The Turned Tables


Taryn McGraw, Staff Reporter

Michael was scared.

No, that was an understatement; Michael was utterly petrified. 

His breathing was very irregular, and to him, it felt like it was loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear. His heartbeat wasn’t any better, pulsating in his ears and giving him a small headache. 

Michael was dizzy and tired from the stress and lack of sleep, as nightmares had been plaguing his dreams for the past week and it was finally catching up to him. But fear kept Michael awake; not the fear of his nightmares, but the fear of his impending death. 

Five years ago, just two days before Thanksgiving, something occurred that changed the holiday forever. At the stroke of midnight on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, every one of the turkeys in the country began acting out of character. Rather than just their ignorant selves enjoying life before they eventually got killed to be used for the main dish for the holiday, it was as if every living turkey got possessed by a being of higher intellect. 

The turkeys began working together, forcing their cages open and running in a group. It was easy to say that everyone that owned a turkey was confused, but that soon turned to fear when a group of turkeys knocked down a farmer and pecked him to death, then moving onto other people nearby. This massacre went on for three days. By the stroke of midnight after Thanksgiving Day, the turkeys stopped fighting and banding together, going back to their normal, slow, dumb selves. 

Immediately, the people killed the turkeys, even with it being after Thanksgiving. Scientists could never explain what had occurred that Thanksgiving, but they left it a mystery as nothing else occurred after that moment for another year. Sadly though, the same misfortune fell upon the humans the very next year, along with the rest of the years up until this moment. 

Michael was shaking, and it was beyond his control. The moments just prior were still very fresh in his mind and kept playing on repeat. 

Him and his parents had been sitting around their fireplace. Michael’s mother was reading a novel out loud to the family when there was a loud bang at the front door.

Michael’s father looked at the clock above the fireplace and muttered a few curse words, a worried and scared look now appearing on his face. “Oh no, it’s already that time. How could we have not paid closer attention? Now they know we are here.”

Michael’s mother shared the same look as his father. Then, the married couple talked between themselves before breaking apart, Michael’s father heading towards a cabinet, and his mother heading towards him. 

She ushered her son upstairs to his room. “Go into the closet and hide yourself under some clothes and blankets. No matter what you do, no matter what you hear, do not make a sound nor come out of the closet. There is a stash of food and water bottles in there that will last you a few days, but be very quiet. Only come outside if one of us comes to get you, or it is Friday morning, nothing else. Do you understand, Michael?” 

It was a lot of information for poor Michael, but with the serious tone his mother was using, Michael paid close attention to her words and nodded his head.

When Michael was situated comfortably under a couple of blankets and clothes. His mother leaned down and kissed his forehead. “No matter what happens, just know that your father and I will always love you.”

By that time, Michael was more than nervous. It felt like it was the last time he would ever see his mother and he couldn’t quite understand why. Still, he kept his word and stayed still and silent in the closet, straining his ears to hear what was going on downstairs. 

All he heard was very loud banging from many different locations, then the sound of wood snapping. There was yelling from his father and mother, but Michael couldn’t make out any words. 

Then, a blood-curling scream pierced through the house, sending dark shivers down Michael’s spine. He knew it was a female voice – his mother’s voice. He heard his father yell more profanities before a loud scream ripped out of his mouth as well. 

Afterwards, it was dead silent. It was as if time itself had stopped. Michael was fighting every fiber of his being to go outside and look for his parents, but he was very scared. What could have caused his parents to scream the way they did?

Just then, he heard the creaking of his wooden staircase along with the sound of nails lightly scraping the hardwood floor. Michael put a hand over his mouth and leaned further back in his pile of blankets and clothes. 

Michael almost let out a yelp when the sound of his door opening reached his ears. Confusion racked his mind when he suddenly heard a lot of gobbling. He leaned a little bit closer to the closet door and peered through a small crack. His mind was not playing tricks on him; there were at least half a dozen turkeys walking through the room. They would have been cute if it weren’t for their feathers being matted with blood. They were also acting as if they were looking for something, which Michael guessed to be himself.

The turkeys didn’t leave his room for ten minutes. They even found a way to open the closet door with their necks and beaks, but they were unable to locate Michael, much to his relief. 

After that moment, Michael did exactly what was told. He did not leave his spot in the closet once. The only time he moved was to stretch his muscles or get something to eat or drink. He used his empty water bottles to go to the bathroom. Occasionally, a turkey would wander into his room and look around before walking back out, but none of them discovered him.

Michael’s eyes blinked open on Friday morning. All he felt was relief. Three days stuck inside a closet was too much for him. With shaky limbs, he stood up and opened the closet door. The house was eerily silent and Michael almost didn’t want to go downstairs, but he urged his body to move for him.

Michael froze in his spot when a turkey walked across his path. He feared for his life and braced himself, but nothing happened as the turkey ignored him and kept walking by without a care in the world. 

“Strange,” Michael muttered to himself. 

When Michael reached the bottom of the stairs, he called out to his parents, but there was no response. It was when he walked into the living room and saw the large puddles of blood surrounding two shredded bodies that everything pieced together for Michael and reality set in, causing him to pass out.