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Claire Preston

Breaking the crusty skin of the black peppered chicken with my freshly sharpened knife, my hand begins to shake. The pressure of cutting each piece identical is imperative to not be criticized at dinner. If only they knew that I’m carving with a knife I bought from the charity shop and I haven’t washed it since I stabbed the flesh, raw. If that wasn’t enough to make them choke, I bought the poultry from some dodgy man selling them out of the back of his dirty van at the car boot this morning, not the organic farmer’s market I was ordered to buy from.
            Slowly I cut down either side of the bird’s spine to make sure it is perfectly cooked. Skin removed; I notice how beautiful the two chunky sides of breast look. White and fluffy, like angel wings ready to take flight to its afterlife. Freedom from the captivity she must have endured before being culled. I touch the wishbone and close my eyes. Gently pulling the meat apart more, I see red. Digging deeper to see where the blood is coming from, I notice a deep cut on my finger as I hear the person I can never live up to praising her son for putting up with a wife like me. Honestly, I do everything. The business I built up from nothing. The hours I work while he plays golf, and she goes to the spa. Spending my money to which I have no say. I have nothing. Everything is in their names. I’m trapped.
            I feel hot, my breath becomes short and fast. Without hesitation I storm into the dining room carrying the massacred blooded feast. Looking at their horrified frozen faces, I pull off chunks of chicken and dump it onto their plates. Climbing on top of the table I gorge on the rest of the carcass. I can’t breathe. Frantically shoving my fingers down my throat, I pull something out. Half a wishbone. I can’t get the other half out. Looking at my only family, I realise my wish is about to come true.