This entry courtesy of Timothy Forry
The sauce didn’t taste quite right.
I knew it. Mom was finally trying to poison us.
I glanced around the table, trying to gauge if anyone else realized we were about to die.
Dad slurped a pile of spaghetti through his lips and swallowed without chewing, then went right for a second forkful. He ate so fast I don’t think he tasted anything at all. Eating that much poison at one time, he was sure to be the first to go.
Shauna just twirled the spaghetti around on her fork, not eating. She slouched in her chair with her long black hair covering half her face. She was having what Mom called, “a teen moment.” Well, she timed her mood swing perfectly, at least she’d survive dinner.
I looked over at mom. I tried to keep a straight face so she wouldn’t suspect that I knew her plan to do us in. She hadn’t touched her spaghetti. She was still eating the salad. Maybe she thought we would all be dead by the time she finished it. She caught me looking at her.
“Don’t you like the spaghetti sauce, honey?” She asked me. “It’s a new recipe.”
I’ll bet it was.
I tried to be cheerful, “It’s great!”
Okay, maybe I overdid it.
She smiled at me anyway, then went back to picking the onions out of the salad. She says she doesn’t like them, but I know it’s really because they make her farty.
I pushed the pasta around on my plate, examining the sauce. It was chunkier than what she used to make.
I had read once that dogs could smell if food had been poisoned. I reached out my foot to see if Doofus, our dog (I named him), was close by. He let out a quiet whine as the tip of my sneaker tapped his back. I heard him shift under the table. I looked down out of the corner of my eye. I could see his black nose just peeking out, next to the leg of my chair.
I glanced up quickly to make sure no one was watching and pushed a clump of sauce onto the floor. It landed with a quiet splat, just in front of Doofus’ nose. I saw him inch closer to it, his nostrils moved in and out, then his tongue shot out of his mouth. The glob of sauce disappeared. He snorted, then inched forward. He looked up at me expectantly.
Traitor, I thought.