Originally published at The Pepper Press.
Steak Special by Thomas Winship
Just as she had done, every Friday night, for the past five years, Katie delivered a rare steak to Principal Wilkins.
And, just as he had done, every Friday night, for the past five years, Principal Wilkins grabbed Katie’s ass and squeezed.
Katie hated Principal Wilkins more than she had hated any man, with the exception of her father, for running away and never looking back, and her stepfather, for doing what stepfathers ought not do.
Wilkins ate at the diner every weeknight. He always ordered the special. Friday’s special was always steak—“blood red ‘n’ rare,” as he liked it—with a side of slaw. It was the cheapest steak dinner in the county. Had been for the last twenty years.
Tonight, Katie was going to modify Wilkins’ steak special. She’d wind up in jail for it, no doubt, but that no longer mattered. She’d wind up there as soon as her mama found her stepfather’s butchered body—what was left of it, at least—cooling on the kitchen floor.
Principal Wilkins removed his paw so he could test his steak, but Katie stood at his side as if chained. The one time she had walked away before being released, the old bastard had exploded from his chair, sweeping the contents of the table onto the floor with one hand, while reaching out and grabbing her black ponytail with the other.
He had yanked the ponytail so hard that the back of Katie’s head had been sore for a week. Upon hearing the commotion, Pudge, the diner’s owner, had stormed out of the kitchen. He’d taken a long, hard look at the floor, Principal Wilkins, and the tears of pain streaming from Katie’s green eyes, before ordering Katie to clean the mess up and informing her that the damages were coming out of her check.
Katie had cleaned the floor, noting the rest of the diner’s occupants looking at her with accusations in their eyes.
She had never walked away again.
Wilkins sliced the steak in half and separated the sections. Blood oozed from the meat to pool on the cheap plate. It reminded Katie of the way the blood had oozed from her stepfather’s gut after she thrust the knife into it.
The bastard had been too fat for the knife to hit anything vital, forcing Katie to spend a bit of time slicing and carving into him before he died. She had almost been late for work, but it had proven inspirational.
Katie had decided to serve Wilkins one final steak—a special steak—before doing him like she’d done her stepfather. But now that the adrenaline had worn off, her arms were too weak.
Instead, she pulled the knife from her back pocket and forced Wilkins from his chair. She sat down, slicing off a piece of steak.
It was the gamiest steak she’d ever eaten. In fact, it didn’t taste like steak at all. Even the blood tasted wrong.
Katie ate it anyway.
Posted on Tue, October 1, 2013
by Thomas Winship filed under