Barbara’s Perfect Turkey – Flash Fiction

Barbara pulled the baked turkey from the oven and sat it on the counter carefully. It was perfect! She did not want the juices to slosh over the side and burn her like they had the year before. It was likely that she did not need all that liquid in the pan with the bird, but David liked his meat tender. She had to admit that she did too.

Barbara removed the foil from the top, wearing the thin cloth gloves so that she would not burn her delicate skin. A band aid, probably twenty years old, was already strapped across her wrist from burning herself on the sweet potatoes twenty minutes ago. Somehow, her skin had torn open like it had been sliced with a knife. Luckily, she had pulled her hand back and prevented herself from bleeding on the roasted marshmallows and yellow taters. She would have never forgiven herself!

Sounds from the living room resounded in the home. Kids were playing loudly and adults were talking even louder. And, beneath that entire ruckus were the famous Thanksgiving parades drawing to an end, being televised from New York City. She always wanted to go to New York City.

Barbara knew this scene well. It is what she had experienced when growing up in her own family home. She had never thought that she was going to replicate that scene. In fact, she had likely promised herself that she never would. And yet, here she was.

The knife cut through the tender skin of the holiday bird easier that Barbara thought it would. She wasn’t sure what she was expecting really. She had never carved the turkey before. That had always been David’s duty. In fact, he had insisted on it. Barbara wasn’t the type to argue with David, or tell him that he was getting too old to cut up a dead bird.

No, she could never tell him that! All in all, she was a proper wife! She was respectful and loyal and ever-obedient to her dearest husband. It did not matter how foolish he was, or how much he drank, or whether or not he lifted the sheets with his untimely flatulence after she had finally fallen asleep!

“I need to cut this damn bird! People are hungry!” Barbara told herself, trying to forget about her deceased husband.

“Mom, you just need to lay still. Let them bandage you up so we can get you back to the care home.”

Barbara turned to see her daughter, Jesse, standing over her. She suddenly realized that she was lying in a bed with a strange man over her wearing a protective mask. It may have been a doctor or a nurse. Oh, it was definitely a doctor! Men could not be nurses.

“What happened, Jesse?” a man said from the back of the room. “I got your call.”

“Mom’s dementia is just kicking in again, Brad. The staff said that she cut herself on her wheelchair when she fell. You always know how it goes around the holidays.”

Brad laid his hand on Barbara’s head, “You have to be careful, mom.”

Barbara pulled away from the touch, looking at the strangers in the room, “Which one of you bastards stole my turkey? David! These dirty thieves are coming after our turkey again! Get the shotgun!”

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