Early the next morning, Fiona got dressed and headed to the kitchen, wondering what her mom would make for breakfast. Her stomach growled in anticipation and it surprised her when she saw her mom sauteing what looked like ground beef in a pan on the oven.
Chloe turned and smiled at her daughter as she stirred the meat around with potatoes and scrambled eggs. “Good morning, sweety. Your father went out last night and found us some more meat. We have to get a freezer, though, so we can store the rest of it for later.”
Fiona turned to see her father, still bloody from cutting up the meat, enter the kitchen. “Is that enough or do you want to cook more up?”
“I think this will be enough to tie us over this morning,” Chloe said and kissed her husband before he disappeared back to the garage.
Fiona sat down at the table and thanked her mom when she passed her a plate. Her eyes intensely focused on the sweet smelling steaming meat. Her dad joined them after he cleaned up the garage and took a shower to wash off the blood. As the family devoured their food, they discussed where to go to buy the furniture and other items they needed for the home. A sudden knock at the front door interrupted the family breakfast. They slowly glanced at each other, and Chloe went to see who it was.
Fiona craned her neck so she could see who was at the door. She saw a family of four at the door and wondered what the mother had handed to her mom. Her mom thanked the family again and told them something that sounded like she would see them later at the BBQ, but Fiona wasn’t 100% sure. She returned to eating when her mom closed the door and returned to the kitchen.
“What did they give you, mom?”
“A casserole made with chicken. And it smells delicious. We will have to hurry and get that refrigerator if we are to save any of it,” her mom said as she placed it on the kitchen counter.
The Jacobsons finished their breakfast, got dressed, and headed out to their car. A few other families walked up the driveway, with desserts and other food dishes in hand. Fiona graciously took the containers from the neighbors and carried them back inside. She placed them on the counter. Before she ran back out to the car, she grabbed some leftover meat on her plate. She quickly shoveled the food into her mouth and made her way to the front door, making sure she wiped her mouth clean. The taste is simply irresistible.
“Mom, where does dad get our meat from?” Fiona asked as she sat in her seat and buckled upped. She had always wondered where their special meat came from, but whenever she asked, her parents told her not to worry about it.
Chloe and Jonah glanced at each other as Jonah headed for their first destination. “I think it’s time we told her,” Jonah said. “She is old enough now.”
“Okay, well, daddy goes out and finds the lost ones. Those who have lost their home, have no family, and live out on the streets. So he brings them back home. Then in the garage, he kills them, and processes them so that I can cook them up for our meals. Now we don’t do it often, so people don’t get suspicious or anything, but we get enough for us to enjoy. And we are doing the world a favor by getting rid of those who are homeless.”
Fiona thought about what her mother had told her as their father parked in front of a furniture warehouse. She kept quiet for the rest of their shopping trip, still thinking about it all. When they climbed back in their car after their trip to the grocery store, Fiona finally spoke. “So, we are okay, then? We won’t get found out?”
“If we are careful and follow the rule of only taking those from the streets, then we should be fine.” Jonah smiled at his worried daughter. “Nothing to worry about, Fiona bear. When you get older, I will teach you what to do for when you want to make any special recipes like mom.”
“What if I can’t find anyone who enjoys the special meat like I do?” Fiona asked, this being her worse fear.
“Oh, don’t worry about that now, sweety. Our kind has a special dating website that can help you find the perfect match,” Chloe said as she turned in her chair to look at her daughter. “It’s not like how it was when your dad and I were younger and we had to find someone like us by talking and bringing it up.”
“Oh, boy, was that tough. Finding other women who ate the special meat like me was tough. I was fortunate that my parents knew your mom’s parents, and we hit it off so well,” Jonah said as he maneuvered their car through the streets to get back home.
Fiona helped her parents unload the car after they returned home and went up to her room. She wrote some letters to her friends back at their old home, telling them about the house and the neighbors. She told them about how she wasn’t ready to start a new school year in a new town and how much she missed them. She ended each 4-page letter with a sad face, wrote her name, and slipped them into their envelopes. Fiona carried her letters out to their mailbox and slipped them inside. As she closed the lid to her mailbox, she turned to watch her neighbors bring out tables, chairs, and a couple even brought out their grills.
Tonight was the BBQ, and Fiona felt nervous. She crossed her arms over her chest as she watched everyone coming together to welcome her and her family. Fiona wondered what it will be like to live here, and hiding her family’s dark secret. Fiona spotted a group of kids who were playing soccer between two houses in the front yards. She looked around to see more neighbors coming out of their homes to start the BBQ.
Fiona turned and headed inside to help her mom make a fruit salad and a Cornish hen tart that her mom loved to make for special occasions. She shut the door and took in a deep breath as the smells of the hen cooking tickled her nose, making her mouth water.