Will Write 4 Food: Winning Stories June 2011
June First Place Winner
“Holiday Stuffing, or Game for Thanksgiving”
By Steve Jackson
“What happened to that poor squirrel?” the girl closest to the park ranger asked.
The ranger took a deep breath and stared back at the blank faces of a dozen teenagers as he prepared to close the park for the holiday. He turned toward his long-time female accomplice and shook his head, anxious to get to their Thanksgiving dinner.
She stood off to the side in her trademark slinky dress, brushing the long black hair from her narrow, angular head, winking at the ranger, whose only concession to his age was the loss of his goofy mustache.
“Nothing squirrel did not deserve,” the ranger spit out in his mock-Russian accent.
“Why is he so stiff?” she asked.
He glared at the stuffed squirrel in his right hand, momentarily reminiscing about his time of glory in the late fifties and early sixties, feeling nothing short of loathing for the rodent. “We stuff him after we kill him.”
“You killed a helpless squirrel?” another girl asked.
The ranger beamed. “I am still world’s greatest no-goodnik! Besides, moose and squirrel foiled many of my fiendish plans!”
“Is it from around here?” a boy asked, noting the ranger’s arm patch, which read, “Pottsylvania National Park - Ranger Badenov”.
“We finally capture him in Frostbite Falls,” Badenov’s accomplice, Natasha Fatale, replied. “In America.” She joined the ranger and looked down on him. “Come, Boris. Fearless Leader is waiting. Moose should be medium-rare by now.”
June Honorable Mention
By Larry Porricelli
Why me? What did I do to deserve this pack of spoiled brats with oh-so-cute faces? I hope every one of them develops terminal acne.
“Yes, young lady?”
“Mr. Brutus –“
“It’s Ranger Brutus, miss. Got that? Ranger Brutus to you, and every one of your wonderful friends standing around here playing games.”
They haven’t listened to a thing I’ve said. Maybe one of them will get bit by one of these vicious little creatures I’m waving in their faces. Serve them right. They’ll learn the hard way, and remember Dom Brutus through a waterfall of tears, and wish they had tuned those wax-filled ears to every syllable. Oh god, the little wiseacre still has a question.
“Last year we had to call you Chief Ranger, didn’t we?”
“Isn’t your memory just great? Now tell us all what you’ll do if one of these marmots sinks his teeth into those gnarly toes of yours?”
“I just asked.”
Young cannibals, with bug eyes staring at me. The little punks want an answer. Yes, I was Chief Ranger and it’s their fault I’m not the Chief this year! What’d they expect me to do? Jump in that dirty water to save a stupid kid’s wheelchair? That’s not in my job description. Now I’m stuck teaching nature. Just great. Who said the end was better than the beginning? Voltaire? No - I remember! It was Seinfeld’s pal, Kramer! That liar.
“We rotate the title, Chief, so every Ranger gets a chance.”