Meet the Family Part 1 - Flash Fiction Friday
I clutched the cardboard box containing a pumpkin pie between my hands to prevent them from shaking. "How do you think they're going to react?"
"It'll be fine," Jeff said and straightened my tie. "They're really open minded."
"Do they know about me?"
"They know your name is Mike," Jeff answered.
"Right..." I breathed as Jeff rang the doorbell. It was a normal house with a white picket fence and blue shutters. Everything was going to be fine. Nothing to be afraid of. Even if it was Thanksgiving. Not like it was a big holiday or anything...
The door opened and before me stood a tall green woman. The female version of her son. She smiled at Jeff, revealing her fangs, and then gave me a once over with her yellow eyes and the smile disappeared.
"You're Mike," she said, her voice was more feminine than I had expected. She sniffed the air. "And you're human."
"I brought pie," I said dumbly and outsretched my arms to show her. I wasn't even sure if they ate pie.
She gave me a wavering smile and took the food from my hands. "How... lovely."
We followed her inside and I whispered to Jeff. "So, they don't know about me."
"I could never find a good time to tell them. Just relax and be yourself. They'll love you!"
As we stepped into the living room a group of people the same shade of green as Jeff and his mom sat around laughing at a joke someone must have made and I felt a little bite on my leg.
"Ow!" I cried out and jumped back, and in the process my arm slammed against the mantle. A glass container fell and shattered upon the hardwood floor and purple gunk oozed on the ground. "I'm so sorry!"
Jeff squatted down and picked up the little girl at our side. "It's not polite to bite company," he teased her.
"I don't get to eat him?" she pouted, her sad yellow eyes staring up at him.
"Ahh.... no," Jeff answered and handed her over to a parent. He leaned over to me with a whisper. "Our family has been off of eating humans for generations, I promise. It's just... my sister is on this whole 'organic and going back to our roots' thing lately. I'm sorry, I should have warned you. "
I swallowed. "No worries."
Just remember, you love him and he's spending Christmas with your family.
Another family member was at the ground, picking up the pieces of glass. Lightning bolts almost darted out of her eyes when she looked at me. "That was grandma."
I paled. "What?"
"We keep our ancestors blood," Jeff explained and handed his nice over to another adult. "You know, the way you would when you cremate someone."
I started to apologize again and knelt to assist in the clean up, but before any progress could be made Jeff's mother screeched from the kitchen. "IS THIS PUMPKIN PIE?"
Jeff's head, and everyone else's in the room, snapped in my direction. They stared at me as though I had just brought a bomb into the house. "You didn't tell me it was pumpkin."
"Squash is poisonous to us," Jeff explained as we rushed to the kitchen. "I thought you would make pecan or something."
His mother had her back against the refrigerator with a spatula shaking in her hand, held out as though it was a sword. "Get it out," she growled.
I nodded and picked up the pie from the counter. "I am so sorry," I said. "I had no idea, I can go out and get something else."
"Just get it out."
The pie was sent to the dumpster outside immediately, and in spite of the chill in the air, I hid in the backyard for a few minutes. This was not going exactly as I'd hoped. I dropped Grandma and almost poisoned his family. Oh yeah, and could possibly become his niece's next meal.
Jeff was a monster and so was the rest of his family. There was no way I was ever going to fit in here. Why had we ever thought this was going to work?
From the inside pocket of my suit jacket I pulled out the box I brought with me. I opened it and held the silver band inside in my palm. Nothing fancy, but I had gotten an engraving put on the inside of the ring.
Against all odds.
"How could you have let him into our house?" Jeff's mom's voice echoed through the window. "And you never told me. Your own mother! How can you betray me like this?"
"I knew you'd react this way!" Jeff answered.
"He's a human. They're so different and don't understand our ways."
"He doesn't but, maybe-"
"No maybe! If your father was here..."
I couldn't listen anymore and shoved the box back into my pocket to take a walk. So much for against all odds.
After I had walked about half a block a set of footsteps came running up from behind me. What if it was his sister wanting an organic meal for her daughter? Or what if there were other things living in this neighborhood? I hurried my pace. Staying at the house was a bad idea, and leaving the house was a bad idea. What a disaster.
"Mike! Wait a second, it's me!" Jeff called. "Where are you going?"
I slowed down and breathed a sigh of relief. I should have figured.
Jeff caught up to me heaving. His breath created small clouds in the air between us.
"This isn't working," I said. "Your family hates me, and I'm ruining everything. This was a bad idea."
Jeff was silent for a moment and tried to catch his breath. His eyebrows were furrowed and he frowned. He reached into his pants pocket and held out the ring. I must have dropped it in the backyard.
"Then what's this?"
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