Chicken Vooley by Dawn DeBraal

My husband of forty-four years purposely mispronounces words to get my goat. I have especially noted this during our safe at home time. I have come to believe this is a passive-aggressive move on his part.  He will ask me to make “Chicken Vooley,” which is Chicken Voila! An already made dish you heat in the microwave. This request drives me crazy. 

Apparently, we are all going to die of “Covert 19.” Oh yeah, that one gets me. I told him if he is going to die of it, he should know how to pronounce it. Now he has said it wrong so many times he isn’t sure of the name. Another way he is driving me crazy. 

It’s funny how, when I met him forty-six years ago as a mere skinny seventeen-year-old and he, an older man of twenty-two, was so smart. I hung on every word. As I grew older, I learned half the stuff he told me was BS. 

Things like there were left and right men’s socks. He made me change socks, and it did feel better. 

Men stand up just before they do number two; otherwise, they would hit that target between their legs. Yes, naïve me, believed that. How I could let that stuff be gospel was beyond me now. 

He spells thanks as thanx thinking it’s cool. I find it right up there with a 12-year-old girl dotting her “I’s” with hearts. 

He always asks if I am writing about him. Like he’s the only thing I have to write about today? Wait. He is the only thing I have to write about today. 

As the weeks drag into months and we are trying to be safe, only leaving the house to essential shop, we look at one another. Could we be one of the lucky ones? The ones who get the virus and walk around asymptomatic? Nah, we are both type “A” blood, which they have said our chances of hospitalization are significantly increased. 

We watch appalled at the rioting, not because of the rioting but because they aren’t wearing masks and wonder if we will ever be able to leave the house as high risk older adults. 

I have not seen anyone for months and months, and I am sitting with a man who wants to order Chicken Vooley. Yes, me, a horror writer with many ideas cycling in my head. 

“Do you want Chicken Vooley? Really?” I ask him with a knife in my hand, ready to slice open the bag. 

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband Red, a slightly overweight rat terrier, and a cat. She has discovered her love of telling a good story, can be written. You will find many of her short stories and poems in online magazines and in published anthologies. 

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