I sat down and whipped this out last night while waiting for the turkey to finish. I actually love how it came out. Fluffy, implied Dr. C./Susan. Please read and review!
The Monsters Guide to Celebrating Turkey Day
"Mmm-mmm! Smell that bird cook!" Link exclaimed happily as he swung from a tree in the field behind the Murphy's backyard. He tipped his head back and inhaled deeply, a blissful smile on his light green face. Susan, who was sitting beside the tree, giggled while B.O.B. nodded in extreme agreement, grinning in that clueless and yet adorable way he did.
"I know, right? I'm gonna eat…like…fifteen turkeys!" B.O.B. exclaimed, bouncing around in excitement. Susan rolled her eyes good-naturedly and reached down, turning B.O.B. to face her. He just continued to smile widely, ecstatic with the prospect of all the yummy treats just waiting to be gobbled up.
"Ah-ah, B.O.B." Susan reminded him gently, shaking a finger. "Remember, you're only allowed two turkeys – not fifteen. You've gotta share with everyone else." B.O.B. took on a serious look and nodded. Link sat on the tree branch he was swinging from and rubbed his stomach, smacking his lips in anticipation.
"Ah. My first Thanksgiving in thirty years – this is gonna be great. Y'know Susie, Monger tried to celebrate with us a few times. Every single time, Blob down there ate the turkey. And the stuffing. And the pie. And the table. Ever since, Monger declared it to be a stupid holiday, and just left us alone." Link explained from his perch in the tree. He then cracked his knuckles and leaned back, folding his hands behind his head. "It was real nice of your parents to do this for us, inviting us and all." Link said, cracking open one eye and smiling up at Susan. She smiled back and nodded. Her parents, Carl and Wendy Murphy had heard that the monsters hadn't celebrated Thanksgiving in years.
Wendy had called General Monger to make sure that it was alright for Susan's friends to accompany Susan as she celebrated Thanksgiving with her family. Monger had immediately given the okay on that. After all, he wouldn't be at the facility. He was celebrating with his wife and four grown daughters on his Texas ranch. Susan had been so excited when her mother had called her with the news. The four monsters Susan had made friends with had grown (albeit slowly) on Wendy and Carl. Despite their tendencies to raid their garbage cans and break their fences, the four boys really were quite sweet.
So Wendy, who was an expert at organizing feasts, had decided that the family would celebrate in the field behind their home in order to accommodate Susan and Insectosaurus. The giant woman wasn't dressed in her orange and black jumpsuit – she was wearing a very pretty pair of navy blue dress clothes and high heels as tall as Link. Her snowy white hair flowed beautifully around her shoulders. Link had conceded to wearing a black tie at the dinner, and B.O.B. had been wearing his new bow around the facility for the past week. Even though Insectosaurus had said he didn't like turkey and would rather dine on some of the trees in the field, he was still happy to join them.
Through Susan's parents initially had some worry about having the four monsters join them for the feast, they had proved they were on their best behavior by setting up the table and chairs. B.O.B. had made sure he didn't eat everything remotely edible that he came across. Link had taken five trays off of Carl and Wendy's hands (though he couldn't help showing off by balancing one on his tail fin). Everybody was very excited about celebrating the holiday.
However, one of the monsters hadn't really spoken all throughout the day. Dr. Cockroach sat by himself at the base of a tree a few yards away from the others. Though he had pitched in as much as the others, he had been awfully quiet and looked almost…sad. Susan couldn't help but wonder what bothered the scientist so. After all, he was with his friends and they were going to have so much fun! She was rather worried for her friend. Apparently, she wasn't the only one.
"Hey, I wonder what's eatin' the Doc. He hasn't said a word all day." Link said softly from beside Susan, sitting up on the tree branch. Susan nodded, frowning. She noticed that his antennae drooped and his back was to his friends. Link's brow furrowed, and he stood up, about to jump down the ground. However, Susan gently stopped him with her hand.
"Let me talk to him." She said, getting to her feet and proceeding to walk over to the mad scientist. He was usually so much more animated than this, and his silence worried her. Susan approached him quietly, seeing that he was sketching something in his notebook. He heard her footprints behind him and he quickly flipped the cover over the notebook before Susan kneeled beside him. However, she managed to catch a glimpse of a sketch of the Union Jack before the notebook was closed. Dr. Cockroach slipped the notebook into his breast pocket before turning to her.
