Excerpt From OVER THE RIVER (A Thanksgiving Tale)

A Thanksgiving Tale

Jarvis only came to this year’s Thanksgiving dinner because the doctors didn’t think Nana would last another six months. His grandmother wanted all her family to get together for the holiday that unless God stepped in would likely be her last one.

He hadn’t been home for the family’s traditional dinner in six years, and if he had his way he’d never come back, at least not as long as his cousin Brenda was coming, too. And he knew that she made the trip from Norfolk down to Tampa every year.

Brenda had made her late grand entrance into Nana’s living room wearing a white floor length mink that probably cost more than his beat up ten year old Honda Civic when it was brand new. And he’d bought the car used because even though he made nice money, he couldn’t afford a new car. That thought pissed him off. So when Brenda pranced in with her little boy in tow Jarvis had to grit his teeth and look away. Just laying eyes on her made his blood boil.

Over dinner he’d avoided looking at her, but every so often in his peripheral vision he’d catch her looking at him.

With those big, beautiful eyes.

Or sometimes it was the flash of her perfect teeth as she smiled at him.

With those soft, perfect lips.

It was as if among the almost two dozen family members assembled for dinner, his was the attention she craved.

Damn, he hated that bitch.

And he wanted her.


Jarvis hated himself, too. He hated himself for his sick desire.


Jarvis wasn’t surprised when he opened his motel room door the next day and found Brenda standing there. So now it was up to him. He could tell her to go away. It was the right thing to do; the sane thing to do. Instead he grabbed his first cousin by her arm and yanked her into the room.

Brenda was two months older than him. He remembered back in the day how family used to make jokes about his mother and his aunt – two sisters walking around with identical big bellies. They said it must be something in Nana’s collard greens that made the Johnson girls fertile at the same time.

And he remembered what happened seven years ago, after the annual Thanksgiving dinner at Nana’s…the last one he’d attended until this year. They were eighteen years old then. Old enough to know better. Old enough not to give into sick desires of the flesh. But they’d been weak.

He’d been weak.

They’d had a thing for each other ever since they were old enough to know the difference between boys and girls. And on the Thanksgiving of their eighteenth year, in the back of Uncle Ernest’s Navigator, they’d committed the sin. And he’d been paying the price ever since.

Jarvis closed the motel door quickly, just in case someone happened to be driving by who might recognize Brenda.

He glared at her, fists clenched. “What are you doing here?” he hissed.

“You know why I’m here,” she said.


Read the rest of Over the River in


Available for the Kindle and Nook.

Posted on November 21, 2012, in Books and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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