I'd just finished my dastardly task, when a knock came at the door. A police officer filled the doorway, a dark brooding scowl masking his face.
"Ma'am, we've had a report of an assault occurring from this location."
"Yes, Ma'am. I'd like to ask you a few questions."
"You think I did it?"
"You're a person of interest in the purported crime."
Confused and slightly anxious, I led him into the living room. He perched on the edge of the sofa facing me directly, and flipped open his pad."
"Where were you this morning between the hours of 7:00 am and 10:00 am?"
"Considering it's barely after ten, I think it's safe to assume I was here. In my kitchen."
He peered over my shoulder at the stack of pots and pans near the sink. A few clumps of dressing still dotted the counter, and my rubber gloves lay in a wadded ball next to the carving knife.
"I can't assume anything. Is there anyone who could verify your alibi?"
"My alibi?" I thought of my husband who lay sleeping until almost nine, then sensing his help could possibly be used in the kitchen, managed to slip out of the house without my knowledge. I pictured him at the coffee shop, surrounded by other vanishing husbands, commiserating about the day's events about to unfold, filled with family drama and a clean-up project of epic proportions. Then there was the possibility they'd be expected to hang Christmas lights on a full stomach.
"Well, my husband was here earlier, but he had to run an errand."
"Did you actually speak with him; make physical contact, so if I asked him he would say he definitely saw you?"
"What's this really about?"
"I told you, Ma'am. I received a report of foul play."
"A Mr. Tom Turkey, Ma'am."
Well, that conniving feathered bastard! Fought me to the bitter end on getting inside that damn cooking bag! Thanksgiving traitor.
"There's no Tom Turkey here." As soon as I closed my declaration, the aroma of butter, herbs, and stuffing blending into a mouthwatering scent, wafted into the room.
The officer's keen sense of smell brought his nose into the air, wrinkling with a couple of loud sniffs. His gaze wandered back to the kitchen and I grimaced, knowing the butcher's knife, rubber gloves, and tall tale signs of cornbread stuffing scattered across the counter would seal my fate.
"Let's go over this morning's events," he demanded, licking the end of his lead pencil. "When was the last time you saw Mr. Turkey."
"This morning when I gave him a bath."
The officer's brows rose. "A bath," he repeated. "I presume no feathers covered his skin."
"Not a one." I wondered if I'd get a form-fitting orange jumpsuit.
"And after the so-called bath, what happened?"
"I rubbed him with oil." The raised eyebrows disappeared into the officer's hairline.
"And after you fondled Mr. Turkey--"
"I didn't fondle the turkey!" I protested.
"Okay, massaged Mr. Turkey, then. Is that when the assault occurred?"
"I told you, there was no assault."
"Ma'am, did you knowingly and willingly contemplate beforehand what action you would take on Tom Turkey once he'd been 'prepped' for the final attack?"
"Attack? So now I'm accused of attacking Tom Turkey?"
The officer leaned forward, brows knitted tightly. He snarled at me through a clenched jaw. "Ma'am, did you or did you not, shove your hand into certain private orifices and pull out internal organs and…" he swallowed hard, "…a neckbone belonging to the victim?"
I gasped, but before I could defend myself, he launched into more gruesome details…details that the evidence thereof, glared at me just a few feet away.
"And, Ma'am, after you sufficiently stripped all dignity from Mr. Turkey, did you or did you not, repeating push…" he looked away, apparently struggling, "…bread stuffing into the cavities you had previously hollowed out? And then, Ma'am," his tone now scathing, "can you deny the fact you tried to suffocate Mr. Turkey by placing him inside a plastic bag!"
"Hey, he nearly broke my wrist when his wings flipped out and blocked the opening!"
"It was self defense! He knew the orange coils glowing at him would be his final demise. Don't you think he could feel the heat rising, or had your heart turned to stone by then!" he accused.
The scenes he depicted played repeatedly in my head. I had no defense. I was guilty for each and every calculated action. The scent now filled the entire house, too strong to deny.
"Care to stay and help me consume the evidence?"
"Are you suggesting I partake in this crime?"
"If you pile potatoes, gravy, sweet potato pie, green beans, and a steaming homemade roll on top, no one will be the wiser."
"Made it myself."
He chewed his bottom lip, probably debating the consequences. I couldn't chance him changing his mind. Guests would be arriving shortly and I still had to set the table. Besides, how would it look if the hostess is being carted out shackled and half dressed? I didn't even have my make-up on and my hair was a mess. My mugshot would be a visual embarrassment to my family.
Desperate to save myself from such humiliation, I offered the ultimate…the one thing no man can resist. I licked my lips, curled my upper body his direction and batted my eyelashes shamelessly. "Pumpkin pie with real whipped cream topping?" I breathed in a husky voice.
He slammed his gun on the coffee table, his heavy breathing thrusting the silver star on his chest outward until it glistened under the overhead light. A bead of sweat formed on his upper lip and his eyes darkened to a deep bittersweet chocolate color. My heart pushed my ribs, the lump in my throat catching my breath. A shiver of excitement pebbled my skin when our eyes met and the hint of a smile tugged the corner of his mouth.
"When do we eat?"
Happy Thanksgiving! Here's me raising a wooden spoon in one hand and a turkey leg in the other in honor of all those who will knowingly and willingly assault a turkey. May your evidence be tender, juicy, and delicious!