Lola lugged the wooden crate home on foot; she didn’t want her car interior to smell like the fish market. And though the weight of the box made it difficult to carry, Lola smiled as she walked. The soft noises coming from inside the box were barely audible above the sound of the nearby ocean.
In her kitchen, Lola shoved aside the cluttered mess of copper pots, spice tins, and jars packed to the gills with wooden spoons. She hummed cheerfully as she filled the largest pot with water. The noises from the crate grew louder.
“Who’s ready to be dinner?” Lola sang out, as she grabbed a crowbar and pried open the box.
That evening, Lola’s guests were greeted by heavenly cooking smells, and a dining room table packed with covered platters.
“Help yourselves,” Lola grinned, and lifted the lid off the largest serving platter. “To market fresh mermaid!”
The swat team burst through the windows in a hail of glass.
“Down on the ground!” The swat captain shouted. Screaming guests dissolved into a frenzy, dropping their champagne flutes and scrambling beneath silk-upholstered divans.
“What’s the hell is going on here!” The host shouted, mustache trembling.
“Colonel Dempsey, you’re under arrest!”
“What has my husband done this time?” A woman whose fleshy neck was girdled in diamonds demanded, as she crawled from behind a sculpture of the Rape of Proserpina. “Is this about the child trafficking?”
“No, Ma’am. Your husband is suspected of lycanthropy!” Mrs. Dempsey gasped in horror. Just then, the clouds shifted, and the full moon shone through the window, directly onto the colonel. His monocle fell to the floor, and his bushy mustache spread over his entire face.
“You won’t take me alive!” Colonel Dempsey growled as he scampered on all fours into the devilish night.