April 6, 2015

“Mother always roasted the chickens’ bodies whole. She left them feathered and adorned with their combs. She made us pick the unwanted pieces off with our fingers, then pile them onto a small dish that she would then slip beneath the basement door. Mother held the hammer in her fist while she waited for father to carve the roast. Usually mother did the carving but the hammer was in her carving hand. Father did the carving too slowly. Father carved until his hands shuddered. Then mother took over.”

***

“We wanted to know what mother did with the meat she slipped beneath the basement door. She collected all the poultry pieces, all the bits of roast beef trimmings, and then she brought the plate to the door and shoved it beneath. We heard something slurping in the dark. We heard a monster sloshing around. The stairs creaked beneath its weight. The monster wanted to devour everything in the house and mother gave it meat so that it would not eat us.”

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