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Behind Blood-Red Doors

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It's a typical Sunday afternoon as my parents and I pull into the long driveway. The brick building before us was large and daunting, casting a long black shadow over the well-groomed lawn. We park under the slithering shade of the bark covered towers. The cold air hits our faces like sharp frozen knives as we follow the sidewalk to the main entrance. The blood-red doors are the only thing separating us from the inside, and as I grab the cold steel knob and pull the door open, a sweet smell seeps into my nostrils.

Fried oils and spices fill the air with a mouth-watering aroma as my grandma calls down from the balcony, over the sound of whistles and large men in pads clashing, 'I hope you want fried chicken tonight!' I pull the jacket off my shoulders and feel giant ghost hands cover my body in warmth as I ascend the stairs. My feel fall upon carpet as soft and white as cotton balls and feel a smile spread across my face.

The beige colored walls were warm and inviting as my parents and I take our seats at the feast before us. The centerpiece was a wide, elegant bowl, deep with the legs and breasts of an unfortunate chicken. Around it, other steaming dishes beckon us to fall into a food-induced coma. Oh yes, I think to myself, I fully intend on doing just that. Grandma sets down the final accoutrement, homemade apple pie, and takes her seat. No grace is needed, so we savagely plunge into the nearest unsuspecting dish.

Conversations start, gossiping about the latest pregnancies and whatever else adults have to talk about. Between stabbing at my food and chugging an ice cold, almost flavorless soda, I watch the television screen, displaying two teams ceaselessly pummeling each other in an attempt to get the leather-bound ball. The feast on the table slowly gets picked and poked at, leaving a large dent of missing commodities in front of us. Feeling the weight of the culinary perfection tugging at my muscles on every movement, I manage to grab my plate and stand up. Waddling like a penguin, I enter the kitchen, the smell of soap and leftover oils lingering in the air. I set my plate in the sink, open the refrigerator and grab another soda, feeling the cold air creep over my hands like invisible fingers. Still waddling, I return to the living room and collapse into the soft suede couch, head falling onto a cloud-like pillow. The warmth of the house envelopes my body and makes my eyelids heavier and heavier with each blink. Blackness slowly blurs my vision, and I succumb to the treacherous food-induced coma.

Hours later, I awaken. With leftovers in hand, my parents and I say our goodbyes to the elderly angel and descend down the staircase. A final wave is shared as we feel the shrill outside air grab our bare skin and we face the dark night, ready to return home.





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