Author: Guede Mazaka
Chas stared hard. “Is it supposed to be that color? I thought roasting turned things…brown.”
John paused with the knife hovering over the area he’d mentally designated as “breast.” “Clearly you’ve never seen what Midnite’s bar looks like on November 1. It’s fine. I just didn’t want to overcook the damn thing.”
He lifted the knife, and this time he managed to insert the tip beneath the skin. A thick trickle of juice instantly sprung up and the peanut gallery coughed uncomfortably. “Do turkeys have green blood?”
All right, that was enough. John put down the knife and got himself a cigarette; it’d been fifty seconds since his last one and this was Thanksgiving, not New Year’s or Lent. No point in doing without. “No. No, this isn’t a turkey, Chas. I had a turkey, but even during the holidays I can’t get a break. I ran into some trouble, the turkey had to be tossed to the zombie-Pilgrims, and I had to improvise.”
“Then—then what is that?” Chas stuttered, diving out of his seat. He’d been looking like he was on the verge of doing that for the past five minutes, so it was about time. He really needed to work on his reflexes if he wanted to survive in this line of work.
A nice long drag always made John feel better, as long as he wasn’t on the bumpy end of it. “Balthazar’s second cousin.”
Several moments later, Midnite tired of simply looking disapproving and turned to scolding. “Was that really necessary?”
“Oh, shove it. I work hard all day to bring home dinner, and what thanks do I get? Him puking in the bathroom down the hall.” John sat back down and shifted around till he wasn’t putting any weight on his newest collection of bruises and scrapes. Jesus Christ. The Pilgrims hadn’t even gotten to this coast, if John remembered anything from history class. Lou and his damn need to be clever. “Anyway, it was your idea to give the kid a…wait, let me get this straight…‘reasonable semblance of stability over the holidays.’”
Midnite put his head in his hands. “I meant keep him away from the annual rising of the conquistador ghosts.”
“Oh.” Well, there went twenty bucks down the drain. “Why the hell didn’t you say so? What’s with the vague wording? I actually went out and bought a goddamn turkey.”
John’s mood wasn’t improved by the knock at the door, which Midnite clearly expected him to answer. With his luck, it’d be…yeah, his luck, all right. “Balthazar. Not really your kind of day, is it?”
“One dedicated to gluttony and the gathering together of people who know each other so well most of them spend the rest of the year trying to avoid each other? Of course it is. Now, do I have to spend a half-hour reminding you of your self-destructive tendencies, or—mmmph!”
Fuck it. Dear God, Johnny Constantine would be very grateful if You’d knock off the fucking irony. In the meantime, he’d make do with seeing whether screwing Balthazar in the hall would be enough to make the vein in Midnite’s head pop.