Well, I also took the Thanksgiving challenge from Kits (I am so enjoying those essays — simply loverly, Kits!!). I've been in a Thankful-ish mood anyway, and this little idea just sort of popped out of nowhere — so, here 'tis. My first work of HH fanfiction, by the way, so tell me what you think! (Disclaimer: If I owned them, I'd be rich, famous, and happy. I'm only happy, so you do the math) — Skybright Daye

November --, 1943

Dear Mum,

I know I haven't kept in touch so well. I'm sorry about it. Y'know how life is — it just starts going and doesn't stop, one thing after another. Hardly leaves you time to think. Especially around here.

Feels odd, writing like this. Kinchloe, he's the one to write letters. Or Andrew. Even the Colonel. Not me. Truth is I've only written to my girl, Rita, since I wound up here, except two notes I wrote to Dad — just to let him know I was alive. He didn't write back, but I guess I wasn't that surprised. Dad &I . . . well, we didn't part on the best of terms. Guess there were too many things we didn't say to each other. Things we just didn't know how to say, or were too stubborn to say, or . . . things that just hurt too much. A lot of things hurt him, after . . .

Well. Guess you must know some of what I mean, anyway. Hope you do. I didn't say all I wanted to say to you, either. Now I think about it, I really've got a lot I still want to say. Maybe that's why I'm writing. Just to get it said.

Or maybe life in this place's finally driven me crackers.

Today's Thanksgiving. An American holiday, true, but . . . well, around here any holiday's an excuse to break the boredom. Something special, even if it's just an extra sheet of writing paper and a double portion of brown bread. Something to be thankful for. Andrew's been the one getting "into the spirit". He wants us all to think of one thing we're thankful for, and then share it at supper tonight.

Sharing's not my thing — but I guess you know that. Mavis was the one to chatter everything she was feeling, let everyone see it. ('course the Colonel says — and I agree — that all little sisters are chatterboxes anyway). But I'll give it a go, for the sake of Andrew's holiday.

I'm thankful for Life. Maybe that's the simple answer, but for us — doing what we do — it's the biggest thing we've got. It may be boring or hair-raising or downright dangerous, but I'm still luckier than the bloke who got sent home in a box.

I'm thankful for brown bread. First off, it's better than going hungry. Second, it makes me think of those big warm loaves you used to make every Monday. I may not ever tell anyone this, but brown bread's a piece of home. One of the biggest pieces I've got.

God's got to have two or three hundred angels watching over us here. That's the only reason I can think of we're still alive, not shot or tortured to death by the Gestapo. A dozen times since I started here, I've gotten into something so rotten and awful that I *know* God was the only one who got me out alive. So I'm thankful for that extra hand — from God, from the angels. Maybe even from you.

Mostly I'm thankful for family. By that I mean Dad — even if we're not speaking, at the moment — and Mavis and Nick, though I've not heard from them for . . . well. Forever, now I think about it. But I also mean everyone here. Colonel Hogan, who's got the strength to keep me in line. Kinch, the best listening ear I've met (except for you, of course). Louis, who I can laugh with. Andrew, who I can laugh at — like the little brother I never had. Even, in a strange way, for Shultzie and Klink. I'm thankful for family, however that may be defined.

I think that's what I'll tell Andrew at supper tonight. That I'm thankful for family — and everything else.

And y'know . . . . while I'm thinking of family , I *do* still have that extra sheet of paper. I was going to use it for Rita, but maybe it's high time I started saying all those things I never got to say before. Because, like I said, Life is a big thing around here. And you never know when it'll be over.

The only thing I regret about this letter is that I'll never get to send it. I just hope that, somehow, you know all the things I'm saying anyway. That you're reading over my shoulder and laughing that laugh of yours. And that you know what I'm trying to tell you — what I didn't tell you often enough.

I love you, Mum.

Happy Thanksgiving.

With Much Love,

Your Peter