Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.
Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.
Turkey, narrow, messy
The table could be called several adjectives, each more extreme than the last. But, for the sake of avoiding rude language, Kevin went with the simple go-to of “messy.” Smeared in gravy, doused in tiny pieces of bread, and containing a long trail of yams and cranberry sauce like some massive snail had gone through the area.
All of this paled though, from the thing standing on the table, on its’ hind legs, wielding a carving knife with supreme hostility.
“You…you butcher!” the thing cried, and Henry flinched. Not because he was insulted—he was a literal butcher, after all, that was kind of the whole reason the creature was here actually—but because he could not fathom how or why a headless turkey would be able to talk to him.
It glistened underneath the lights, the golden-brown skin of a perfect roast only increasing the surrealist nature of the proceedings.
“Sorry!?” shrieked the bird, and Henry flinched again as a knife missed by a narrow margin his ear. He glanced back as the implement stuck out of the wall, still vibrating.
So, the bird was super strong, too. Great.
“I am very sorry?” Henry ventured. “I did not…well, it’s Thanksgiving and all. It’s the custom?”
“And you expect me to care?” the fowl said and jumped down off the table. “I suppose, then, if it were the right holiday, it would be okay to cook and eat you?”
Marked, butterscotch, grime
“Uh, no, well, I would not appreciate it,” Henry replied, and took a step away as it waddled toward him, still disturbingly glistening and now somewhat tainted by the floor’s grime.
“Oh, well, hypocrisy and a butcher then,” the bird said, his voice taking on a grim tone. “We can’t have that. Perhaps I teach you how we serve humans on Bird’s-Giving then.”
“You made that up,” Henry commented, stalling for time. He looked for some sort of weapon—but it was dead already, so he had no idea what would help.
“I did. Yes.” The turkey made the inside of its hollow neck produce a sucking sound. “But, then, since I did, I get to decide the traditions. How about you are drowned in butterscotch, or lit on fire with brandy. How about I stuff you with cactuses?”
Henry did not like the sound of any of that. A deep sense of confusion was also making the whole thing odder. How had he gone from a cook making his soon-to-arrive family a meal to a marked man fighting a demon turkey?
“Gobble, gobble,” the creature said, his voice slow and menacing. With one leap, he flew into the air—not actually flying, his wings were plucked—and slammed into the face of poor Henry.
Henry let out a shout but still managed to grab the demon by its leg, and hang it upside down. The bird suddenly, and comically, had no real way to deal with this.
“Oh,” Henry muttered. “Right.”
Strength or no strength. It was still tiny.
“I guess you’re not done cooking yet,” Henry said. “I guess some more time in the oven might be in order.”
“Noooo!!!!” the turkey roared.
Zone, ghastly, tickle
The bird entered the oven with a thud, and Henry slammed shut the door. Without much thought or hesitation to it, he dialed the heat as high as it would go. It might destroy the oven, might burn down a bit of the house—but it was better than being killed by poultry. Better than being eaten with butterscotch.
It was then, that a ghastly sound came from inside the oven, and the whole appliance shook. Henry pressed his body up to the door, even as heat licked out in small bursts on his arms. It started as a near-tickle, before the whole metal turned too hot, and he backed off.
“Oh…oh, is that what I am? Burned meat for the gods?”
The voice was slurred, and dark, and angry. And Henry opened his mouth in alarm as a thick cloud of black smoke came out, and a face formed, the face of a pissed-off bird.
“Did you think it would be that easy? I am freed now from the zone of my own bird form. You have made me into a much worse enemy, my butcher. I will take your world for what you have done! Every day will be Human’s-giving. Your blood will run like gravy down on the sidewalks and into my soup bowls!”
Just then, the smoke triggered the alarms, and water poured down, soaking the floor and Henry and dissipating the smoke.
“I will return when you are at your plumpest, my butcher. At the end of your feast—I will feast.”
With that, the turkey was gone. The air cleared. And the door opened behind him, and the excited chattering of Henry’s kids filled the space.
Henry spun around and put on his best smile.
“Hey! So, I was thinking…who wants to just drop the whole Thanksgiving thing and get some tofu? Or, how about a nice, wholesome, low-calorie salad?”
About Brandon Scott
From a young age, Brandon Scott realized he was tired of stories where all the characters survived, and the good guys always won. And, after flirting off and on with the idea of writing for a few years, he got his first disturbed shudder out of a reader. Since then, Brandon Scott has been chasing that same shudder, penning dark speculative fiction stories of various lengths–some of which even he can’t think about for too long without his stomach tightening.
When Brandon Scott is not writing, sleeping, cooking, or just busy with life stuff (a rare thing indeed) he enjoys anime, books, movies, television, dumb online videos, and really anything you might call “nerdy” or “geeky.” He lives in Florida and somehow still manages to feel cold.