I shook my head to clear the sleep that wrapped me up in dreams,
Then led me down a darkened path toward the muffled screams.
I’d had these awful visions from the time I was a child
And while they came now less and less, they still were pretty wild.
Oh well, I thought, just overtired and a little bit amazed
That I’d agreed to spend this weekend back where I was born and raised.
But here I was this Saturday, for the Harvest Fest
And in my mother’s kitchen the mood was just the best.
Surrounded by her savory pies she greeted me with glee,
“Come sit down, the coffee’s on. You’re such a sight to see.
I’ve nearly finished baking. These pies are almost done.
Twenty four to sell today and the judges’ tasting one.”
Each year she won the baking prize and raised a lot of dough.
She knew the joke was pretty lame but she did her best you know
To raise the cash for the Veterans Home and other local needs.
“You know,” she said, “in the end we’re remembered for our deeds.”
“So, what’s your special recipe, what makes these so darn good?”
In response she giggled. “I’d tell you if I could.
But then I’d have to kill you and that would be so sad.”
Stepping out onto the porch she waved toward my dad.
He’d been digging in the garden, working up the ground.
Two holes were fairly sizeable and bags were laid around.
“We’re off now Tom. Can’t be late. The sale begins at one.
I think that by the time we’re back you really should be done.”
We’d only gone a couple miles when we saw the cars and lights.
The police were stopping everyone. It really was a sight.
The cop leaned on my driver’s door and slowly shook his head.
A man and wife were missing and they feared that they were dead.
He showed us both a photo of a happy smiling pair.
“We get a call like this each fall, and it really isn’t fair.
No clues, no trace of where they went and they’re never seen again.
It’s been that way for years and years and we think it’s done but then
The same thing happens in another town a bit further down the road.
It’s a serial – we know for sure – and it’s someone really cold.
If only we could find a trace, a clue or a reason why.”
He paused a moment, turned his head and glanced down at the pie.
We made it to the church on time and got the pies in place.
My mother looked so radiant. A smile upon her face.
She won the judges accolades for her steak and kidney tart.
Whose gravy dark and real meatiness just set them so apart
From the others in the ‘meat pie’ class. So first prize had to go
Again, to my mother, who, still smiling, let us know
That she was thrilled to do her part for her community.
‘It’s both planning and execution that really makes this recipe.”
She blushed. “It really is a family affair and Tom spares no expense
To give me what is needed. He’s my partner in every sense.”
It was after six when we got home. We could smell the onions cooking.
“What’s for supper?” I asked with eagerness, but I knew without looking.
“It’s your favourite, son, and it’s almost done, a fresh and juicy liver.”
“Don’t overcook mine, will you Dad, it’s best when it’s still aquiver.”