Hi to all my Friends...and Happy Thanksgiving!
Here's a story just right for the holiday in question. Enjoy!
Gobble-Gobble: The Feast
By Lucas Pederson
A crisp breeze licked at Ty's exposed skin as he knelt down to examine the tracks.
A grin lifted on his smooth face, eyes gleamed. The monster, the one he was looking for.
"Got ya," he growled, stood up straight and reslung the shotgun.
His brown eyes narrowed on the path through the woods. This year they'd have a real feast. No store bought turkey for them this year, hell no, this year it'd be fresh...and wild.
Ty quietly trudged down the path, and old animal trail if there ever was one. Somewhere near by a crow cawed ill temporally at him. Ty ignored it and moved deeper into the woods. Snow crunched under his boots, but that was okay. The monster turkey would be farther up, probably roosting in a thick shrub or feeding on fallen seeds.
His dad had taught him all the tricks about hunting. The older man had shown him how to track, move stealthily through the thickets and brambles and over hazardous dead falls. And most importantly, he'd shown Ty how to shoot.
But his dad was dead now, shot in the face by his own hunting partner up in Canada. They'd been hunting black bear, and Ty's dad had hunkered down in a thick patch of shrubs to wait fro his prey to come bumbling along. His partner saw movement in the shrubs, fired, and killed Ty's dad immediately.
Now it was up to Ty to hunt down and kill the Thanksgiving turkey. It was up to him to make sure the holiday wasn't spoiled by some frozen chunk of flesh with legs.
He paused, listening, opening up his senses to the wilderness about him. And there, a soft rustling of feathers. He didn't know how far up the trail it was, but he knew it'd be close.
Ty crouched slightly, unslung his shotgun, and slowly advanced up the trail, the path.
About thirty yards up, the rustling came again, this time followed by a soft gibbering sound only wild turkeys are known for. That signature sound. Ty stopped. It was very close now.
His eyes lowered to the snow. The tracks there were deep, large. He'd be looking for a hefty male.
Very slowly, Ty moved a few extra feet up the path. And when his eyes caught movement ahead, he halted at once. He followed the movement until it entered a clear spot through the trees. His eyes widened. It was huge! A monster if ever there was one! The giant of all turkeys was strutting right there in front of him. A few females trialed behind him, but Ty wasn't interested in those. He had his eyes fixed on the giant male. It would make a great feast for Thanksgiving dinner.
Ty brought up the shotgun, pointed the muzzle at the male turkey, and held his breath.
A hair before his finger pressed the trigger, the monster turkey spun unexpectedly, and glared directly at Ty. Ty froze, breath still held. And what it did next would haunt Ty's dreams until his death.
"The fuck you think you're doin?!" cried the massive turkey.
Not gibberish, but words, actual words.
Ty let go a shuddery breath. Did he really hear what he thought he heard? Did that turkey just talk?
The turkey waddled forward, lowered it's ugly mangled head and said.
"Get outta hear boy...or I'll eat out your eyes and let my bitches here peck out your teeth one by one."
The gun lowered slightly. Ty shook his head. This couldn't be real, could it?
The turkey eyed Ty.
"You def or dense, boy?"
Ty stared, frozen in terror. The turkey was actually talking.
The the monster reared its head.
"Oh, I see. You were lookin for a meal. Well, not this one, son. Move along, or I'll eat you."
"No," Ty managed.
"No? You are a dumb one aren't you?" spoke the turkey.
It shuffled forward, the female turkeys three in all waddled to either side of it.
"You know," it said. "Now that I think of it, I haven't had human meat in a long time...and it is Thanksgiving after all. What ya girls say? Hungry?"
The females gibbered their agreement. Gibbered, did not not talk. But they studies Ty greedily.
Ty raised the gun again, the freeze holding him thawing slightly.
"Stay there," he said, though his voice was hardly above a whisper.
The monster turkey chuckled.
"Girls, I believe we got ourselves a feast."
Ty pulled the trigger.
One of the females flew backwards in a poof of feathers. The others gasped.
The male turkey's beady black eyes never left Ty.
"How dare you," it growled. "How dare you trample my forest, raping from my land. How dare you kill with out knowing what you kill. Not all of us are mere animals here. How dare you kill my wife."
Now it was shuffling through the trees toward Ty, the other females had begun to growl.
"How dare you kill...without knowing anything!" And as it spoke, long, fangs grew from the edges of its ugly beak.
The large turkey seemed to grow larger with every shuffle. It's beady black eyes burned red.
Ty pulled the trigger again. Another female burst into a rain of feathers.
The monster male turkey let go a shriek and shot forward with a speed so uncanny Ty hardly had time to react before hit reached him, talons out, ready to gouge, slice and tear.
But Ty managed to squeeze off another shot. The slug, he was out of bird shot, struck the huge flaying turkey int the breast, sending it back, end over end in a bloody whirl.
The remaining female gaped at Ty, utter a brief gobble, and shot off into the forest.
The monster lay, its wings twitching in the blood snow.
Ty moved to it, shotgun trained on its head.
The fangs were gone now, the red eyes black once again. It looked up at Ty.
"Hope you fuckin choke," it garbled and then felt limp.
Ty crushed its head with the butt of his shotgun.
Later that day, feathers plucked, head lopped off, guts ripped out, Ty stood looking at the huge turkey on in the cooker. It'd be going in the oven soon. His mom was cutting up vegetables and potatoes to stuff it with.
"Sure is a big one," his mom said, slicing a potato in two.
"Yeah," Ty said, although he'd never tell her how it talked to him, how it tried to kill him. She'd think he'd gone mad.
He sighed, began to turn away, and then the large monster turkey started flopping around in the cooker.
Ty's mom shrieked, dropped the knife and pinwheeled away. Ty spun and was struck across the jaw with one meaty wing. It rose out of the cooker, silent, headless, but somehow still alive.
Then a window burst open somewhere in the house, then another.
His mom was screaming, backing away, shaking her head violently.
Ty ran to the living room. He had to get his shotgun before.
Four female turkeys stood before the gun cabinet like sentry guards. Ty moved toward them,a nd then growled deeply.
Something gibbered behind him.
He turned to see another female standing there, glaring hatefully up at him. Ty's hear thrummed with horror.
He kicked the female as hard as he could, sending it flapping and screaming through the air until it struck a wall and plopped to the floor, twitching.
HE spun to the the other four, they had advanced a few feet toward him. They were still growling.
Ty whirled and ran back to the kitchen. The dead monster turkey was on the floor now, beating at his mom's legs with its awful featherless wings.
Ty took up the knife his mom was using to cut potatoes and plunged into the dead turkey's back. Blood sprayed into his face. The turkey reared, jittered. Ty pulled the knife out and stabbed again, and again, and again. Finally the thing pitched forward and lay still.
Gobbling from behind him.
HE turned and was suddenly festooned with turkey bodies. They growled, slashed at him with their talons, bit with their wicked beaks. Blood began to flow.
Then he heard his mom shrieking. The turkeys were flung off of him one by one.
Ty sat up, hurt, bleeding, but otherwise fine.
His mom was beating the female turkey's to death with a broom, skrieking madly.
The kitchen plumed with feathers.
An hour later, and all the turkeys were dead.
Ty and his mom sent each one through the wood chipper out back.
Standing there, covered with blood, chunks of flesh and speckled with feathers, Ty's mom turned to him.
"Denny's?" she asked.
Ty smiled. He nodded. Denny's never sounded so good.