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Dessert at Grandma's House
by Harriett Fjaagesund

"No! I don't wanna eat at Grandma's!" little Anthony wailed as his father dragged him up the front steps. "She told me on the phone we're gonna have lady fingers. I don't want to eat fingers; I want to go home, Mom won't make me eat somebody's fingers!"

"For goodness sake, they're not real fingers!" his mother said. "It's just a name for a sweet dessert. You're such a morbid child."

"Behave yourself," his father warned. "I don't want to see any rude behavior."

* * * * *

"Who's ready for dessert?" Grandma asked after the remains of the turkey dinner had been cleared away. "I have a fresh batch of ladyfingers in the oven."

Little Anthony's mother laughed. "Mom, you're not going to believe this. Anthony thinks your ladyfingers are real fingers."

"Eh? Is that so?" Grandma said as she put on her oven mitts. "It's good he has an active imagination."

Thinking furiously, Anthony excused himself to go to the bathroom. "I'll say I can't eat any more because I'm sick from eating too much turkey," he whispered as he dried his hands and left the bathroom.

A strange sound from the utility room caught his attention. Realizing he hadn't seen his grandmother's tabby cat, he opened the door and turned on the light. "Dilly? Did you get locked in---"

A plump woman tied to an overturned kitchen chair stared sightlessly up at him, a large butcher knife protruding from her chest. Her hands were bound in front of her; all ten fingers had been neatly chopped off.

Little Anthony let out a screech and bolted from the room, down the hallway, through the kitchen and out the front door. His mother dropped her coffee cup in her lap and let out a yelp. His father shouted at him to behave himself.

Grandma sprinkled powdered sugar over the ladyfingers and reminded herself to lock the utility room in future.