39

“What is it this time?” Madison sighed.

“Don’t take that tone with me,” Bryce replied. “This is serious!”

“Just tell me what happened.”

“Okay,” Bryce continued. He perched on his elbow on Madison’s floor, while she kept one eye on the computer. “So we decided to do Thanksgiving at both our houses. We’d start at my place and eat all the things, and then we’d go to his house, and eat all the things again. Like, extreme Thanksgiving-ing.”

“Lovely,” Madison said.

“And it was all going great, until we get over to his place, and then he’s like ‘This is my friend,’ or ‘My buddy Bryce here,’ or whatever.”

“Not following.”

“So it turns out that his grandparents are this super conservative old couple, and they don’t know he’s gay. And everyone there tiptoes around the old goat because he has a lot of money, and they want it when he croaks.”

“Gross,” Madison said.

“Right? So gross. So he’s pretending we are just friends. And then we’re at dinner, and we get onto the subject of pronouns.”

“Oh no,” Madison sighed.

“Oh. Yes. And the old coot is all ‘I don’t know why a boy isn’t a boy and a girl isn’t a girl any more!’ and all this bullshit. And nobody will call him out on his bullshit—”

“Because money,” Madison interrupted.

“Because money. So I get stuck in the role of the lone social justice warrior, like I’m some middle-aged white woke mom on Facebook or some bullshit. And I’m standing up to Daddy Warbucks and telling him that it’s none of his business why someone wants to be he, or she, or they, or z, or whatever. How does this inconvenience you? Right?”

“Oh geez,” Madison said.

“Yeah, so basically that was fun. I hate Thanksgiving anyway. It’s this gross celebratory feast of colonization. Like ‘Yay, we gave them all smallpox, we win! Pass the eels!’”

“Eels?” Madison asked.

“Yeah, the first Thanksgiving they didn’t have turkey, they ate eels.”

“Gross. Really?”

“Totally. I learned it in a Magic Tree House book when I was like eight.”

“That’s a primary source,” she said with a serious nod.

“Damn straight. On account of the time travel,” he agreed.

“Naturally. Okay you’re pissed at him for being in the closet, and he’s pissed at you for standing up to Daddy Warbucks and threatening his inheritance.”

“Basically. How was your Thanksgiving?” he asked.

“Same.”

Bryce laughed. “No, really.”

“I had an old coot to deal with, too. I argued with my Grampa about pollution and global warming and stuff.”

“Which side were you on?” he asked with a smirk.

“I took the affirmative.”

“Yay pollution!” he said.

“Exactly. Kill the Earth! Cut her throat! Spill her blood!” Madison chanted.

Bryce winced. “Dark.”

“Oh! Look!” Madison hopped up from the floor and sat at her desk. “It’s Mr. Black!”

She turned up the volume. “And Miss Violet and Mr. Green.”

“Taste the rainbow!” Bryce said.

“This is what I’ve been waiting for!” she said. “Cindy figured out how to get this video feed from the office in the warehouse. I’ll be able to hear everything they say!”

“Well this should be fun,” Bryce said, pulling up a chair next to her. “I’ll get the popcorn.”

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