Dinner with the Starkmans turned out to be just as crazy as I would have expected at this point.Thursday afternoon was just about to become evening as Mrs. Starkman filled the dining room table with somebizarre creation that she considered a meatloaf, two servings worth of sliced white potatoes, a cup of green peas,and a pot of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
“There might not be enough there for everybody,” she announced to the si
x of us seated around thetable.
“I miscalculated the amount
Mike, you serve yourself first. Take as much as you like.”
“Thank you,” I expressed a cheery gratitude as I politely picked up the bowl of potatoes and used my
fork to push two small chunks onto my plate. I was seated facing the kitchen, my back to the living room.Courtney was sitting to my left staring at me in a non-subtle and almost swooning fashion that I can bestdescribe as creepy. Her blonde hair now had streaks of green in it instead of the pink it had had the first twotimes I had seen her.On the other side of Courtney, Alice had already grabbed the pot of macaroni and cheese and hademptied half the contents onto her plate. Across from her sat Julie, now a brunette instead of a blonde, who
found more interest in studying her finger nails instead of the food in front of her. Will was to Julie’s left, acro
ssfrom Courtney, and was still wearing his white Adidas hat despite being at the dinner table. He was staringdown at his empty plate, hiding his eyes below the brim of his hat but not his smirk and little bits of red thatleaked down from his cheeks.Wil
l’s mother took her place in the empty seat across from me, and Roger sat at the head of the table
slicing me a thick piece of meat that was at least a full quarter of the small, black, brick-
like thing that I wasn’t
entirely sure was food. He plopped the slice on my plate as I counted out exactly five peas from the cup so as tosave some for the rest of the family. I would have liked some macaroni and cheese, but with the psychotic wayAlice was looking at that pot while clenching the handle tightly with h
er two tiny hands, I didn’t think I’d be