Author’s Note: I realize that these are French characters and there is no reason why they’d be celebrating an American holiday. But I did this just for the fun of it.
Christine Da’ae hummed an intricate snippet of an aria as she made herself a turkey sandwich.
It was Thanksgiving and she had chosen to celebrate it simply.
No turkey to unstuff and stuff back up.
No preserved egg coleslaw.
No mashed potatoes and gravy.
No pie of any sort.
Just a clean and simple turkey sandwich.
“Nice.” She plated the sandwich and carried it to the table.
The doorbell rang.
She gave her sandwich a wistful look before getting up to answer the door.
“Raoul! What are you…”
He grinned wildly from the other side of a large uncooked turkey.
“oh. turkey. uhhh…”
“Happy Thanksgiving, darling!”
She thought about her simple sandwich. “Uh, happy Thanksgiving, but that turkey is not cooked at all.”
“I know! I was going to cook it at home, but then I realized it would be so horribly cold by the time I got here and that wouldn’t be any good. Now, would it?”
She thought about her simple turkey sandwich. “No, I suppose not. Are you going to cook it then?”
“What? Me? I assumed you would.”
She considered slapping him, but she smiled. “Oh, how considerate of you.”
“Well.” She forced a smile onto her face. “Take it into the kitchen and I’ll see what I can do with it.” She thought about her simple Thanksgiving and wanted to cry.
“Oh, could you take it?”
“There you go.”
“I need to get the gravy cake and the pumpkin pie.”
“But I don’t want—”
“Be right back, darling.”
And he trompsed off, leaving her with a cold, bare naked turkey.
She waddled it into the kitchen and thunked it on top of the stove.
Raoul breezed into the kitchen and flaunted the pie in her thinking space. “Look at this! Have you never seen a more beautiful pie?”
She considered thumping it into his face. “Oh, it’s the thing all right.”
“I knew you’d love it. But honestly who can hate pumpkin pie?”
“My dearly departed father loathed pumpkin pie.”
“He said it tasted like baby vomit.”
“What? I mean, really. What?”
The doorbell rang again.
“Oh, I’ll get it.”
She grabbed him by his coat’s lapels. “No. I’ll get the door. You unstuff this beast.”
“What? What? What?”
“You heard me. Unstuff its gizzards.”
“Oh, but isn’t that the woman’s job?”
He asked it so innocently. She realized he probably meant no ill-will. He was just terribly mis-informed about things.
She walked to the door, quietly sorry that she had slammed the gravy cake into his face.
Christine opened the door.
No one was there.
A man’s voice called out from the fireplace, “I’m here.”
He called out from the love seat, “I’m here.”
He called out from the broom closet, “I’m here.”
“Oh, for goodness’ sakes! Come out already.”
The Phantom entered the house and swooshed off his cape. “I’m here the Angel of Death. Oh. One moment.”
He went back outside and returned with something hidden behind his back. He cleared his throat. “As I was saying, I’m here. The Angel of—” He pulled out the largest Black Forest ham she’d ever seen. “—-DEATH!”
He blushed. “Compliments from my Christine. I will write this in my love journal tonight.”
“Whatever. Take it into the kitchen.”
“Hold on.” He gave her the ham. So, she had no choice but to hold on. He took off his wide-brimmed hat to reveal a glass casserole dish filled with…some sort of pink and red and white glop?? A blueberry pie balanced on top of it. “There! We will go into the kitchen together, my Christine, and we will have a glorious feast.”
“Yeah.” She thought about Raoul’s offerings. “It will be a feast all right.”
They entered the kitchen.
Raoul had taken off his suit coat and rolled up his shirt sleeves. He pulled out the different gizzard packs.
He looked like he was twelve thousand miles from thrilled.
“Okay, put the pie over there somewhere. Keep it out of my way.”
Raoul raised his head. “What? But I.”
He saw the Phantom.
The Phantom saw him. “Insolent boy, you fop. You—”
Raoul picked up one of the gizzard packs. “Don’t go insulting me, you bloated carcass of ugly!”
