A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love

For Brandon

“You win one little cooking competition and you think you’re Gordon Ramsey, huh?”

Darryl’s mother eyed him over her impossibly thick bifocals. “That ain’t the way you make pig feet, but since you think you Iron Chef now…” Her wrinkled fingers air-quoted the words.

“Top Chef,” Darryl corrected her, carefully covering the pot of pig’s feet and moving on to check the turkey in the oven.

“Same damn thing,” she muttered, pulling the lid off the pot and gagging behind Darryl’s back.

At the table, the triplets, her youngest grandsons, tried to stifle a laugh. The eldest son, Darryl Jr., had a look nothing short of disgust on his face. He wasn’t ready for the monstrosity that would be placed before him in a matter of hours. Ever since his father started cooking, his stomach hadn’t been right. He just wanted to get dinner over with so he could do his nightly routine: vomit in peace and then pray that his father would get into a freak accident where his hands would get chopped off at the wrist and he’d never touch a spatula or a stove ever again.

“Two totally different shows, Momma.” Darryl shook his head, basting his awfully light turkey, with whole carrots and celery stalks shoved inside. It’d been in the oven for at least four hours now. He wrinkled his brow, biting his bottom lip, surveying the brand new oven. The thought crossed his mind that it might be broken, but he closed the lid anyway, neglecting to ever check the temperature. Everyone rolled their eyes simultaneously.

“Please help,” the triplets whispered in unison to their grandma.

“Aw, hush,” she shot back. “Can’t be that bad, right?” She looked over at Darryl Jr. for confirmation.

“Think about bad,” he responded. She did. “It’s worse than that.”

See, it was Thanksgiving, usually the best time at the Walker household. Grandma Walker had always done the cooking. But, every day since Darryl won the Capital County Cook-off in August, he’d tell anyone who’d listen that he was making Thanksgiving dinner. The whole town knew to stay away from the Walker household today.

He only won because the other contestant, Mickey Bluedog (his real name, by the way), had a mysterious heart attack and dropped dead right there on the stage. No one had actually given Darryl a trophy or told him he’d actually won because everyone was so shocked about Mickey. But that didn’t stop Darryl from celebrating right in front of Mickey’s distraught daughter, Minnie (also her real name). And now Darryl thought he was the best cook in Capital County.

And no one had the heart to tell nice, generous Darryl Walker otherwise.

So when he showed up, outfitted in a chef’s hat and apron that read KISS THE COOK, Thanksgiving morning, there was a resounding, “Aw hell no” from the boys.

“Let me taste.” Darryl’s mother shuffled over and pulled open the oven revealing the light skinned turkey, two shaky pies and an unnaturally creamy macaroni and cheese. She took one long look at her son, who was busy stirring a pot of sad beans, and beckoned the boys over.

He was oblivious to his four sons pulling the drastically under cooked food out of the lukewarm oven. Grandma Walker threw open the window and before Darryl could count to ten, the lawn caught the smorgasbord of food.

“Darryl, your cooking is trash. I’m ordering Chinese,” Grandma Walker declared shuffling into the living room, the triplets hot on her trail, thanking her for being a good samaritan.  Darryl Jr. was the most thankful because he didn’t have to pray to The Lord to dismember his father again. He was sure his prayers went unanswered anyway.

The Walker family had a happy Thanksgiving. Even Darryl Sr.

See where it all began…

SHORTIES: Hanging Writer’s Block out to Dry

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SHORTIES-1 Welcome to the Black Ivy League…

The Legacy

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