by Scott Allen Perry
One fine autumn morn, Farmer Delacroix stepped out onto his tobacco field, sniffed in the sweet blue-skied air and said, “Today is a good day for killin’.”
The sound of the axe cut through the air as forcefully as it did the turkey neck Farmer Delacroix had chosen as his victim. He didn’t much care for turkeys. Never did. Never would. He did like killing them though, and did it with Vigor and Joy. Vigor and Joy were the neighbor kids down the way who loved watching Farmer Delacroix do his “turkey whackin'”. Mostly because he’d always give them the turkeys he whacked and that meant they’d eat well that week. That is, as long as Aunt Nedelia wasn’t visiting.
Aunt Nedelia was a portly woman. Scratch that. She was Rotund. Blimp-like in her shape and seemed hellbent on increasing her mass by ingesting every ounce of food that came within her reach. She especially had a hankering for turkey.
Vigor and Joy bounced into the kitchen, their overflowing excitement dredged as they laid eyes on Aunt Nedelia. They dropped the headless turkey right there on the kitchen floor and got a powerful spanking from their father, Lawrence Gibbler, for making such a bloody mess in his temple of yum. Lawrence Gibbler was a patient man, but not when it came to turkey blood, or turkeys in general as he considered them to be the foulest of fowl.
The children sat frownie-faced as the headless bird was gutted, plucked and placed into the oven for a slow cook journey that would lead it to Tummyville. The kids knew that their tummies would be lucky to get the slightest morsel of that turkey Farmer Delacroix had so happily handed over to them that morning. If he only know that his bird was to be ravaged and swallowed up by that gluttonous behemoth known as Aunt Nedelia. Then it hit them….
Lawrence Gibbler always saved the turkey feathers he plucked from Farmer Delacroix’s gift turkeys. He one day planned to make a fine frock for himself, adorned in turkey feathers that circled his visage and trailed down the long kingly train he imagined he’d one day wear. He kept the feathers in a series of wheelbarrows out in the big, red barn behind the house. They’d been separated by turkey size, turkey sex, and feather hue. Lawrence Gibbler was all about the feather hue. Vigor and Joy gathered up the feathers and poured them into a trench they dug off the back porch of the house. Their plan was in motion.
Aunt Nedelia sat at the kitchen table, gazing at the turkey in the oven as it slowly browned. She fantasized what the first bite would taste like, the crisp skin cracking beneath her bicuspids. The saliva formed pools in the corner of her mouth. Her gargantuan stomach groaned like the bowels of an old slave ship in a squall. Then it hit her…. the smell of dark chocolate. It was one of the only smells on the planet powerful enough to pull her away from her turkey gazing station. The chair creaked as she heaved her poundage up and trudged her way across the floor to the back porch. With every thudding step she took, the scent of dark chocolate filled her nostrils, sending adrenaline pulsing through her heart and driving her closer to the decadent smell that she longed to swallow whole.
The porch door swung open and Nedelia squeezed her way outside. The wood cracked and moaned under her weight as she drew closer to the source of the smell. Then she saw it. It was beautiful. There, just a few feet off the porch steps, was a shiny, dark chocolate, Easter bunny. The sun had already heated it enough for it to moisten, it’s curves glistening in the glow of the Autumn sky. She moved faster. Down the stairs she walked, drops of saliva falling from her lips as she imagined taking the brown, sugary sweetness into her mouth in one gaping swallow. A vision that vanished the instant she stepped into the trench Vigor and Joy had carefully camouflaged with leaves and twigs. Nedelia plummeted and quickly sank beneath the thousands of turkey feathers the children had placed there atop a thin layer of fresh, hot tar. Nedelia writhed and wailed, swirling herself in a bath of tar and turkey feathers. When she finally emerged from the trench she no longer looked like the Nedelia that was there moments before. No, this was an entirely new look, a new creature that now graced God’s orange and brown earth. This was a giant turkey woman. A giant turkey woman that had crawled out from the ground at Lawrence Gibbler’s place and into the sights of Farmer Delacroix’s axe-blade.
Vigor and Joy grinned that night with every bite of turkey they ate. A knowing look passed between them they would share every time their tongues tasted turkey, then and for the rest of their natural lives. Lawrence Gibbler never suspected a thing as he’d returned to his kitchen that afternoon to find a note from his spherical sister that read, “Lawrence, I couldn’t wait for your turkey to cook. I’m leaving forever for Turkey Ville, South Carolina, where the turkey meat flows free. I shall ever return for I intend to marry a turkey once I arrive there and make little human/turkey babies for the rest of my years. Love always, your sister, Nedelia.”
That night, Vigor and Joy finished the entire bird. There were no leftovers. A symbolic way of finishing off their little secret. They were content, for the knew there would be more turkeys. And they knew there would be no more Aunt Nedelia to swoop in and take the bird from their lips before they’d ever had a chance to taste it. And if, by some chance, another person invaded their lives, a person with a hunger such as the aforementioned Aunt Nedelia, they knew there would be a remedy for their dilemma. For every day was a new day, and, as Farmer Delacroix would say, “Today is a good day for killin’.”