Thanksgiving eve joy and.., p.1
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       Thanksgiving Eve Joy and Terror, p.1

           David Brant
 
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Thanksgiving Eve Joy and Terror


  Thanksgiving Eve Joy and Terror

  by David Ian Brant

  Copyright 2015 David Ian Brant

  The lovers hold hands and stroll ever so slowly across the beautiful town square - soft illumination filters through the trees from gas lights along the surrounding streets - "thank you..."

  …Startled, they focus on figures on the corner just ahead in the tiny plaza outside of the entrance to the community center - alerted by their piercing voices and agitated movements.

  Immediately behind our lovers, another pair stirs from a park bench, stands up and starts to follow them.

  From other directions around this picturesque town, revelers are making their way to what is simply known as the Center for the highly anticipated “Feast of Thanks”, taking place just inside the doorway off the plaza, where the disturbance is taking place.


  Suddenly, loud popping sounds - a full halt and instant alarm all around - a series of distinct and sharp pops and cracks are distinctly heard, “where are they?!” from one voice - triggering a frenzy of reactions - surreal on this otherwise peaceful Thanksgiving eve.

  First, a moment of stunned stillness - now a flurry of reactions - all turn towards the sounds, a common strain to learn the source - the lovers in the square, located in the center of this swirl, they sense, somehow, it’s part of this special evening of thanks…

  …they hold their position and balance these pops and cracks that clearly, to them, are coming from one far corner of this lovely lil park at the cross-roads of their beloved village with the sudden shouts and movement from the corner opposite…

  …there, at the Center, most of the revelers instinctively pause and attempt to understand, however the various puffers and growlers who are around and among them distract and disrupt…

  …such is their instinct, those with the instant counter to just about everything; here their instinct is to raise the alarm…

  …always primed they are to react on impulse, naturally bothered by the sudden and new and different; to these sharp sounds they puff their cheeks and wave and shout, demanding attention, growling and sneering, they hurry to name the cause and assign the blame…

  …already most are delightfully off balance by the novelty of the benevolent event, and even at first by these strange sounds…

  …but now the throng tips in another direction and is becoming unhinged by the noise of these few.

  The layers of the happenings on this Thanksgiving Eve are many - like this lovely town itself, many aspects are in play at once, all concentrated on this special night…

  …as the lovers were approaching in the square, and the revelers were gathering in the plaza, the patrolmen were already out in force - a sign of the times in this romantic village on this sacred holiday - quietly circulating in the streets and the spaces in between…

  …in constant communications, their captain himself is more visible, stationed in a prime location at the intersection between the tree-shaded paths of the Square and the glowing entrance to the Center…

  …at this moment his own focus and thought is on his very own loved-ones, obscured by the mob pushing into the hall - and on how rarely - if ever - this wide range of folks have ever found themselves all in one place - an initiative of the leaders of the community center that is at once bold and, to the security-minded like himself, risky.

  At the same time as the happenings in the nearby square and plaza, his children and wife are working their way through those shadowed figures that had been observed, those revelers - they are in fact part of one the strangest mixes of humanity that their beloved town has seen in years, all in various states of excitement over this novel invitation to gather on Thanksgiving Eve…

  …an assembly of citizens from different walks, views and aspects - from the widest range of physical and philosophical locations, each in their own way and attitude, who are responding to the simple and relentless call from the leaders of the Community Center to share in an evening with the sole purpose and focus of thanks…

  …be it the purity of the message, the sanctity of this particular holiday - or perhaps the marvelous vision of the leaders and their faith and passion for it - - - it was clearly working with a force and energy that was all-consuming.

  The strangest of mixes on this Thanksgiving eve - a rare cross-section of townsfolk crowd rush to enter the main hall, with the leaders doing very their best to welcome.

  In the moments just before the pops and crackling sounds, most were caught up in the joyous mood of this wonderful holiday - “so strange to mingle like this, but oh well it’s Thanksgiving”  “I bet you never thought we’d be having dinner together”  “neither did we”  “this is wonderful” went most of the comments as they jostle.

  “Welcome, welcome” from the leaders of the Center, immersed in the rush, thrilled that their well promoted venture was attracting residents from all over town, “come on in and enjoy the feast!”

  Two upright and proud citizens, silver hair perfectly combed, positioned as best they could off to the side, utter, “God what a mob scene,” “lord have mercy look at them race for a free meal,” “Proud of yourselves aren’t you,” aimed at the leaders, “I bet anything some are sneaking in with this bunch, heh heh heh!”

  Most habitually ignore these two, and any who are unable or unwilling to join in a wonderful happening such as this - some even perceive that they are, in fact, doing their very best to be part of it - “they are here, too,” “it’s just their way”  “it makes them comfortable, somehow.”

  The buzz affects them all, infecting them with shared emotion and thought - layers upon layers of sounds - in the plaza it is an underlying tone of expressions of joyful surprise and anticipation of something new and wonderful…

  …punctuated by a chorus of single notes of support and cheer, offset by a relentless noise of impulsive barbs and ugly shouts, “such is our world.”

  It is a well-meaning symphony of humanity, pulled and prodded constantly by the forces that are with us all everyday…

  …colored at this epicenter of this venturesome happening by the inviting pathway into the gathering hall...

  …viewed and absorbed from the perspective of the adjacent square, shaded with the beautiful landscaping and delicate whispers of dancing foliage and evening peepers…

  …all together composing the very nexus of this thoroughly diverse town, presenting a concentrated expression of the many aspects of special beauty of the total community.

  In the moments just before the chaos - or rather, in the fleeting nano place in the sphere of happenings when the wonderful jumble of newness had achieved one of those rare points of high hope and collective joy – it was the brave offering of the leaders, and of most of the participants, that was the everyday folk at their best.

  So magical, too good to last - just prior to the turn, the gaslights cast a warm glow over the tiny corner plaza at this cross-roads intersection in the middle of town, where some citizens were pausing to bask as other others hurried to escape the chill…

  …a particularly loud and boisterous bunch came running out from the trees of the square, singing and dancing into the plaza, swarming around three who have planted themselves and are standing their ground against the tide.

  Eyeing each other suspiciously, the thoroughly fluid and the firmly fixed, one such sentinel challenges the young rowdies, “hold it right there - and pull down those damn hoodies so we can see who the hell you are.”

  Taking note and dismissing, the happy ones just push right on by…

  …also noting are a knot of heavily muscled men, all in black, with wool caps pulled town over ears and just above their eyes, who are very sl
owly edging towards the entrance amid the frenzy, maintaining their temperament of steady progress amid both the racing and the rigid…

  …to the challengers they return their shot, “back off there - right now…  you young folks pay them no mind…”

  The silver stoic pair off to the side jab “y’all should have stayed in your sorry place”  “yeah, and let the good folks here have a nice evening meal.”

  Sensing trouble, the leaders of the community center are primed and flow further into the crowd, putting themselves in between the great majority who have responded in the joyous spirit of thanks and the others who eternally have difficulty just getting along.

  The tug and pull of humanity is caught in a happening - unending patterns and separate norms are thrown into an uneasy imbalance – all the elements are poised and steadied for a time that some truly appreciate and others never will.

  For the lovers advancing in
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