DAY 4: Going Cold Turkey by Nicola Ashbrook

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On the 4th Day of Christmas Nicola Ashbrook gave to me…

Alastair says the way to his heart is through his stomach, which is unfortunate, given the Listeria incident. I wanted to make amends for that this Christmas by cooking a roast Delia would be proud of.

The turkey was safely stowed in the fridge; the veg and stuffing arranged Tetris-like around it. The black and skull theme for the tree gave just the right hint of Nordic noir; the newspaper-wrapped gifts nestled happily beneath.

I was setting the table on Christmas Eve to extend the ambience, when Alastair approached from behind.

“Nothing sexier than a woman keeping house,” he said, “really fires the loins.”

He pressed himself into my back as I laid out the forks and I was minded of the chipolatas I’d bought for the pigs in blankets. He began to nuzzle into my neck and all I could think of was the congealed texture of bread sauce. Someone should really tell him that misogyny does not an aphrodisiac make.

I shrugged him away, re-arranged the cutlery.

“You’re frigid you are,” he complained, “like a cold cut of meat!”

Even minor rejection hits his fragile ego hard but I was cross now. Alastair slammed out of the front door as I slammed into the fridge. I’d show him cold cuts of meat!

I yanked the turkey out by the wing, slapped it onto the counter. I speared it with the carving fork, sliced its rubbery flesh – neatly at first, then with cavewoman abandon. I collected the gelatinous slivers in the washing up bowl, for easier distribution. First, I filled his slippers, tamping it right down into the toe. Next, I dropped a few into the pockets of his dressing gown, his coat, his favourite trousers. I sprinkled some over his underwear, slipped a slice into each finger of his sailing gloves, emptied the bloody remnants into his pillow slip.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and it was, but it had somewhat ruined the dinner plans.

I ran out to the corner shop but alas they were out of whole birds so I got the next best thing.

Alastair came back at nine, reeking of beer and stale pub, the guilty orange smudge of foundation marking his collar – as I knew it would be – before passing out on the bed. I drank a snowball to celebrate my foresight, donned my reindeer onesie, Sharpie-d a lopsided turkey onto his belly.

On Christmas morning, I was woken by the glorious sound of him experiencing his slippers.

“Season’s greetings,” I murmured, grinning into my pillow and snuggling back to sleep – those turkey dinosaurs wouldn’t spoil.  

Nicola Ashbrook

Nicola Ashbrook is a new writer from the northwest of England. She is supposed to be re-drafting her debut novel but the call of flash is strong. She is found tweeting @NicolaAWrites and blogging at

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