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Younger children place a great importance to their Birthdays. An importance that adults should never underestimate...
Wallace (We are Legion)
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|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (23)
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Aunt Jemima sat to the left of Harry, whilst his Grandmother, Doris, sat to his right.
Both women showered him with kisses and praise, and in their eyes, he could do no wrong.
Auntie Jemima was 55 years old, and she wore one of those hideous flowery blouses that women of her station seem to find attractive. The top button was undone, revealing a wrinkled red skin below the neck and a sagging bosom lying underneath.
Her golden hair was neatly coiffured, since her only retirement pastime was going to the hair salon or buying presents for her nephew.
Doris was glamorous. She wore a shimmering white dress, decked in lace with diaphanous ribbons dangling from her arms. She was in her late 70’s, but still surprisingly attractive for her age.
At the far end of the table opposite Harry, sat his mother, Sally. She had been consigned to the “boring” end of the table, flanked on her sides by her husband Alfred and daughter Chloe.
Sally wore a look of permanent tiredness upon her face. Since Alfred had lost his job at the factory, she had been doing double shifts at the restaurant to make ends meet. You could tell that it had placed a strain on their relationship. The sparkle in their eyes was no longer there.
Chloe, Harry’s despicable older sister sat gazing at the food laid out on the table. It was doubtful that she would eat much. She suffered from a common teenage malady, anorexia. “All the more for me”, thought Harry to himself.
The clock struck seven and outside the streetlamps were beginning to flourish in to life.
Harry looked around the table. Perfect. Just Perfect, he thought. A proper family gathering.
Harry stood up and grabbed a handful of mini-sausage rolls with his chubby little hands. He shoved them all in to his mouth and made pig-like snorting sounds as the flakes of pastry erupted from his mouth on to the table.
He took a loud and quite revolting gulp of his orange juice, before stabbing dangerously at the plate of sausages with his fork.
He then remembered his manners.
Harry leaned over to Auntie Jemima.
“I’m sorry Auntie. Can I get you something ? How about a cheese and ham cocktail stick ?”
Harry grabbed a cocktail stick and lifted it to her mouth, but Aunt Jemima refused.
“What’s the matter, Auntie ? You always like these”, said Harry. He grew annoyed.
This was his Birthday Party damn-it !
Harry opened her jaw and shoved the cocktail stick, complete with cheese and ham, in to his Auntie’s mouth.
It lolled around, before falling out of her mouth on to the table, landing next to the raspberry jelly.
Harry sat down with his head in his hands, and picked up his glass of milk.
Why hadn’t they told him ?
Why had they tried to keep it a surprise ?
They knew how much he looked forward to his birthday parties, so why had they deliberately kept it quiet ? Made him think that they had forgotten ?
Even his mother, when packing him off to school that morning had said nothing. Usually she would say “Have a nice day dear. There’s a special treat for you when you get home.” This year, she said what always said every morning. “See you later dear”.
All day he thought about it at school. “They’ve forgotten”. It festered away in his mind, distracting him from his lessons. Needling, poking, constantly reminding him that this year there would be no party. By mid-afternoon, it had grown to revenge, just in time for the Chemistry lesson when they learnt about arsenic.
It was such a small quantity, it would never be noticed.
He came home, and found his auntie and grandmother there. They were in the kitchen with his mother. They barely acknowledged him. How was he to know that it was part of the surprise ? Part of the deception ? He looked over at the cooker, but it was turned off and there was no smell of yummy food in the air.
His mother offered to “brew a cuppa” for everyone, who readily agreed that it was a good idea. All except Harry. Then disaster struck ! They had run out of milk !
Could Harry be a love and pop to the corner shop and buy 2 pints ?
Returning from the shop, Harry nipped in to a quiet alleyway beside the house, and laced the milk with the stolen arsenic. He giggled to himself and then bounded back in to the house. As he handed the milk to his mother, he made an ostentatious display of opening the lid for her, so as not to arouse her suspicions.
“Isn’t he such a helpful boy ?”, said Auntie Jemima, just as Alfred and Chloe came in to the kitchen.
Harry watched as they drank their tea. Chloe chose to just have a glass of milk, which suited Harry down to the ground.
She was the first to drop her glass on to the kitchen floor, clutching her stomach in agony, her eyes rolling in their sockets like a frightened cow as her body collapsed to the floor. Everywhere around him, the sound of coughing and choking began, in a macabre symphony of sounds from the orchestra of death.
It was over in moments.
Harry let out an excited “Yippee!” and raced around the house, his heart pounding in excitement, until he ran in to the dining room and saw the table laid out for a party. His party.
Harry dragged the bodies, with great difficulty, to the dining room and sat them upon chairs around the table. They sat there, corpses of the dead gathered to celebrate a grim feast of the departed. He looked at his mother and father. The sparkle in their eyes was no longer there.
Harry sat in silence, waiting for the clock to strike seven.
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"I don't know quite how to put this. I liked the way the story was told but had just a bit of difficulty with the severity of the action for a missed b/d party. Probably a bit of niavity on my part or maybe that's what I liked about it. Nice to see another warped mind at work." -- Just A Guy.
"Get some different names...auntie Jemima turned me off quickly! I found it though to read on but it did get better and I thought it was done well." -- e. rocco caldwell.
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© 2003 Harvey Kennett
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