A Foul Day
It moved! I swear on my mother’s soul I saw it move! Glancing up, I scan the faces surrounding the table trying to determine if anyone else saw the jerking motion. No one seems to have noticed; they’re all laughing and drinking, chattering away happily while waiting to be fed. I blink a few times to clear my eyes. I’ve been working too hard lately, putting in too many hours, that’s all. I raise the carving knife and fork, once more preparing to plunge them into the bird trussed before me. It fucking moved again! This time with an accompanying slopping sound. A bead of sweat breaks out on my upper lip; my wife is staring at me hesitantly. With both hands now resting on either side of the beast, I take a few slow, deep breaths to calm my overwrought nerves. A slight nudge comes from my right. It’s my wife, a strained smile on her face; she nods toward the foul creature. I nod back. Bringing the arm with the fork up, I dab at the dew above my lip and make an off-hand comment about it being roasting in here. Everyone laughs. A small shake of my head, I exhale and raise the knife once again to begin slicing the meat. As the gleaming instruments near the platter, I hear a voice in my head. ‘Go on ya piss-ant piece of shit – cut me open. Show everyone what a big man you are and gut me. Gut me like you gutted your wife when the doctor told her your sperm are useless. Ya didn’t have the balls to stick it to your wife and knock her up, and you don’t have the balls to stick it to me either!’
What the fuck? My knees nearly buckle and my wife reaches out to steady me. I jerk my arm away. The room has grown quiet, the tension nearly palpable. I toss out another remark meant as a joke; the responding chortle is terse, fraught with unease. My wife is no longer smiling; she looks worried. I try to reassure her with a smile of my own, but a bare shake of her head lets me know she’s not buying it. ‘Ya do know she doesn’t have any faith in you anymore, right? She was expecting to marry a man, and look what she got – you! She knows about Terry, too,’ I almost utter a response. ‘Yeah, she’s known for the past month that you’re banging that bitch from work, she just doesn’t want to ruin the holidays for the family. Your ass is out of here as soon as the new year starts, buddy!’
Sure that I’m pale as a ghost, I lean on the table for support once more. My head hanging, limbs trembling; the nervous tick of the fork tapping against a glass the only sound in the nearly silent room. My wife reaches over again and lays a hand on my forearm. I lash out to shove her away, forgetting that I’m holding the carving knife with that hand. We stare at one another in shock for a heartbeat before her body crashes forward into the china on the table; her throat sliced ever so neatly from side to side. As the crimson of her blood mixes with the pumpkin colored hue of the tablecloth, a slight gurgling is all that resounds. I look on in horrified disbelief, then one of the children in the room lets out a horrified screech. The demon starts again, ‘Ha! Look what you…’ I begin stabbing it with the fork and maniacally chopping it to bits with the blade while screaming incoherently. Everyone in the room is looking at me like I’ve gone insane. I try to explain about the turkey… not realizing I was still holding the knife… the pressure I’ve been under… but there isn’t a sympathetic eye in the small gathering. ‘You know what you have to do, don’t ya? If you don’t, they’ll lock you back up in the loony bin again.’ An icy cold sheet of acceptance washes over me as I move to the doorway, blocking my wife’s teenage brother from escaping.
I was really hoping this family would be different, not like the last…
© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.
Coffin Hop Goodies!
How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}
Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…
and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song
Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
October 25th, 2014 at 8:52 am
Really enjoyed this one, Nina! The little twist at the end was great!
October 25th, 2014 at 10:45 am
Thanks, Jon! That ending is the clincher… when I read it out loud to a friend, they were completely confused, then when they heard the ending line – they smiled. They thought the turkey was actually talking until they realized that the ‘hubbie’ was bat-shit crazy!
October 25th, 2014 at 10:09 am
OOH, so very creepy. I loved it.
October 25th, 2014 at 10:48 am
Thank you, Anita! I had fun with this one… I host Thanksgiving for the family each year, so I took the opportunity to work out the frustration of planning a holiday meal on this little goodie! 😉
October 25th, 2014 at 11:58 am
I agree. Who doesn’t like surprises? For sure! Happy Coffin Hopping!
October 25th, 2014 at 7:22 pm
The same to you, Chris!! Thanks for stopping by!! 🙂
October 25th, 2014 at 1:19 pm
Great piece of fiction woman!
October 25th, 2014 at 7:23 pm
Thank you!!! (I loved writing this one – it was so much fun!) 😀
October 25th, 2014 at 9:42 pm
LOL great ending twist! 🙂 Happy Hop! Johanna aka The Manicheans
October 25th, 2014 at 10:34 pm
Wow! Your stories always leave me with my jaw hanging ajar. Great story, Nina! You’re killing it this year! (bad pun intended 😉 )
October 26th, 2014 at 2:17 am
That was scary
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
October 26th, 2014 at 6:22 am
Dayum that was tense, poor wifey, is it bad I’m craving a roast dinner now?
October 26th, 2014 at 10:58 pm
Note to self: Do not invite Nina over for Thanksgiving…or any other holiday meal. 🙂 You never cease to amaze me, my friend. I like it.
October 27th, 2014 at 12:16 pm
This…is…the…best…holiday…story…EVER!! 🙂 I read this with an ever increasing smile across my face, Nina – you have given me reason for hope when my brother-in-law visits for Thanksgiving this year lmao 😉 Seriously though, I mean, what can I say, other than this is one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve ever feasted my eyes on!! 🙂
October 28th, 2014 at 7:53 pm
Bbbrr…untangling my spine that just curled in on itself…
Happy CoffinHopping! 🙂