"Hello there, my dear. Everything alright?" He asked, smiling up at her. However, Susan knew Dr. Cockroach well and knew that he was still quite unhappy. She could see it in his eyes and was determined to find out what was bothering him. Reaching forward with a hand, Susan placed it beside the scientist. He climbed into her hand and crossed his legs, folding his hands in his lap as she lifted him to sit on her knee. Susan leaned back, fixing the scientist with a curious look.
"Alright. Cough it up. What's going on? You're supposed to be having fun with the rest of us, Doc. But you look so unhappy. What's the matter?" Susan asked softly, peering closely at him. Dr. Cockroach looked up at her in surprise, the question obviously catching him off-guard. He blinked up at Susan then sighed sadly. He dropped his large head into his hands and closed his eyes. Susan leaned even closer to him, placing her index and middle fingers on his back.
"Hey, hey. What's wrong?" She asked him gently, rubbing his back gently. Dr. Cockroach shook his head, his antennae drooping. He sighed again, running his hands over his head wearily and slicking back his antennae. They popped back into place as he raised his head and looked up to Susan with solemn eyes. He rarely, if ever, lied to Susan. She was the kind of person who was very easy to talk to, and she kept many of his worst secrets – things he never told almost anybody else – close to her heart. She could certainly keep a few more.
"You see, Susan my dear…I…I just simply don't know what to do." Dr. Cockroach said softly, glancing over at Link and B.O.B. to make sure that they couldn't hear him. Susan cocked her head slightly to the side in confusion.
"What do you mean, Doc?" Susan asked. Dr. Cockroach looked up at her with a pained look.
"I mean that I don't know how to celebrate this holiday of Thanksgiving. The ones we had with Monger didn't mean much. Remember Susan, I was born in England and spent my life there until the accident. We English don't celebrate this holiday. The Americans celebrate it because the pilgrims celebrated their thanks for making it to the New World. Did you know that the things taught to schoolchildren are all wrong? This holiday wasn't because of a peaceful feast between the English and the Native Americans." Dr. Cockroach chuckled and shook his head. However, he turned solemn once more, lacing his fingers together and twiddling his thumbs. "This is all very new to me. The feast we're supposed to have, turkeys, pies. I mean…" He bent his head, lowering his voice even further.
"I suppose I feel a bit homesick. I miss dreary and grey England. I miss the fields of Oxford, the hustle and bustle of London. I am used to the customs in my country…not the ones here. Not here." Dr. Cockroach finished, covering his eyes with his fists. Susan looked down at her friend in surprise and sympathy. Then she couldn't help but grin and shake her head. Reaching up, she cupped her hand around the sad scientist and scooped him up. He looked up at her in surprise as she lifted him closer to her face.
"Oh, Doc," she giggled, nuzzling him playfully with her nose. "That's all you're worrying about? You silly man. It's not rocket science, trust me. Thanksgiving is all about reflecting on what you're grateful for in your life. The feast is meant to be celebrated with those closest to you to remind you that you are lucky to have people who love you." Susan explained. She then giggled as she remembered something.
"Every year when I was little, my dad used to put all these little slips of paper in a jar, and every person at the party would pick out a paper. There would be a subject on it, and we would have to say what the subject was and why we were thankful for it. I remember when I was fourteen I had to say why I was thankful for pickles." Susan said, grinning as she recalled that weird monologue. She didn't even like pickles that much. Dr. Cockroach was smiling and chuckling as well. He felt much better now.
"Thank you, my dear." He said gently, reaching down and giving her thumb a gentle squeeze. Susan smiled back, her blue eyes glittering beautifully. They mesmerized the insect man as they always had. Suddenly, Wendy was calling for the monsters from the back porch. She was starting to take the food out to the table. Susan placed Dr. Cockroach on the ground and he quickly went with Link and B.O.B. to help Wendy and Carl set up the feast. Susan made sure everything was in place and ready for the other guests to arrive.
