Corporal Dwayne Hicks didn't hear the door bell ring as he looked down at the stove's timer. He was in his home's kitchen cooking up the Thanksgiving dinner and mumbling and complaining bitterly and complaining some more. The oven mitts he was forced to wear weren't helping, either. Not only did they belong to Ripley, thus, the hot-pink girly design, but they made his hands sweat. And under the kitchen's heat, he felt like he was inside a microwave set on Explode. Damn, why did he have to do the tough job? Everyone else got to bring the drinks, dessert, and mash potatoes, and all that other easy stuff. Him? What was his job? Cooking the $#@% turkey, that's what! Who do they think he was? Martha Stewart?
He glanced back down at the stove's timer one last time, checking the remaining minutes until the turkey was done. It was about the only thing he took pride in. Even Ripley had to admit that he cooked a mean and impressive turkey. In fact, he dedicated so much time on it the entire day of yesterday, preparing for his piece of art. He nurtured it as he did to his M41A Pulse Rifle. Yeah. He took real pride in his turkey. He can just see everyone aweing at his magnificence. It was perfection. Pure... perfection...
He sighed later on. According to the timer, there was still thirty more minutes until the darn big bird became as toast as Uncle Roy's part-time job as chef. The doorbell rang again, which almost startled him.
"Great," he muttered bitterly, "They're here..."
Hicks didn't even walk to the door. In fact, he looked like a zombie painfully shuffling his way to it. Feeling tired. When he opened the door, he saw everyone suited in their best. He smiled a little when he saw them carrying bags. At last, he thought to himself, the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully, they all got what he wanted from the food list he gave each of them. He was very specific and precise.
Johnny Ringo, Chris Larabee, Kyle Reese, Hiram Coffey, Uncle Roy, and Lt. Curran stood outside, waiting for Hicks to let them in. Hicks moved aside and allowed them inside his cozy home. They soon followed him into the living room where a large diner table rested in the very middle of the room. They stood around it, preparing to show Hicks the food items they got. Hicks smiled, nodding his head in approval. He looked to his left where Reese was.
"So," Hicks began calmly. "What did you bring?"
Reese opened his bag, which was extremely small. Reese dug in and pulled out the food item.
"A rat," Reese said and held it up in front of Hicks' face.
"Rat?!" Hicks complained. "A rat?! I told you to bring a dessert, man!"
Reese looked at him questioningly.
"But rat is a dessert, Hicks. I eat it all the time."
Hicks stared blankly at Reese. He didn't know what to say. Still, he kept his cool and shook his head. Oh well... they can always drop by the grocery store later on, right? He then glanced over at Ringo.
"And you?" he asked the dark-clothed cowboy. "What did you bring?"
Ringo heaved the bag he had on top of the table. It was large and beginning to smell. Ringo dug his hands deep and pulled out the food item.
"A dead body," Ringo said proudly. "He's still warm, too."
"A dead body?!" Hicks complained, "I told you to bring mashed potatoes!"
"And so I did, Hicks," Ringo began. "The man's name was 'Potatoes' and his favorite show was M*A*S*H."
Hicks didn't know what to make of it. He fought the first word that came into mind and instead, opted for a sigh. No... no need to lose his cool, right? He looked at Uncle Roy, hoping for something better.
"And you?" he asked. "What did you bring?"
Uncle Roy carefully placed on the table a small bag. He dug his hands deep in it and took out his food item. Hicks smiled in relief when he saw that it was a plate. The expression quickly changed into a puzzled one as he, nor any of the others, knew what it really was.
"I got plants from your backyard, Hicks," Roy said happily as he showed him a plate full of yellow stuff. "Doesn't the yellow stuff look pretty?"
"Plants!" complained Hicks, "I told you to bring vegetables, man! Vegetables like corn! Real vegetables, not the stuff you grow at your backyard! And I'll have you know that I tend to pee outside when Ripley is holding up the restroom or kicks me out so she can watch her soap operas! Where do you think that 'pretty yellow stuff' came from?!"
"So?" Roy began understandingly, "Peeing actually puts spice into the flavor. Just ask my nephew. He doesn't know about the special chemical but he sure likes the atria I serve at dinner time."
Hicks clenched his fist hard, trying really hard not to lose his cool. He took a deep breath, concentrating on breathing in and out. He looked at Lt. Curran, running a nervous hand over his face.
