Greetings dear readers. I planned to do this the other day, but I was rather busy. LOL
I thought it would be interesting to show Barnabas' thoughts on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, he's a vampire, but he still has a lot to be thankful for.
I've got the next chapter of "Sweet and Snarly Sixteen" mentally planned out. I just have to write it. I'd have done that instead, but this story had a shelf life. LOL
I'm always thankful for reviews.
November 22nd, 1973
What an age this is, thought Barnabas Collins to himself as he sat in front of the television set. He was watching a news special on the tenth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. An age of contradictions, he mused. This device which would have been considered sorcery in the days he could walk in the sun…men had walked on the moon and –at that very moment- three men were living in a space station high above the earth and would be there until February. Such wonders the mind of mankind has brought…yet it had not solved the problems of violence that had marked the 18th Century as well. The special showed footage of people weeping on the streets as news that the President had been slain was reported.
"My dear" Barnabas asked the pale young woman seated on the end of the couch reading a novel. "Do you recall your reaction when President Kennedy was struck down?"
Victoria Collins looked up from her copy of The Osterman Weekend and glanced at the television. "Oh no, we weren't even told about the outside world at Wyncliffe. They thought it would upset us. Of course, they didn't tell us anything good that was happening in the world, either."
Barnabas nodded at his wife's words. The show went into a commercial, so he got up and strolled into the foyer of Collinwood –after first making sure that the shades had been pulled enough to ensure that none of the late afternoon sun was shining in.
A smell met his nostrils. It intrigued him, even if it didn't have the usual affect. The turkey must be nearing completion, he thought to himself.. One of the many adjustments he'd had to make to this new era was how Thanksgiving Day was marked. In the 18th Century, it was a day of fasting and prayer. Now it appeared to be day when Americans ate to excess and then sat down to watch large men attempt to crush each other to death on a playing field. (Even after Willie and David had explained the rules of football to him, it still looked like the point was to kill whoever had the ball.) Such changes, he thought. He oftentimes wondered how he would have fared if he had not been locked away for so long. Yes, he would have been free to see the world change around him…but it would have been marked by his need to seek blood. And, it would not be until merely a generation before that bottled blood came about. (It was that modern miracle and the self-taught discipline to control the thirst that allowed Victoria and he to not draw undue attention to themselves.)
How would the previous generations of Collins fared with him around? Would his presence have been enough to destroy Angelique then and spare almost two centuries of the family her vendetta? Or, would it have merely made things worse.
Still, he thought, for a family that had been put under such a curse, they had rebounded well and appeared so normal, this Thanksgiving Day afternoon.
Carolyn was sitting on a couch, reading a magazine in between sojourns to the kitchen to assist Elizabeth with cooking the dinner. Willie was also assisting Elizabeth, but his attention was diverted to a football game that was airing on a small black and white television he'd set up. Amy Jennings, the newest member of the Collins household, was sitting on the other end of the couch from Carolyn, reading a new Nancy Drew book after she and Carolyn had set the table. (Places were set for Barnabas and Victoria as well. Their habit was to sit with the family and join in the table conversation, it not the food.) He felt a cold and warm presence approach him from behind. The cold passed over him. Barnabas looked up and saw the spectral image of Laura Collins float up the stairway. The warmer presence remained at his side. Barnabas turned to see David standing beside him.
"What're you doing, Uncle Barnabas?"
"I am merely thinking, David."
"Yes David, we have much to be thankful for." He put his hand on David's shoulder and gestured around the manor's ground floor. "Despite everything that's been done to us, the Collins family is still intact. Our business again dominates the eastern seaboard. And Collinwood is finally whole again." Barnabas said, referring to the fact that –as promised- the final touches to the rebuilt manor had been completed by the end of September. And, as he had vowed, it was extremely hard to tell the new manor from the old. Even the décor had been the same…well, almost, Barnabas thought. Above the fireplace, where his portrait had once hung, was an empty space. Some of the old family portraits had been replaced or recreated. But, the space of honour that had once held his likeness was now empty. Barnabas couldn't help but feel a twinge of regret at that.
He dismissed disappointment at something so minor from his thoughts. There were things far more important to be happy for. His family had begun to thrive again and proven they were indeed able to cope with almost anything. Case in point, Carolyn had seemingly adjusted very well to the lycanthropic curse Angelique had put upon her. (She'd become far more social in the last year. She even had a boyfriend now, Joe, who had come over for breakfast that morning as he had his own family dinner that evening.) Amy had coped very well with moving into Collinwood and realizing that her cousins were a most un-normal family to live with. And then there was David. Despite his father's abandonment, David was turning into a most capable young man. (Barnabas supposed that once everyone realized that he wasn't crazy and actually talked to his mother, they could see that was indeed a fine young man.)
"My mom told me that too. She said you helped us realize that we weren't like other families but that doesn't have to be a bad thing."
"Your mother is a wise woman." Barnabas said with a smile as he gave David's shoulder a gentle squeeze of paternal affection. The smell of turkey grew more intense and David seemed to notice it too. "Come David, I believe dinner is ready." Barnabas said, as he guided his nephew to the dining room as the rest of the household was called to the table.