! Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Thanks, Mom. Same to you! I just got to Cynthia and Ian’s. Can I call you later?”
“No need. Just making sure that nice young man got my recipes all right?”
“I don’t know. What nice young man?”
“This lovely fellow with a beautiful British accent. He called and said he was the chef preparing the meal. He wanted it to be special for you, like you were home. He asked about my recipes for corn pudding and stuffing, oh, all kinds of things.”
Daphne burst into tears. Fritz had done that for her? No wonder it smelled like home! It was home. “Yes, Mama, he got them. Thank you! I love you so much and I miss you.”
“We miss you too, honey. God bless!”
Before walking in the door, Daphne sat on the front porch and cried. Karen came out a few minutes later and sat next to her.
“Fritz called my mom and got her recipes so it would taste—like home!”
Karen hugged her. “How sweet! I had no idea he did that.”
They went inside when Daphne stopped crying. She was greeted like she’d been gone for years instead of days. When she got to Fritz, she kissed both cheeks, hugging him tight.
“Thank you so much. That was the sweetest thing a man’s ever done for me.”
His eyes moist, he tried to hide a sniffle. “Then you’ve been around the wrong men, love.”
Karen hugged him too. “Whatever made you think of it?”
“Well, you lot were planning what to bring, your mum’s specialties and such. So I got to thinking of what makes this holiday special, it’s the food. We smell them cooking and it makes us think of home. So I called all your mums and picked their brains. I’ve been fixing it on the sly since the weekend.”
Gillian hugged her husband, nearly smothering him with a kiss. “I do love you—so much! Aren’t you the most thoughtful?”
“And your mum’s hasty pud is on the hob,” Fritz replied with a sly wink.
That got him a bigger kiss. All the women descended on him, hugging and kissing him until he waved his hands for help. Luc and Hal dragged him free as the doorbell rang. Ian was closest. He wheeled over and opened it. A tall, broad shouldered, dark haired man stood there with a large, cloth covered basket on one arm. He grinned as Ian ushered him in.
“Ralan, nice you could make it. What did you bring?” He tried to peep under the cloth.
Ralan smacked his hand. “Mom’s meat pies as requested. She won’t give out the recipe to a soul. I’ve got her down to the spices and she won’t divulge them. I put it to Fritz’ expert palette to figure it out. Now, where’s my goddaughter? I’ve got something for her.”
Fanny squealed from her mother’s arms, lunging at her uncle. He set the basket down and caught her, laughing and making funny faces. He pulled a toy out of the pocket of his long leather coat and gave it to her. Baby in one arm, he wandered into the kitchen to greet the others and present Fritz with the basket of four meat pies, still hot from the oven.
© 2014 Dellani Oakes