Here’s what actually happened:
I was sitting with my husband’s family for our thanksgiving lunch. The children were running around wildly and mothers and fathers were chasing them apologetically while trying to carry on normal conversations at the same time with the other people in the room. It was hilarious. I can’t wait to have little stinkers of my own to put me in these awkward but irreplaceable situations. For a moment I glanced out the window where a heavy cloud started to creep over us, blocking out the sunlight and making a dark shadow crawl across the lawn. The noise died down, draining from my awareness as the landscape outside became my immediate surroundings.
I went on an adventure then.
They were coming like ants. The green grass changed colour as it was being covered by gobbling animals, which made it look like a long beige-brown moving blanket. With eyes. Hundreds and hundreds of dreadful eyes.
It was a fiery swarm of bone crushing wild turkeys with a vendetta.
A storm came. Thunder cracked over the house, shaking everyone from their previously comfortable state. But my eyes were still glued to the hoard that in seconds would consume us. The others didn’t see them. Only I did. And I had to warn everyone. I turned around, prepared to shout for someone to grab the children so we could escape from this near destined feeding fest, but the words got caught in my throat. They never made it out.
My eyes had shot across the house to the opposite window past which a replica hoard of wild turkeys was coming at us from the other direction. They were surrounding the house, trapping us inside. And I realized; not only were these turkeys hungry, they were smart.
Smart turkeys are the worst kind.
I didn’t speak, I just jumped to my feet and moved towards the front door. People looked at me oddly, confused by the intensity of my eyes, until I reached the door and flicked the lock. When I turned around everyone was staring at me. I wasn’t sure how else to explain it, so I said the only thing that came to mind,
“We’ve got company.”
Several heads turned to look around to see what I meant. But it was one of the children who saw them first.
“Look mom! Turkey!”
The innocent observation made all eyes in the room shoot towards the darkening yard. And panic broke out.
People yelled, hid, and grabbed their kids. I watched as my mind spun with my options. These people didn’t know what they were in for. They’d never encountered a hoard of dangerous wild turkeys before.
I headed for the stairs, darting up them in the midst of the chaos below, and went into one of the bedrooms that had a window that was cracked open. I pushed the window open the rest of the way and climbed onto the sill. The shrill calls of the turkeys met my ears and my gaze treacherously shot down to where they were swarming around the brick base of the house. I instantly squeezed my eyes shut to block them out. I couldn’t let myself get distracted. I felt for the top of the window sill and turned my body around to climb onto the roof. Only when I was facing upwards did I open my eyes again, and I saw that the storm was getting worse. Thick beads of rain came down in pellets, beating on my face and soaking the roof. In less than three seconds everything had become dangerously slippery. I reached over and pulled myself up with all my strength, grunting as I did, and then climbed to my feet once I was on top. I did a slow turn to survey the scene below and to calculate my chances of making it out alive.
They weren’t great.
I started to move to the far end where I knew I might have a decent chance at jumping over to the separate garage. I paused and considered the possibility that I might not make it. It was far, further than I’d anticipated. But I had to try.
I looked up at the clouds one last time, knowing that the precipitation was going to make it considerably more difficult to complete this task. My clothes were already drenched and droplets were falling from my hair every time I moved. I took a few steps back and took in a deep breath.
I can do this. I can. I…well if I can’t at least I won’t ever have to muster up the guts to talk on the phone anymore. I won’t have to use grocery carts. I won’t have to use vending machines. I won’t have to use elevators. I won’t have to engage in small talk. And I won’t have to put gas in the car or do any other terrifying things that make me want to become a hermit. There are a lot of things I’m not that thankful for.
But then again…there are a lot of things that I am thankful for.
Crap. I guess I better make it.
My eyes narrowed in on the long-jump. I was never good at long-jump. In elementary school I was a runner, not a jumper. Being a short scrawny tangle of limbs, jumping was basically my nemesis. But on this day, thanksgiving of 2013, I was going to have to find it within myself to be a long-jump champion. I started taking long strides across the roof, heart pounding and eyes wide, and I sprang.
There was a brief moment where I was suspended in the air. I glanced down at the swarming hoard of devils below me as they clapped their beaks together. This moment brought me back to the last time I’d faced these creatures. That encounter had left me in a hospital bed, covered in peck marks and barely alive. But that couldn’t happen this time. My eyes shot forward. I saw the edge of the garage roof coming at me faster than I was ready for. And my feet didn’t make it.
I stretched out my arms and gritted my teeth. I couldn’t fall into these creatures. They couldn’t scathe me; not again. Milliseconds that felt like hours went by as I came down, and at the last possible second, after I’d already deemed myself done for, I felt my fingers catch the edge of the roof. I came to a jolting stop, clinging for dear life. I made it.
After a moment of mentally healing myself from the horrific trauma I’d nearly experienced, I pulled myself over the edge in one desperate motion. I was running out of time and the threat of a personal meltdown was lingering over me. When I looked around I realized that rain had started to form into small puddles on the flat roof. I did my best to avoid them, splashing through the few that I couldn’t avoid, and when I came to the opposite end of the garage, I peered over the edge to find the window. Another tricky jump.
I turned around and grabbed the side of the roof to lower myself down, hoping that I didn’t mess this up and become the turkeys’ thanksgiving dinner.
Almost right away I felt my boots hit the bottom of the sill. I slid in through the window and landed on the flat cement garage floor. I started moving, even though my eyes hadn’t adjusted to the darkness yet, until I reached the wall of supplies. I blinked wildly, trying to focus on my options. There was a baseball bat. That could be useful, but it likely wouldn’t give me the kind of power I needed. Beside that there was a rake. And beside that…a blow torch.
The blow torch. Definitely the blow torch.
I grabbed it and headed across the garage, flicking the lever to power it up as I moved. It was time to end this war and get revenge on these menacing birds before they pecked their way through the walls of the house where my extended family was still inside. I kicked the garage door open and came out, blow torch raised, and I fired. Thank goodness the rain didn’t snuff out the fire. They went up in flames, all of them. Turkeys everywhere were getting cooked to perfection. I rounded the house to bring them down and only when the last one had dropped did I finally cease fire.
After all the delicious smelling carnage, one by one my family members started to come outside. I tossed the blow torch into the shrubs though. They couldn’t know what I’d done. It might expose other secrets that I needed to hide. But I bit back a subtle smile to myself at the unexpected downfall of the wild turkeys. Somehow, against all odds, I’d done it again.
After that we had the biggest thanksgiving dinner in the history of mankind. Revenge is sweet tasting. Or maybe it just tastes like a lot of gravy.