Other Stories in this issue

The Nearly Ruined Thanksgiving

by C. A. Verstraete

About the Author: C. A. Verstraete’s short fiction has appeared in several anthologies including Baby Shoes: 100 Stories by 100 Authors and Young Adventurers. She likes to put a zombie, and a dog, in stories when she can. The main characters in this story are from her novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. Learn more at and her blog,


Lucky for us here in my small Wisconsin town, the big zombie outbreak is over and life is kind of back to normal. Well, if you can ever call becoming a part-zombie, normal, of course. I can’t, but I’ve adjusted. We’ve all adjusted. It happened just in time, too, with my aunt all excited about the holidays coming up. No way was she going to miss any of that.

I wasn’t looking forward to it. From the day I got infected with the Z virus after being scratched by my other cousin, I’ve had all kinds of weird things happen, like my eye twirling, bad skin... and worse, being unable to eat real food. Medicine’s helped some of those who’ve been infected, but not me. I eat other proteins—Oh, no, not that. Never that. Still, when Tia Imelda made her announcement about Thanksgiving being at our house this year, I wished I could be somewhere, anywhere, but home.

“All the family will be here,” she told me, her voice lilting. “It’ll be just like the old days!”

I didn’t say the obvious. Instead, I put on a smile, not wanting to spoil my aunt’s fun, her loving to cook and all.

She and my mama spent days stirring big pots of soup, cooking vegetables, baking two giant turkeys with homemade sage stuffing, (that I would miss), and of course the stuff I wouldn’t miss—the veggies. I’d never been a big fan of cranberry sauce which my aunt and mom made themselves, along with the famous green bean casserole baked with fresh mushrooms and homemade mushroom sauce. No canned stuff in this house.

Story Comments

Nov 23 - Todd

I enjoyed this story it was a lot of fun!

Nov 25 - Susan Rickard

Nice little story. I'm going to read this to my family around the dinner table tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

Feb 26 - Chris V.

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

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