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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weekend Fiction Break: Bingo Night

I am at the Little Sisters of Benevolent Grace Bingo Night and Meat Raffle Extravaganza and I do not fit in. I do not have blue hair like my partner to the left who has leaned over at least 37 times in the past hour to ask me what number was just called, breath heavy with Fixodent and gin. I am jeans and heels at a sweat pants and tennis shoes extravaganza. I have the I, the N, the G and the O, but the B has eluded me all night and I am hoping beyond hope that I do not call B-45 because I will just about die if I have to clear out space in my freezer for a 20 pound turkey, or even worse the freezer full of venison. I would, of course not admit to winning were I alone, but unfortunately Nana’s eyes are like a radar and between each number called they have swept over my board to ensure I have not missed anything. She nudges me constantly to whisper bits of gossip about the other BINGO-ers and ensure that I am enjoying the full BINGO experience.

I am smiling. I am chuckling enthusiastically at Nana’s anecdotes as if I did care indeed that Martha’s had her 2nd knee replacement and Therese’s been spotted with a new boyfriend only 5 months after being widowed. Sadly my facial projections are about as authentic as Nana’s dentures.

There’s an elbow stuck into my still tender from previous nudges. “B-45. B-45,” Nana whispers vigorously. “You’ve got a Bingo!” Louder she yells “BINGO!”

Oh God. The caller is congratulating me and I must come to the front of the room for my prize. I stand. And realize that my armpits are slick with sweat, and it has seeped through my button-down shirt like a slimy sweat demon has crawled out of my pores and spat the remains of its last victim up and down the inside of my arms. I glue my arms as stiffly as possible to my sides as I can. I am walking, but my legs are wobbling; my ankles can hardly support my weight atop my heels. Still, they are propelling me towards the meat tableau on the prize table. Despite the vacuum packing on the turkeys and chickens and venison, there is a vigorous odor that hits me, of decaying, dead carcasses bloated, full of rot. Blank eyes rolling towards me, mouths gaping in pain. I wish I was a vegetarian with an ethical reason to turn down my prize.

There is a woman at the prize table wearing a purple sweatshirt, and her fingernails are red. She is digging amongst the carcasses for mine. My prize. Her hands emerge, and she has a chain of small blackish-brown links in her fingers. They hang before me, a string of cat-droppings. “Here you go sweetie,” she says, her voice syrupy. She instructs me to put my name on a small label, so that I can redeem my prize later. The label in small letters spells out my brand of poison. Blood Sausage. My stomach is considering how the contents feel about returning to the surface. I scribble my name. I picture returning home tonight.

Mom, I went to Bingo night, and I won poop. I mean blood sausage.


Holicita said...

you won morcilla!!! ahahahahaha that brings back spain memories... or nightmares...

Debi said...

Being new here, I had no idea you were such a talented writer! Loved this story...though I'm not quite so anxious to eat breakfast now :)
I'm definitely off to search your blog for more of your stories!

Kim L said...

holicita-I was inspired, you might say, by your description. I luckily never had to endure it myself.

debi-thank you for saying so! I'll be posting stories every weekend. Good luck with breakfast :-)