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Thread: Weekly Drabble Challenge - Historical Splinches: Thanksgiving

  1. #1
    Ebil Gato Loco Ravenclaw
    He's The Dog... He's An Animagus...
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    May 2006
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    Weekly Drabble Challenge - Historical Splinches: Thanksgiving

    In honor of the first Brits that came across the pond, and were hereby named 'Pilgrims' by historians, our weekly challenge prompt will be about the holiday that emerged from their gratefulness for having a successful harvest in the autumn of 1621. Remember that this 'first' Thanksgiving, was also celebrated by the Wampanoag [natives of the land] and not just the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. I'm aware that this is mainly an American holiday, but make sure you do your research.

    Edit: I'm going to limit you guys in the time frame of this drabble. Stay within the time period of the first Thanksgiving [1621] to the Salem Witch Trials [roughly 1692].

    The following form must be used when submitting your drabble responses to this post -
    Winners will be awarded 15, 10, and 5 points respectively.

    All drabbles must be less than 500 words; All standard grammar rules, and MNFF submissions guidelines apply.

    The challenge will be up for a week, and be closed exactly a week later (November 29th).

    MithrilQuill and I will be judging them and posting results a couple of days later.

    All questions should be referred to the Question Corner - Do not post questions here. Only drabbles!

    Other than that...have fun!

    ~Gato Loco & Mith~

    I've left moddom/fandom...though don't be surprised if I get caught lurking once in a blue moon.
    All questions pertinent to Ravenclaw need to be sent to ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
    If you wish to keep in touch, feel free to friend me on LJ - I don't friend anyone under the age of 18. Sorry!

    Otherwise, so long, and thanks for all the fish!

  2. #2
    Name: Indigoenigma
    House: Hufflepuff!
    Title: Sorcerer
    Warnings: mild angst
    Words: 336

    A pale, weak sun broke through the winter skies, sending beams of light bouncing off of the frosty ground. Although the first snow had yet to arrive, the trees wore blankets of frost. The man who wore his hair in a thick knot could see his breath as he walked around the wooden walls erected to protect the settlement.

    The man surveyed these roughly hewn walls with distaste. It had been a full year since he’d last been inside the compound. And that had been a time of celebration. He, along with his tribe, had been invited to their rightful land for a time of giving thanks.

    And such a time would not have been possible without his help, the man thought bitterly as he wrapped his robe tighter around his body to keep the freezing wind out. If he, the tribe’s sorcerer, had not surreptitiously cast the proper charms, the plants of the new settlers would not have grown. And if he had not convinced the tribe council to allow him to teach the people the necessary skills for survival, made possible by his magic, their precious day of thanks wouldn’t have occurred.

    Not at all.

    If he, the sorcerer, hadn’t used his magic so freely, perhaps his people would be flourishing instead of wallowing in newfound troubles...

    Feeling the magic welling within him, the native sorcerer withdrew a slender stick from the inside of his robe. Carefully, he pointed it at the wooden wall in front of him, allowed his anger to boil over, and willed himself to curse the settlement into oblivion.

    From his shaking hands, the wand fell and rolled on the crisp ground. He could not curse them. His magic could not do it.

    Trembling, he stooped and retrieved his fallen wand, stowing it in his pocket as he stood again. As he turned to depart, he took one last, long look at the ugly walls that he could not curse.

    Perhaps now the settlers had something to be thankful for.

  3. #3
    Title: A Day to Remember
    Warnings:A little implied cursing (magically), but whatever.
    Words: 170
    I stood in front of the court room, my hands tied before me. I looked behind me, at my master, and the mistresses. Why they did this bother now, I didn’t know. I had shown them witchcraft; just not in the way they would think.

    “Tituba, you are brought before this court accused of witchcraft. How do you plead?” The magistrate stared unfeelingly, not caring that I had helped his wife out when his child was sick.

    I considered saying guilty. I did not enchant these girls, but I had done some things. “I plead innocent.”

    The girls started screaming, scratching at their skin, I had seen them whispering before, obviously planning something. That was it.

    I did try to prevent myself from muttering those words; but my senses went off, pure rage entering my veins. They would do this to a poor woman, just for fun?

    Then the trial went on, the girls screaming with real pain. Then the magistrate came out with a verdict: “Guilty.”

    Happy Thanksgiving, ladies.

  4. #4
    Name: CMWinters
    Title: Day of Mourning
    Warnings: Mention of sexual assault but you'll probably miss it
    Words: 499 >_<

    "Wassi! Come, it's time for supper," urged a fair-haired boy with blue eyes.

    "I am not hungry," came the reply.

    "You do this every year. I thought Thanksgiving was a good holiday for you savages? Isn't it your holiday originally?" questioned the blue-eyed boy.

    Wassi suppressed a groan and gritted his teeth. "No," he muttered from under his quilt.