"And you?" he tried to begin calmly, "What did you bring?"
Lt. Curran threw the bag on top of the table. It was extremely large, larger than even Ringo's dead body. Lt. Curran opened it and dug his hands deep to pull out the food item.
"White shark," Lt. Curran said as he revealed a white shark. "But, uh, I think my comrade, Hawk, is in there somewhere. We... uh... had an accident this morning."
They soon heard the muffled sound of someone inside the shark. They all ignored it.
"A white shark?!" Hicks complained, "I told you to bring white cheese, man! Not white shark!"
Lt. Curran shrugged. "Isn't it the same?"
Hicks' face became redder than the blood that flowed through his veins. He was near frenzy now but held on to whatever sanity still left in him. He turned to face Coffey who was playing with his knife while holding up a large bag of his own.
"And you?" Hicks began slowly and quietly. Calmly. "What did you bring?"
Coffey threw the heavy bag on the table. He dug his hands deep and pulled out his food item.
"A sea alien creature," Coffey replied. "If you put it under water, it'll glow!"
"Sea alien?!" Hicks complained, "I told you to bring sea food so we could eat something until the turkey was done! ARGGHHH!!!!!!"
Dwayne Hicks glared at the remaining man left to show his food item. Chris Larabee. Again, he tried to remain calm but his breathing was rapid and even Johnny Ringo saw the steam blowing from the Corporal's face.
"And you?" Dwayne began gently, obviously trying to conceal his frustration. "What did you bring?"
Chris laid the bag on top of the table. He dug his hands deep into the medium-sized bag and dug in to pull out his food item.
"Whiskey," said Chris.
"Whiskey?!" Hicks complained, now tearing his hair a part, "I asked for a six-pack of sodas and fruit punch! Soda! Fruit punch! Soda! Fruit punch! What part didn't you get?!"
"But whiskey is all those things and more," Chris replied innocently.
The red-faced Hicks looked at him. His entire body was shaking and trembling. Everyone stood clear, obviously seeing this man ready to blow. And then, he finally did.
"AGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" Hicks screamed and collapsed on the floor.
Chris and Reese tried to calm Hicks down. Chris gave him his small bottle of whiskey so that he could take a sip of it to bring him back to reality. He was totally surprised to see Hicks grab the bottle and drink it all down as if it were water. Even Johnny, a heavy drinker, was amazed.
"Are you okay?" Reese began.
"Of course!" Hicks squealed, "Of course! Why wouldn't I be! I'm having a Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of dimwits! Why wouldn't I be! Huh! WHY WOULDN'T I BE!!!"
He sobbed and cried, soon using Reese's rat to blow his nose. As everyone tried to calm Hicks down, Lt. Curran made a face. His nose caught the faint smell of it earlier on but he ignored it. Yet now... it smelled like something was burning... something from the kitchen...
"Hey, guys," he started, "You smell something?"
Dwayne gasped, remembering the turkey. He ran into the kitchen and saw nothing but dark smoke invading from the stove.
"No!" he screamed and put on his oven mitts to save his turkey...
...Unfortunately, it was too late. The turkey was as dark as night. His turkey... his beautiful and wonderful turkey... Gone. Just like that. Dwayne slumped against a wall while Kyle, Chris, Roy, Coffey, and Curran entered the kitchen. They all saw the burnt out turkey on the kitchen table. Each shook their head in complete disappointment.
"This is the last time we let you do the turkey, Hicks," said Coffey.
"Geez, Hicks," Chris echoed, "Can't you do anything right?"
Hicks looked at them all for a long time. His stare was deadly. One moment he has against the wall. The next... he ran everyone out of the kitchen, threatening to hit them all with a pan.
An hour later, they finally ate: Hicks, Chris, Ringo, Coffey, Curran, Reese, Uncle Roy, and, uh, Mr. Potatoes. For the main course, they ate Hicks's burnt turkey and Curran's white shark. They soon put in room for Uncle Roy's vegetables while drinking it all down with Chris' whiskey. After that, it was time for Reese's dessert plate. Though the Thanksgiving dinner wasn't much (and what Hicks wanted), they certainly had something to be thankful for. They were together, celebrating unification and happiness. Even Hicks had something to be thankful for... He didn't kill anyone.
"Hey!" offered Uncle Roy as he ate his vegetables, "Let's do this again! We've still got Christmas, you know!"