Cake, Rooster, Ocean

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

Rooster’s don’t have teeth. At least that’s what he was told. He was also told to go to college, get married and buy a house. That shit didn’t work out. So did rooster’s really not have teeth?

His fingers curled over a smooth rock and he felt it in his hand. The smoothness reminded him of the doorknobs he would swipe his hands over in the eleven room mansion in which he was raised. He gripped the rock, knuckles white, and whipped it into the surf, thinking it would skip. The hungry waves bit down on the rock almost instantly.

He thought about those rooms. All those rooms filled with strange paintings and things. Things was the best word he could think to describe the objects he saw. Things hanging from the ceilings by chains. Things penetrating from the floor into the ceiling. Things that were flesh colored. Those things were scary but intriguing.

He remembered once a table as long as a football field, or at least that’s what his 7-year-old brain told him it was. A table filled with cooked birds, platters spilling over with vegetables, meats, cheeses, fruits and bread. Dishes with green garnish, plates with sandwiches, and giant decanters in shapes that suggested the things he noticed in all those rooms. Then there were the cakes, spheres as tall and sturdy as elephant legs towering over the table.

The memories were coming back to him. The rhythmic sound of the waves chomping down into the sand seemed to hypnotize him.

He remembered pushing open the kitchen door and seeing pigs sprawled out on the counters. Fat butchers with equally fat cleavers slamming down into the flesh and making the pig smaller. Hooves fell on the floor, a rump, then a head.

He watched giant pots of soup, steaming into the chefs spectacles, forcing the chef to clear his vision every few seconds. Then he heard the chickens clucking.

They bobbed their heads around in the coup just outside the kitchen. A chef would grab one by it’s neck, twist it around like a towel being rung to dry and then slam a knife into a wooden block, separating the chickens body from its head.

One time, he noticed a rooster with the chickens. Not a common sight. An absent minded chef grabbed the rooster twisted its neck around and decapitated it. The chef tossed the head carelessly into the doorway of the kitchen. He remembered looking down and seeing the grin of a beak full of teeth. He remembered it as clearly as the first time he broke an arm, the first time he kissed a girl and the first time he had sex. That rooster had teeth.

But they don’t. So what else was he not remembering correctly?

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