    "Why won't you eat with us?" his friend asked, confused.

    "I'm Pokanoket," he said, as if that explained it all.

    Nonplussed, he other boy left and when when Wassi was sure he'd gone, he stood up and got dressed. Pointedly ignoring a growl from his stomach, Wassi went outside for a thought-clearing walk around the grounds.

    Wassi wasn't—by far—the first person in his family to have magic. He was however, the first one to be accepted to Salem Witches Institute.

    How well he remembered the arrival of the faculty, prancing into the encampment as if they had every right to be there.

    "Yes, most unusual, this," they'd said in their strange tongue. "We don't normally accept the savages, but it says on the list, Wassamuta, son of pureblood witch Weematoo and Muggle Richard Bradford . . .". At this, his mother flushed crimson and refused to meet anyone's face for the remainder of the day, and his father cast a speculative glance at her. Wassi, age nine at the time, had had to preserve the memory for later observation when he understood the language.

    After the men had spoke their piece and been offered the customary food and drink, Awannan, Wassi's father, stood and said with all austerity "We will hold a tribal council and consider it. How shall we contact you with our decision?"

    The strange men left, and a council was called that night. Awannan argued that Wassi should be sent to school; "the white man comes here with his superior techonology and his plagues that even our medicine and our gods cannot defeat. We haven't even access to the raw materials. Wassamuta MUST go, lest we all die out!" Debate was heated, with some taking the stance that sending Wassamuta to school with the white man was a betrayal of their culture, and others taking the stance that Weematoo should be exiled for her treachery and betrayal, an option Awannan firmly refused to consider. "But Awannan!" protested one of the hunters. "If he is the son of this Richard Br. . . "

    Awannan leapt up, a maniacal look on his face. "Wassamuta is MY son, and that is final!"

    In the end it was decided that Wassi would go to Salem Institute. He left a year early to take specialised classes in reading and writing.

    "And so now it comes to this," he thought. "I must lose myself . . . my culture . . . my language . . . to save my people from annihilation."

    Sighing, he went inside.

    But he didn't eat with them. Not today.

    Author's Notes:

    Thanksgiving has been marked as the National Day of Mourning for the Native Americans of New England since 1970. Whatever else Europeans are good at, treatment of indigenous populations is not among them.

    The blue-eyed boy is not intentionally being a jerk. But like a lot of well-meaning and otherwise ignorant people, he does a remarkably good job of shoving his own foot in his mouth.

    Awannan here is Wassamuta's stepfather, although until the emissaries from the school arrive, he does not know this and believes himself to be Wassi's biological father. Wikipedia reports there was no prohibition against premarital sex in the Wampanoag tribe (therefore, Weematoo's lack of virginity wouldn't have been an issue), but she wasn't with the Muggle man by choice. However, she was almost immediately thereafter married to Awannan and was in a state of denial ever since, and faced with the ugly reality that his wife had borne another man's child whom he had raised as his own, Awannan takes the rather liberated stance of "this may not be genetically my kid, but I raised him from birth as my own, therefore he's mine." There was a whole scene in there about Awannan and Wassamutta talking about that, but, yeah, 500 words.

    Sincere apologies to any Messapie I manage to offend by this; I assure you my intentions were only good. I couldn't use the names I came across so I altered them.

    Thanks to HermyBabay82 for the impromptu beta!

  5. #5
    Name: Pius
    House: Ravenclaw
    Title: Wand-lore of the New World
    Warnings: none
    Words 499 (whew!)

    Matthew Carver left England on his 17th birthday with nothing but his wand. He was the orphaned child of impoverished parents and couldn’t expect anything better, he supposed, but walking up the gangplank into the hold of the ship, it was impossible not to feel resentful of his lot in life. As an apprentice wandmaker of a not-particularly famous master, there had never been much chance of getting a job in the city.

    It was a long journey. When the ship came into port in Massachusetts, Matthew was certain he could never be better acquainted with the word “boredom.” All too soon, though, he longed for those dull days back again. The earlier settlers had no wandmakers among them. He had never had so many orders and so little time. Matthew’s employer was pleased, and hoped to turn a tidy profit. Matthew was terrified. The bag of unicorn hair he had brought with him ran out within the week. He scoured the wild for signs of unicorns, phoenixes, even dragons.

    One day in November, Matthew’s desperate hunt through the forest took a wrong turn. Hopelessly lost, he wandered for hours, past caring whether he found the materials he needed or how badly he would be punished when he returned home late… and stumbled onto something extraordinary. He had nearly run straight into a large longhouse, old and moss-covered. Astonished by his fortune, he ducked into the structure to spend the night. As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he noticed a silver glow. A stone basin, full of… water, he thought. He peered over the edge and tipped into the past.

