Chicken Legs and Board Games

A story of changing family traditions.

Golden dusted pieces resting on paper, white plastic plates with a single green placed adjacent to the crumbed and fried legs. A lonely vegetable only provided to suggest slight concern for the hearts and arteries of those that were preparing to ferociously consume the served snack. The gold was to be accompanied by the black. Liquid like the night sky, littered with carbonated bubbles exploding towards the surface. Sparkles of light from the slightly cracked window flowed through the glass cup dulling the colour of the soda.

Pattering feet and quick hands marked the beginning of a feast and the compulsory family evening. Old wooden chairs, cracked and chipped from diligent service scrapped along the scuffed floor boards, screeching and screaming. The hands grasping the tattered corners were not yet strong enough to elevate the stained stumps. Weary faces cringed as the horrific sound echoed through ear canals, an action that was repeated nightly. Wrinkled dismay turned to prayerful silence as feeble legs sprang upwards carrying with them string bodies, crashing downward onto the aged oak. The immediate creak deafened the room, worried eyes fixed towards the direction of the sound and the culprit. Her head ducked down as to avoid the gaze of those sitting around the table…

Chicken legs and board games.

Thick heavy thuds reverberate through the thin walls and wooden wall panels as the children labouringly lug themselves down the stairwell to the once regularly populated dining room. The importance of togetherness faded like the relevance of a once top rated soapie, or artist. It was gradually forced to the periphery by piles of plastic shining devices that illuminated the eyes and distracted the soul of the residences of the once loud and playful house. The old oaken table with the stained stumps sat untouched, unnoticed as the family now eat in front of a plasma screen that delivers top quality sound and incomparable visuals. The various entertainments are used in solitude, as the freshly painted and decorated doors slam shut a silence befalls the halls and dining room. But tonight the doors would not be shut, and all screens were retired for a solitary evening. The reluctant legs quicken pace, as the smell of grease and crumb filled the air. The sound of deep frying further quickened the pace. As two hungry teens excitingly entered the kitchen they were ushered to the worn wooden chairs that had been abandoned since the childhood screams ceased to exist. The screech from dragging the chairs out still remained and the creak upon sitting down as to brace was still drew a sigh of relief once it stopped. The under stairs cupboard door hinges resisted as the handle was struggling pushed down and pulled. The door like the table bore years of frequent furious once, but as the teens turned toward other interests the need to open the cupboard began to halt. But, tonight it was opened. The spider’s webs that covered the interior had to be moved and dust on the most important item had to be blown away…

Chicken legs and board games.

The weary winters and simmer summers passed and passed. The children that once filled the house had grown and gone. They had children of their own that had grown and in turn had children of their own. As the years blurred traditional family activities faded. The delicious deep fried golden crumbed snack was merely a memory of gone generations. The cardboard mat with delicate drawings and dice lost in luggage of the past. Thins walls and wooden wall panels covered in stains and dirt hadn’t been seen for years. Once gleaming windows fractured and smashed beyond repair, many a tennis ball and rock had shot through the old glass panels. The outside tiresome and ruined had become a hue of brown and yellow. The loved house had been forgotten. But within the walls and an old cupboard that hinges had rusted so the door was almost impossible lived remnants of rowdy and robust evenings of joy. A time of family fun that existed within the wooden walls and on an oaken table and chairs that creaked with love. An old torn piece of paper penned with a recipe of golden gorgeousness, and a dusty old box with scratched art and barely visible ink sat within the cupboard. Waiting. 

Chicken legs and board games.

The End

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