Constrained Writing Contest #12 example story! - Turkey Trauma
The following story is an example story for the weekly Constrained Writing Contest. This week you are required to use "Little did he/she know" somewhere in your story.
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It was the Sunday prior to thanksgiving and as it was tradition, the Goodwells would prepare one of their own turkeys. Maynard was the only fitting turkey for slaughter, but also the favorite turkey of 12 year old Wyatt, but he never told anyone that.
His parents were arguing over whether he is old enough to watch the slaughter or not, and ultimately John – the father – won the argument.
“It’s to toughen his character,” he said.
So instead of staying in his room, Wyatt had to catch Maynard while his father waited by the old tree stub with a heavy meat cleaver stuck inside the wood.
With tears in his eyes – which he didn’t let father see – he went running after Maynard, the biggest and most beautiful turkey on their farm. Maynard was used to playing and being petted by Wyatt, so he ran for a while but then stopped and expected a nice belly rub.
Wyatt picked him up by his legs and carried him over to his father. John gave Maynard a hard slap on the head so as to calm him down, then pinned him to the stub with his left hand while he reached for the meat cleaver with the right.
“Don’t look away or blink, boy. I’ll know if you do.”
Tears came rolling down Wyatt’s cheeks, but he didn’t look away or blink. Wyatt knew he would be beaten up and bruised had he looked away, so he watched his father swing the blade and decapitate his favorite – and only – friend.
“Here. You skin it, I’ll go prepare the stuffing. The knife’s over there.”
John shoved the dead carcass into Wyatt’s hands, completely ignoring his teary eyes, and went inside. Holding the still warm dead body of his former buddy, Wyatt couldn’t help himself but collapse onto his knees and cry.
“Come on, Wyatt! We don’t have all day!” John shouted out of the window.
Wyatt looked toward his father first, then the opposite way toward the knife. He slowly got up and walked toward the sink. He never skinned any animal by himself before, so this was both physically and mentally challenging.
He picked up the knife and made a small cut along Maynard’s chest, all the time quietly apologizing to him as if he was still alive. He knew his father was watching through the window the entire time, so he couldn’t just give up. He had to keep going. He had to finish it.
Because he was not well versed in skinning, he came across multiple problems when he had to skin around the birds extremities, which just made the mental suffering so much worse.
Finally done, Wyatt let out a loud sob, dropped the bird into the sink and began washing it. Handling the carcass under the water and feeling its strange squishiness made Wyatt’s stomach turn beyond the point of return. He managed to drop the turkey and turn away in the last second so as to not vomit on it, but vomit on the floor beside the sink instead.
He ran into his room, locking the door behind him and broke down crying under the blankets of his bed.
Little did he know the worst was yet to come.
Shortly after the incident, his father came knocking on his door. Because Wyatt didn’t unlock the door, John lost his cool and yelled: “If you don’t finish this turkey, you’re no longer my son. You hear me? I didn’t raise no sissy! You have 30 minutes to get outside, finish the job and bring it to me. Or I swear to god, I will tear this door down and throw you out on the street.”
Wyatt could hear the footsteps leaving and going downstairs back to the kitchen. He knew he couldn’t go back outside and gut the turkey. He just didn’t have it in him.
Instead, he decided he would run away on his own terms. He knew his father would beat the living soul out of him before disinheriting him. He also knew he couldn’t take the stairs, because they led straight past the kitchen where his father was.
So he smashed open his ceramic pig money box and put on as many clothes as he could before opening the window.
It was only 1 storey high, but Wyatt was afraid of heights. He climbed onto the windowsill and just gazed down into the dirt. He didn’t want to jump, but in his head it was the only way. He had to conquer the fear of heights.
He closed his eyes, but just as he wanted to jump, he slipped and spiraled down toward the floor.
Unfortunately, he made only half a backflip and landed right on his neck, snapping it instantly.
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