It was suppertime at the Slender Mansion. Ticci Toby was standing in front of the kitchen stove, his orange goggles up on his forehead and his mouth guard hanging around his neck. He bent down and sniffed the chicken soup he was boiling. Smells great! He praised himself, stirring the concoction around with a wooden spoon. A clatter of dishes against the kitchen table startled the 19 year old proxy out of his self induced trance. Toby whipped around and saw Sally standing on her tiptoes trying to steady a plate that was still wiggling around. "You OK Sally?" Toby asked, smirking and twitching. The little girl nodded her head furiously, "Yeah, I'm fine Toby." Sally replied, reaching up and gently touching another saucer. Toby decided to let her off the hook and nodded his head. "Alright. Could you go and round everyone up? The soup's almost done." Sally's eyes lit up and she bounded out of the kitchen, not even bothering to talk to Toby.
Sighing and chuckling to himself, Toby left the lid on the soup slightly ajar and went to the table and straightened it up. After about 5 minutes, the table was set. Toby uncovered the soup and gave it one last stir. He lifted the pot and brought it to the dining room. As Toby set the soup down, voices of his peers and co-workers came within earshot. Toby instantly perked up upon hearing Jenny's voice. She was the only person who ever truly understood him. She knew what pain and loss felt like, and she didn't even care about his Tourettes and twitching. She loved him for being himself, and she was the only one who cared enough to give him a second chance after what he had done. And in return, Toby loved her back.
Sally led the way into the kitchen, followed closely by BEN, Jenny, Hoodie and the rest. They each took their own respective seats that they seemed to enjoy. Sally was old enough to sit at the table without the use of a high chair, but she still had to sit on a lot of old books to see over the edge. Jenny still sat at the position of power with Hoodie immediately to her left and Toby to her right. The order of the table was exactly the same as the "Carrot Incident", ending with LJ on the other side of the table across from Jenny. Jenny dished out the soup and passed the bowls down the end of the table and served herself last.Everyone sat down to eat and Jenny put her spoon to her lips. "Oh my gosh Toby! It's wonderful! You did an amazing job!" Toby blushed at Jenny's praise and smiled broadly. Eyeless Jack had small covered dish of kidneys on the table instead of a bowl of soup. He no longer ate his meals in solitude and it meant a lot to Jenny to finally have meals together as a family.
Hoodie pulled on the collar of his sweater and said, "Could I open a window? The heat from the stove is cooking us too." Jenny nodded and Hoodie pushed open a window in front of the kitchen sink. He quickly returned to his seat and hummed happily as a cold breeze traveled through the mansion and cooled everything off. Something else whizzed by Hoodie's face but he didn't react to it. It was small and black. And annoying.
The little intruder hovered around for a bit before making its way towards LJ and landing on the tip of his pointed nose. He stared at it cross eyed for a little while before screaming out at the top of his lungs. "FLY!!" Jenny choked on her spoonful of soup and began coughing. "LJ!" Jenny scolded, "What's wrong? You almost gave us a heart attack!"
"There's a fly at the table Jenny!" LJ said, raising his spoon in his claws and waving it about. "I swear I saw it.."
"Oh great!" Sally whined, cowering beneath her hands, "Get it LJ! Get it!" BEN spoke up and said, "Don't let it get away! That fly is as good as dead!"
"Guys, are you serious?" Jenny said, irritated, "It's just a fly! It'll go away on its own. Don't make a big deal out of it." Jenny went back to eating her soup, as did the rest of the residents. The fly, for now, seemed to have overheard BEN's threat and it buzzed off. After about five minutes, the little bugger was back again, this time going straight after Jenny. She was focused on her conversation with Toby who was nodding his head to her comments and offering his input. Her right hand was raised as she moved it in time with her speech, her left was casually resting beside her cup without a care in the world. Hoodie, on Jenny's left, caught sight of the fly and followed it intensely before watching it land on Jenny's resting left hand. Hoodie quietly got the attention of the others and raised his spoon.
Swiftly, he brought his makeshift flyswatter down towards the insect and prayed that the flipping thing would be too slow to evade his attack. Alas, it wasn't so and Jenny received a smack to her hand. She retracted it with a sharp yelp, scaring the everlasting -you-know-what- out of Toby. Jenny whipped her head around and glared daggers at her boyfriend. "What do you think you're doing?!" Hoodie gently put down his spoon and replied, "I was trying to get the fly! It was the perfect opportunity!"
"Was it also the perfect opportunity to give me a bruise?" Jenny spat, rubbing her now sore hand.
"No!" Hoodie said quickly, "I'd never hurt you! Never!" As the debate raged on, a growl from Jeff at the other end of the table brought the attention down on him. He pulled out his favorite knife and watched with his unblinking eyes, scanning the room for the little pest. After two minutes, the fly landed on the small bowl of buns which had been placed on the table to accompany the soup. "Nobody. Move." Jeff grumbled, staring intently on the fly. He raised his knife above his head and brought it down towards the unsuspecting bug. When Jeff retracted his weapon, there were two buns sticking off the end of it, but no fly. "You missed." BEN deadpanned, narrowing his eyebrows at the teenaged killer. "You're next you little shrimp." Jeff retaliated, pointing the tip of the knife at BEN's throat.
Sitting silently at the end of the table, Eyeless Jack carefully watched the fly buzz around the room, moving his head in all directions as the fly hovered about. "Jack, you're gonna make me sick." Jenny commented, looking away from the former med school student. Jack didn't respond. Instead, he discreetly reached into the pocket of his black hoodie and gripped his grey hand around his beloved scalpel. He listened. After a while, the entire table grew silent. Only the sound of the fly's diabolical buzzing could be heard. After a few more agonizing moments, Jack speedily stood up and swung his right hand, holding the blade of the scalpel outwards. Incredibly, two halves of something fell to the table top with a soft 'pip'.
"Well son of a gun." BEN said, shocked, glancing downward, "He sliced it straight down the middle." Everyone leaned in to see. It was true. Jack had perfectly sliced down the thorax of the bug and cut it in half lengthwise. The cannibal stepped behind his chair and respectfully pushed it in towards the table. He said quietly, "Now you know why I don't eat meals with the family." Leaving his work behind, Jack calmly walked to the door of the basement and disappeared into his domain, a cocky smile plastered on his face behind his blue mask.