Turkey Day goes terribly wrong. Flash fiction entry.
|Carol analyzed the seating arrangements one more time. “What do you think, John?”
“Honey, it doesn’t really matter where anyone sits. It’ll be a first if everyone’s still at the table for pumpkin pie.”
Before they married, he had warned her about his family, but she thought he had been exaggerating. Holidays were now hell on Earth from which short of divorce or death, there was no escape. Compounding her misery, the family had elected to celebrate holidays in the most central location—their house.
The doorbell rang. “Remember, no one comes through this kitchen door.” Before the door shut behind her, she added, “Even if you have to use a gun!”
If only she wasn’t kidding. They had hammered out a truce with a clear division of labor. For the next forty-five to sixty minutes, John was in charge of entertaining and containing his family. At last, his cell phone vibrated—the signal it was time for everyone to be seated.
Chairs squeaked against the hardwood floor as everyone took their seats. Heads swiveled toward the kitchen door as the hungry crowd waited in blissful, albeit temporary, silence. John heard the thump of Carol’s hip as she pushed through the swinging door.
“Happy…” Carol began, but her words changed to a high-pitched squeal as the turkey careened across the floor. “Stay in your damn seats!” Placing the platter next to the befouled entrée, she hoisted the bird back on the plate. “God knows this family should know dirt won’t kill you.” With the platter on the table, she brandished the carving knife as she screamed. “Not a damn word out of any of you. You will enjoy and be thankful for every single bite.”
Surprisingly, Carol never had to host another holiday meal.