The Parents by Grace Reed

You see, my parents were always picky about their food. They wouldn’t eat this, they wouldn’t eat that. Very choosy. Which sometimes got them in trouble. That’s why it was particularly peculiar on Thanksgiving Day that they ate the whole meal themselves. My mother does not like turkey, but she ate the thing whole… My father hates cranberry sauce, yet he satisfyingly licked the sticky remains off his fingers. They did not even tell my brother and me to come down to eat.

Summer was when their “habits” really set in. On a hot Saturday afternoon, we all decided to go to the community pool to cool off… My parents had other ideas. We arrived, and they drank all the water in the pool. Nobody could swim.

That Sunday, we went to the cathedral in town. The sermon was about gluttony. How ironic.

The next day, the weather was terrible—storms everywhere. So, my father stole the lightning from the sky and ate it whole. One day after work, my mother came home and ate the patio. I was afraid she would start on the whole house. This continued for months… They were ravenous.

Their worst episode was at our cousin’s wedding… Everyone dressed in their Sunday’s best. At the reception, guests cheered on the newlyweds while my parents made their way to every table… More importantly, they ate every plate and wiped them clean. The caterers did not have extra food to spare.

One day, we were watching television. I asked them, Why are you like this? The pool, Thanksgiving, the wedding—why did you consume everything?

They said, We are not sure.

I replied, You know you are gluttons?

They said, We have the right to do anythingbut we will not be mastered by anything.

I said, If you are given to gluttony, I should put a knife to your throats.

They said, We are scared, something consumed us.

I said, What?

They said, Open us.

I said I would not.

They said, You have to see, we are not your parents.

I said I would be convicted of murder and I am too young to go to jail.

They pleaded, Please, please open us and see. Pretend we are gifts. We are afraid. Save us!

I said, Don’t be afraid (even though fear consumed me).

They started screaming, Save us!

I slit their throats. Red spilled all over the floor like a river running through a valley. As did my tears. I heard something in the other room. I saw my parents, but not in their mortal state. They were beings but not humans.

My mother smiled and looked down at the table. Thanksgiving dinner was served.

Grace Reed was born and raised outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania. She attends Towson University and plans on graduating with a degree in Mass Communication on a Public Relations and Advertising track in 2021. Her writing speaks louder than she does.

Featured image: Frank Lindecke

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