Today I have an extract from Michelle Vongkaysone‘s Bigfoot, Big Deal. Take a look.
Within it, Inanna tried to apologize profusely, her attention darting from her companions to the elder Boulder. As hot pink flashed all about, she noted Duncan and Tanner’s renewed talk, now focused on food, albeit not of the thrown variety. While the latter held a bit of biscuit for “ammo”, he tried to be polite, listening to his superior’s rapid, lively chatter.
“Dad, how the hell should I know what he eats?!” Tanner shot back, his voice striking through those of all around him. “We just saw him this morning!” His right hand suddenly balled into a fist, the likes of which met their table. A clatter of dishes and silverware vibrated in the air, sending the eyes of all upward. Magenta orbs set wide, their owner stared at him with a shared indignant. “Ina, you got anythin’ to say?”
As the woman bit her lip on fresh nerves, her gaze shifted from Tanner to the younger Boulder, who remained focused on his dinner. Three drumsticks sat within view, stripped bare of their flesh and coating. Stray crumbs and red potato skins also lay on his plate, aside some lingering green beans. “Um, it appeared to be a large ape,” Inanna replied to the men, now deeply concerned for Benjamin’s well-being. He sat eerily silent, a restrained ire painting his motions. “So, I presume like them: Omnivorous, with emphasis on wild fruits and vegetables?”
She peered at the pale man, attempting to drive away his unease as such. His head eased up, revealing a small, civil smile upon pale lips. Now invigorated by his approval, Inanna turned back to the other men, her own lips parted. “See, isn’t that better?” she asked to the elder Boulder, his burning gaze upon her features. “Sir, doesn’t that make sense? I presume it’s like any other primate: Strong, agile, primarily feeds on fruits and such-”
“Right, like he’d have a body like that on plants,” Tanner abruptly stated, his eyes upon the hush puppy speared on his fork. “But, that’s the difference between Ina and vegetables: Some people actually want to eat her, ya know.” As he shuffled its doughy form in creamy gravy, the collected Boulders and Inanna herself stared at him. When a livid silence surrounded them, the man became aware of his grand error.
“Oh, dear,” Inanna softly sated through his given silence, her curious eyes upon his hunched form. “I’m sure he didn’t mean that! Forgive him, things have been really interesting at the house-” A slim brow raised up, its amethyst stripe imparting the woman with a rakish air. From their own seats, the elder Boulders glanced to each other, a hushed question on their lips. Duncan was the first to eye her head on, his own silver brows furrowed in his given objections.
His steely gaze bore through Inanna’s still form as full lips twitched with an eager anticipation and unease. His booming voice shot off at once, sending another torrent of questions upon her and Tanner. Their senses pushed to their limits, the pair retorted back to him, their voices panicked and fretful. As the trio argued among themselves once more, Betty and her kin sat idle, their forms abruptly paralyzed by shock and restraint.
“Because it wouldn’t be Sunday Dinner without some stupid comment,” Benjamin quietly groused to himself in vain. “Tanner, man, what’s gotten into you? Usually, I’m the one about that!” His head lowered once more, concealing his indignant eye roll from all. In the midst of their given racket, he tried retain his decorum as he pushed stray green beans around his plate.
Despite his growing embarrassment, the man manged to glance at his mother, scanning her for any such feelings. Betty’s painted lips were in a straight line, with only her left eye as any indication of her true mood. The bare orb twitched slightly, its movements tailored to accompany a well-meaning head shake. “Good Lord, it’s sad when we’re the sane people ’round here,” Benjamin teased to her, bearing a polite grimace of his own. “Isn’t it, Mom?”
“Dear, don’t say that,” the elder Boulder reasoned under her breath, her gaze drawing close to his slumped form. As a secondary caution, her mouth eased into a gentle smile, calm and invincible to any outside intrusion. “I’m sure Dad and Tanner, and Inanna have reason to go on like this.” To further her instilled serenity, Betty’s eyes snapped shut, shielding violet orbs as the trio’s heated arguments vibrated throughout their space. “I have pie, do you want some?”
“Of course,” he replied back as he released his fork from his grasp. “In the kitchen, right?” In an instant, it fell to his plate, releasing a clatter as warm metal met ivory china. His eyes darted to his mother’s side, and then to the thoroughly engrossed trio close by. More unruly notions pushed aside for the moment, Benjamin got up from his chair and tapped at Betty’s shoulder. In no time, she stood up as well, eyes open to the chaos around them.
On barely audible steps, the pair shuffled by their companions, en route to the elder’s now empty kitchen. When Inanna caught sight of them in the corner of her bright eyes, her hand rose, its pointer finger up straight. Such a gesture called Duncan and Tanner’s attention forth, prompting them to speak in hushed tones. “Oh, Benjamin and Betty left,” she stated in a small, shaky voice. Milky lids fell upon her orbs, blurring their internal flame. “They must be sick of us yelling at each other about everything.”
“That may be true,” Duncan remarked to her on a raw, authoritative cadence. “Far be it from me to impose on my clan on purpose, but I worry about you three.” His pale orbs fixed upon her frame, attempting to bore through its concealed curves. The left corner of his mouth curled into a bemused smile, the likes of which gave him a sly expression. With no vocal warning, the elder turned to Tanner, his full lips parted slightly. “After all, it’s not like you to be so perverted! Really, what’s gotten into you, son?”
As the pair stood in front of their towering refrigerator, crayon-drawn images entered their sight, long past relics of the pale man’s childhood. With a gentle, nostalgic nod, Betty reached for its handle, a large claw of silver. She drew it towards herself, revealing the devices contents in full. Soft light from within surrounded numerous plastic containers and bottles, like a trove of prized vessels. That pure calm the elder radiated beamed upon them, as though nothing could affect them with such notions.
“So, what’s all that ruckus about?” Betty inquired to her kin as she pulled a chilled concoction from its rack. Though she grasped its glass frame in both hands, the woman tried to shut her device closed. In the midst of her scramble, Benjamin shuffled over to ease its door shut himself. When violet met crimson, she smiled warmly at him, and propped her hands up to her chest. “Caught me there: Anyway, what happened with you and Inanna? Must be somethin’ big for them to be hollerin’ like that.”
“It’s a long story, Mom,” Benjamin replied, his gaze shifting from his mother’s face to kitchen walls. “It’s not just Bigfoot, either. Some stuff happened that made us rethink some things.” As bright eyes darted to and fro, Betty fixed her attention on his form, silently coaxing his focus to one point. As the pie rested in her hands, its top of whipped cream caught artificial light, making it appear like a cloud. “But, don’t worry! I’m sure we’ll take care of things eventually.”