[An extract from my novel, in the War Against Boris series: The Lost World of the Wends]
The seven sat around the dining table in silence. The roast steamed in the centre. Candles either side guarded the meal. Thunder rumbled over the hills and mountains. Lightning flashed.
Boris nursed his ray-gun hand and then he placed it beside his knife; a reminder in case any member of the group chose not to cooperate, Joseph assumed.
‘Oh, I’m going to enjoy this,’ Boris purred. ‘Thank you, Herr and Frau Biar, for inviting me. I do apologise for not being at the service this morning. I had a little business to take care of.’ With an evil twinkle in his eye, he glanced at Amie. ‘How was the service?’
‘Boring,’ Friedrich said in a sing-song voice.
Frau Biar and Herr Biar tightened their mouths. They frowned at Friedrich and shook their heads.
Wilma piped up. ‘Joseph and Amie are in love.’
‘I know,’ Boris looked at Herr Biar. ‘Well, aren’t you going to do the honours? Cut up the chicken. I’m sure you’re all dying for the roast.’
A black bug crawled out of the chook’s orifice. Everyone watched as it meandered across the tablecloth.
Boris drummed the table. ‘Come on! I’m hungry!’
Herr Biar sighed. He sharpened his knife and sliced off some chicken breast.
‘No! No! A proper cut! Cut the chicken open!’ Boris rose and stood over Herr Biar.
Herr Biar jabbed the knife in the centre and flayed the roast.
Cockroaches teamed from the cavity and over the plates, cutlery and vegetables.
Joseph flicked them as they sauntered over his plate. Amie shook them off her dress.
‘Come on! Cut the meat up Biar!’ Boris raised his voice. ‘We want to eat.’
Herr Biar served portions onto the plates. Boris helped. He scooped up the black stuffing and slopped a spoonful on every plate. The stuffing reeked of a rancid stench that filled the room.
‘Now, the vegetables,’ Boris said. ‘Frau serve the vegetables. We must have our vegetables.’
Frau Biar lifted with fork and knife, the roast potatoes garnished with cockroach entrails and plopped them on the plates. Then she added the steamed peas and carrots mixed with bugs.
Six stunned people studied their portions of festering food, not daring to touch it. Boris presided over the group. He grinned from ear to ear, imitating the Cheshire cat from “Alice in Wonderland”, as he poured lumpy gravy over the chicken on each plate.
‘Go on, eat up,’ he urged. ‘Oh, and by the way, Amie and Joseph, I have your families—just where I want them.’
Joseph tracked a couple of roaches tumbling in the gravy.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021
Feature Photo: A good spread © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955
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