    Matthew hit the ground next to a table laden with food and drink, where dozens of people sat laughing and talking. Before he could stand, one man, a native, grabbed Matthew by the collar and hauled him to his feet. Too shocked to protest, Matthew suddenly noticed the wand in his companion’s pocket. “But how… where…” He looked at the man in amazement. He had never seen a native wizard before. “Who made that for you?” Matthew blurted, “What’s inside? May I see it? Please, sir?” The native man said nothing. They were joined by a European, who began jabbering as excitedly as Matthew. The trio walked on, the native man smiling as the two Englishmen prattled on behind. Once in the woods, he began pointing out flora and fauna. Matthew’s counterpart conjured a quill and furiously began writing. A shriek pierced the silence. Overhead, Matthew saw a giant eagle circle. It cried out once more, and a single feather fell, slowly spiraling down until it landed softly into the native’s outspread hand. He handed it to the European, and spoke for the first time. “It is the brother to mine,” he said, “I want you to have it.” The two men stood in mutual silence, content, for a time, with the magic of the moment.

    The scene faded, and Matthew reemerged into the darkness of the longhouse.
    Whew! This one was tough. The original was around a thousand words, but I managed to cut it down to the essentials. The idea is that it is set sometime shortly after King Phillip's War (1675-1676), which wiped out most of the Wompanoag people who had previously assisted the colonists at Plymouth during the traditional first thanksgiving.

    Lovely prompt! I adore these historically based challenges!

  6. #6
    Name: hermybabay82
    House: Gryffindor
    Title: A Plot Undesired
    Warnings: None
    Words: 500

    "Master, you called for me?," I inquired, bowing as I entered the sparsely furnished parsonage study.

    Samuel Parris looked up from the book he was reading to greet me. "Ah, Tituba. Yes! I need you to do something of utmost importance."

    I merely nodded, wondering what this man could want of me now.

    "As you undoubtedly know, some of the villagers are making attempts to get rid of me. There is a book written by a fool Muggle minister named Cotton Mather entitled Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions. It is a mockery of our powers. It mentions his beliefs of what happens to someone if spells are cast on them," he said with a malicious grin. "Truthfully, he has no idea what he is talking about. It is a horrid book, but it has sparked an idea. I wish for you to cast a few curses on Betty and Elizabeth that would cause them to have fits. You may also have need to place a few memory charms on them as to make it realistic should they be called to witness at trial."

    "This I can do, sir. But what of the girls? Surely, you do not wish your own daughter and niece truly harmed, do you?" I asked discreetly, knowing that he had no real concern for the children. I had figured out that my master was a selfish, greedy sort within my first year of servitude. I had to be sure the girls would not be harmed.

    "No, of course not. Thinking on this further, I believe it would be prudent to place them under the Imperius curse and make them scream, throw things about, and such. As for the memory charms, the girls will need to recall your apparition forcing them to do these things. On second thought, you might have them remember other women doing this as well, such as Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne, so that you can confess and implicate them at trial. I believe if everything goes as planned you will be acquitted by a Grand Jury, I can pull some strings if needed. What say you, Tituba, of my plan?" he inquired, beginning to look abashed. He seemed worried that I might change my mind.

    "It shall be done," I affirmed, bowing again. I was sure I could keep the girls safe, but I worried about the others mentioned by my master.

    "You understand, Tituba, that our plan must not fail? If it does, the Muggles shall surely run me out of town," said he, his face flushed with anguish at the thought. "They have already started withholding my salary. We must act quickly, within the next half year at latest! When we succeed we shall be truly thankful, I promise you that."

    With that, I was dismissed, and he went back to his book with a mad gleam in his eye. Money and power, everything came down to those two things. I was sure of it.


    Thanks to Jenny B for betaing this for me! All information was gathered through Wikipedia and Encarta, so hopefully it's correct! Betty Parris and Elizabeth Hubbard were the first two girls afflicted in Salem Town according to my sources. These are the girls that Samuel Parris is speaking of casting a spell or curse on.

  7. #7
    Ebil Gato Loco Ravenclaw
    He's The Dog... He's An Animagus...
    mugglemathdork's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    retired to EbilVille
    These were so well researched and thought out! Mith and Gato Loco had the hardest time just picking three winners! Therefore, the 'non-winners' get three points for their wonderful drabbles! They were just too awesome to not reward somehow!

    -squishes drabblers-

    1st - Indigoenigma ~ Sorcerer
    2nd - cmwinters ~ Day of Mourning
    3rd - Pius ~ Wand Lore of the New World

    And for the awesome drabbles, 3 points to:

    You guys rock!!!
    ~Gato Loco

    I've left moddom/fandom...though don't be surprised if I get caught lurking once in a blue moon.
    All questions pertinent to Ravenclaw need to be sent to ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
    If you wish to keep in touch, feel free to friend me on LJ - I don't friend anyone under the age of 18. Sorry!

    Otherwise, so long, and thanks for all the fish!

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