“Ugly? Yes. Yes, I am ugly and hideous and—”
“Raoul! That turkey isn’t going to unpack itself. Phantom! Put the ham on the—-”
“Ham?” Raoul stopped unpacking again. “You brought a HAAAAAMMM?”
“Yes and it is beautiful. Like my Christine is beautiful.”
Raoul threw the gizzard pack on the counter. It splooshed open. “She is my Christine.”
“Shut up! You ugly old—”
“Raoul! Phantom! Stop the kibitzing. Work or get out of my way.”
Raoul returned to work.
Phantom whooshed off with the ham.
“I bet he’s going to eat the whole thing.” Raoul muttered.
“Raoul! Turkey. Unpack. Now!”
He sighed and went back to work.
Five hours later
The Phantom sat at his end of the table with his enormous black coated ham, mysterious casserole, and blueberry pie.
Raoul sat at his end of the table with his enormous cooked turkey and his pumpkin pie.
Christine sat at the mid-way point with her simple turkey sandwich.
The two men sat there, glaring at each other. Neither one was even trying to eat.
Christine ignored them and their stupidity and ate her sandwich.
Raoul spoke first. “Ham is a stupid thing to eat for Thanksgiving.”
That was all it took to set the Phantom talking. “Pumpkin pie is for losers.”
“Blueberry pie is depressing.”
“Turkey is ugly.”
“Ohhh, and you would know all about ugly.”
Phantom’s glare deepened.
“Just like you would know all about how to dress like an idiot.”
“I call it dressing fashionably. Not that you would know anything about fashion.”
“I know all about music. Music trumps fashion.”
“Ha! Try walking down the street dressed up in music sheets.”
“Why? You’ve tried it already?”
“Boo! That was weak, old man. Weak! Boo. Boooooo!”
“With age comes wisdom. Which is probably why you’re so stupid, little boy.”
“BOOOO! You’re sinking so low! BOOOOOO!”
Christine finished her sandwich and contemplated the two men’s offerings. I already had turkey. Hmm. I’ll have a slice of ham. It does look good.
Phantom rose to his feet. “Insolent boy! You should be grateful that I left my Punjab lasso at home.”
“You did? Really?”
“Yes. I thought I was going to have a nice, peaceful dinner with MY Christine. No need to bring a Punjab for that.”
Raoul pounded his fist on the table as Christine sliced off a chunk of the ham. “She is NOT your Christine.”
“Well.” Phantom sat down and readjusted his mask. “I don’t see any wedding rings.”
Hmm. This is really good ham. She reached over and cut another piece.
“Because I haven’t proposed yet.”
“Then, she isn’t YOUR Christine. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!”
Raoul pounded the table again. “I said, shut. Up!”
Christine licked her fingers. “Mmm. Good ham.” She considered the Phantom’s creep-awful casserole. “Nope. Not happening.” Hmm. Dessert. Blueberry or pumpkin? Blueberry or pumpkin?
She shrugged. I’ll just have them both.
“You want me to shut up? Go on, you infant.”
“Make me shut up.”
“Ohh, you asked for it.” Raoul picked up the pumpkin pie.
Christine’s mouth dropped open. No. He wouldn’t. Not the pie!
He threw the pie.
His aim was horrible.
The pie turned a sharp left and splooted Christine in the face.
Her outrage levels broke through the ceiling.
Phantom gasped. “My Christine! How dare you do that to MY CHRISTINE!’
He picked up his blueberry pie. “Let it be war upon just—” He threw the pie. “—YOU!”
His aim was even more inexplicable.
The pie wound upside down on top of her head.
And that was the last straw.
Phantom sat on the porch step with Raoul. The mysterious casserole fell from his hair in thready, oily clumps. “Remind me to never upset my Christine again.”
Raoul turned his turkey covered head to Phantom and nodded. The carcass wobble unsteadily, but it stayed put.
Both men sighed.