The boys and Susan's parents began carting out the most food she had ever seen for a Thanksgiving feast. Wendy and some other guests had all pitched in to welcome the monsters. A grand total of ten turkeys were cooked – one for the human guests, two for B.O.B., one for Link and Dr. Cockroach, and five for Susan to enjoy. There was also a barrage of other extravagances – cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows, and a Murphy specialty – spiced vanilla pumpkin pie with just a dash of acorn squash mixed in.
Finally, other guests began to arrive. Susan's three girlfriends, Candy, Marisa, and Trudy and greeted her with shrieks and squeals of excitement. Some other family friends came by, and although they were initially wary of the monsters, they soon seemed to become more comfortable around them. B.O.B. went around greeting every single person, even those he already knew (he must have said, "Hi, my name is B.O.B." to Wendy at least twice). Link cracked jokes and made Susan's girlfriends giggle. After about half an hour of mingling and conversing, the guests sat at the table, quite ready to eat. Susan sat at the head of the table, Wendy on her right and Dr. Cockroach at her left.
"So," Carl began, hushing everyone, "before we begin this tasty meal, would anyone like to say a few words?" He said. At first, everyone was silent and looked at one another. Then, Dr. Cockroach stood up, clearing his throat to capture everyone's attention. They all looked at him curiously, wondering what the monster was about to say. He quickly glanced up at Susan, who nodded in encouragement. Clearing his throat once more, Dr. Cockroach began.
"Good evening. As most of you know, my name is Dr. Cockroach. I would like to say a few words to my friends this fine evening." He paused here, took a deep breath, and continued. "You see, my friends, I was not always half an insect. I was once a man, a human. I was born and grew up in Oxford, England. There, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving. Tonight is my first celebration of this holiday. At first, I was a touch apprehensive. What is a British monster/scientist to do? But then, as my dear friend reminded me, 'it's not rocket science.' Tonight, I have reminisced over my life, and discovered that there are many things I can be truly grateful for." He said, turning to Susan. He reached out with a hand and she smiled, taking it between her thumb and index finger. The rest of the guests followed suite, with Wendy taking Susan's other hand, and Dr. Cockroach joining hands with Link.
"My friends and I were imprisoned for fifty years. I am exceptionally grateful for the freedom granted to us. I am grateful for the understanding of you, my friends, that we are not evil beings, that we are good folks. I am thankful for the breath in my lungs, for each day I am blessed with." He then smiled around at his friends. "I am grateful to have such wonderful friends – my family. If I were to choose new people to live with for fifty years, I believe I would simply choose the same three blokes who have made my life an adventure."
Dr. Cockroach then smiled softly up at Susan, squeezing her hand. "I am grateful that Susan Murphy grew to be forty-nine feet tall. Therefore, she has come into our lives and made them that much better. She has come to be one of my dearest friends. Finally, I am grateful that I am here tonight, able to celebrate this holiday with you fine people, as I hope to celebrate it for years to come." He finished, releasing Link's and Susan's hands and sitting down. The guests all clapped thunderously, and some even cheered. Dr. Cockroach beamed and felt himself filling up with something warm and good. Link grinned at Dr. Cockroach as he and B.O.B. clapped the longest. Even Insectosaurus, who sat behind them, clapped and smiled. Some of the guests even swore that they saw Carl wiping away a tear.
"Alright. That beautiful speech made me even hungrier! Let's dig in!" Susan's father declared, picking up a carving knife and beginning to serve out the turkey. Dr. Cockroach folded a napkin in his lap when he felt a finger on the top of his head. Looking up, he saw Susan smiling down at him, stroking back his antennae.
"That was perfect. See? Not rocket science." She said, and Dr. Cockroach chuckled.
"That may be, but I never remember it being that hard speaking at my science conventions." He replied, and Susan giggled. As she reached for the cranberry sauce, she saw her mother looking up at her slyly. Susan shrugged and said innocently, "What?"
The feast was perfect. Everybody ate and conversed and laughed. They acted as if the monsters were just regular people and included them in all of the conversations as well. But the person who felt absolutely perfect was Dr. Cockroach. Sitting beside his dearest friend and having a lovely feast with his family – he wondered why he had been so scared of this holiday. He could really see why the American people loved it so. Delicious food aside, it was a time for families and friends to sit down and laugh and have fun, but also to remember the things in life that were worth living for.
And for that, Dr. Cockroach was thankful.