Pranksgiving: A Liberty Heights Thanksgiving Short Story
Liberty Heights Series
Genre Romantic Comedy
Tags Small town, humor, romantic humor
Release November 15, 2013
Editor Gloria Oren
Line Editor Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover Designer Winterheart Designs
Kidnapped! Or is that birdnapped? Someone in Liberty Heights snatched Jerome, star of the Ledbetter Turkey commercials. Who? Why? Holding Jerome for ransom? Cutting Thanksgiving dinner costs? Join the hunt for Jerome and celebrate Thanksgiving—Liberty Heights style!
Wayne nudged his snout against Howie’s jaw, and he moaned. A long pink tongue licked around Howie’s nose. Howie twitched again. The beagle parked his rear end next to the man’s chest and howled.
“Yes, I know you were going on a hunting trip with Howie. Sorry to disappoint you, but I guess that’s canceled for now,” LouAnn said absent-mindedly.
“Hunting trip? You mind explaining what he was planning to hunt? It wouldn’t happen to be a turkey? I’ve been getting calls all morning complaining about noise from Wilbur only Wilbur’s at home. I’d like to know how that darned turkey ended up in Liberty Heights because that’s the only feasible explanation for the noise.”
LouAnn stared mutely at Alice. “Maybe he hitchhiked,” she suggested.
Alice snorted. “Hitched a ride. Sure. Maybe he got a driver’s license, too.”
“Do you think so?” LouAnn asked. “I failed my driving test three times before I got mine. He must be a really good driver.”
Alice rolled her eyes. “A turkey driving his own getaway vehicle. Right.” The police chief shook her head in disgust. “Someone in town stole that turkey. Every police station in the state has a Missing Turkey Alert. Like we don’t have anything better to do. Dumbest thing I ever heard. A missing turkey, for Pete’s sake.”
“Maybe he’s on vacation. Making all those commercials must be hard work,” LouAnn said. “Plus, he’s a celebrity. Jerome is probably looking for a place where he won’t be pestered for autographs. Big stars do that all the time. Hide out where people don’t know them, and I guess nobody would bother him in Liberty Heights.”
LouAnn wasn’t sure, but she thought Alice mumbled a rude remark, punctuated with ‘try making sense with a Freedbush.’
Wayne yipped again. Turkey cackles echoed from the street. Wayne padded over to the shop’s glass door, stood on his hind legs, and barked.
“There’s that turkey,” Alice said. “I’m on it. Stay put. Woody will be here any second.”
Alice pushed up on her knees and shuffled over to the taser.
“Confiscating this before someone else gets zapped,” she said.
“Maybe it’s a magic turkey, and he disappears,” LouAnn said. “I should call my sister, BettyAnn. She was accepted into Registered Witches of America. We’re all real proud of her and kicking her root beer addiction, too. I bet BettyAnn knows all about stuff like this. I wonder if Jerome teleported. That would explain a lot.”
Alice grimaced and marched out the door. Howie groaned again. Wayne howled. The door slammed open. Woody and the crew from the fire station rushed inside toting first aid equipment. Woody took one look at Howie and the butterfly net.
“Big game hunter, huh?” he asked. His lips quirked, but the paramedics squatted next to Howie and went to work checking Howie’s pulse and fitting an oxygen mask over his face.
LouAnn watched with relief. Woody would have things in hand, other than the missing turkey. That wasn’t his responsibility as mayor. Not as paramedic either unless the turkey was injured. She snapped her fingers.
“I bet that turkey ran away so he wouldn’t get the chop.”
Woody glanced up for a second, but clearly, he was pre-occupied with Howie’s condition. “He’s okay. I’ll run him over to the emergency room just to play it safe.”
The crew wheeled in a gurney and started to lift Howie onto the stretcher.
Wayne’s dark eyes met LouAnn’s.
“You’re right, Wayne. This was an omen. The heck with the reward. We have to rescue that bird before he ends up like Anne Boleyn,” she whispered. Her index finger silently slid across her throat.
“I know you like turkey, but not this one. He’s a fugitive. How would you like it if someone wanted to do that to you?”
Wayne rolled over on his back and howled.
“Exactly. We’ll leave a sign on the door.” LouAnn scribbled on a raggedy piece of cardboard and taped it to the door of Burning Desire.
Closed for emergency. Pick up anything you ordered and leave the money in the shoebox.
She snapped her fingers at the dog. “Come on. We’re going to find that bird. We’ve got to be fast and find him before Alice. I wonder where a turkey would hang out? We might have to get some professional advice. Who would know about stuff like that? Maybe BettyAnn could teach me an emergency Find the Turkey spell.”