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  • Writer's pictureWJ King


Thanksgiving is a special day for my family. All together for cocktails, good food and great conversation. Although the elders of the clan abide by our previous agreement, one of the others, most often a youngster, mentions Pa murdering Ma with an axe at the Thanksgiving dinner of 1987.

The Thanksgiving Axe Murder of 1987 was sure nuff a dinner to not soon be forgotten, Started out tame enough but it never took much to get ol’ aunt Lil’s bowels in an uproar. Apparently, no one on her side of the family passes gas. Cousin Larry tried to outdo his sister Ethel and shit himself. But the problems started when Pa asked Ma where the mashed potatoes were and she grunted “in the kitchen.” Ya see Ma was tryin’ to work one up better’n Ethel’s but not as spectacular as Larry’s. Don’t tell me, all we’ve got in this town is the Free Fair. Ol’ snooty ass aunt Lil, who insists on drinkin’ Pa’s homemade wine out of a tea cup, damn near put Ma’s eye out with her pinky stickin’ out from holdin’ the damn cup like the aristocrat she fancies herself.

Ethel finally went to the kitchen to fetch the cold mashed potatoes. Now this is where the stories are a little different. When Ma came close to a poke in the eye from Lil, she spilled some hot cider on Pa, accordin’ to her. Shit hit the fan after that. And there laid Ma.

When court was held in Harry’s shoe store, Harry was kept in the back cuz he was drunk as usual. Pa said he saw a fly land on Ma’s head and parted her hair with an axe. But Pa said he thought it was his boot. He reminded everyone, men folk carry an axe in their boots in these parts and everyone agreed, nodding their heads knowingly. No one questioned why he would hit her in the head with a construction boot. Aunt Lil said she fainted but we all saw she didn’t faint until she put down two more cups of wine. According to sworn testimony, three of us were outside in the shit house at the same time. To a person we blamed those damn yams.

It was whispered that Ma’s people came from the other side of the river, so at least that would take some of the sting out. The jury foreman announced not guilty claiming the early verdict had nothin’t to do with happy hour bein’ in fifteen minutes, and each juror was treated to a new pair of shoes before Harry woke up. Pa put on like it was all on him but nobody cared.


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