The Meal

By Jon Moray

This story was first published online for Twisted Endings in March 2014. I hope you have an appetite for a twist ending. Enjoy!

Ryan May, professional skier and aspiring cook, was preparing a dinner for his guests a day after the loss of a fellow skier named Chad “Lam” Lambert. Ryan and Lam were practicing on the slopes for their upcoming Olympic qualifying competition when Lam caught his leg on the thickets of a pine tree that tore from his body as his limp corpse continued down to its’ tragic end.

The trio of guests, two women and one man, tearfully and humorously shared their memories of Lam and the impact he had on their lives as Ryan was sautéing the meat. He seasoned the roast with a mixture of parsley, garlic and lemon zest, as he overheard Lori, his girlfriend, vividly recall the time Lam pulled a prank on her by pretending he was a stalker on Halloween night . Hal comically reminded them about the event when Lam played a listless clown in a county production as Ryan prepared carrot mash, asparagus, and roasted potatoes for the side dishes. Missy, Hal’s date, didn’t know Lam very well, but added she would always remember Lam for his odd sense of humor, comparable but not nearly as extreme as Ryan’s.

Glasses of red wine were lifted, tilted and re-poured as they continued their stroll down memory “Lam.“ Between brow-wiping laboring in the kitchen and subtle socializing, Ryan was able to down a few glasses of the Zinfandel. A short while later, the wannabe chef announced dinner would be served.

Ryan opened the oven door to a strong rolling heat and the emerging distinct aroma of the well cooked roast. Lori and Missy helped prepare the fine linen draped table amid the glow of soft cream candlelight, while Hal juggled the plates of side dishes from the kitchen. They sat down, filled their plates with the delectable spread, poured more wine, paused in silent meditation, and then dug in.

Hal bellowed his satisfaction of the mouth watering tenderness of the meat as he savored the first bite. Missy echoed her sentiments of the tasty roast with demands for the recipe. Lori commented the entree was the best she had ever tasted.

“What is this meat we are eating?” asked Hal, after finishing another wondrous mouthful.

“Leg of Lam-b,” Ryan replied, with devilish delight that left his guests horrified by the eerie coincidence.


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