The Green Meal
"Come on. Mom, it was only a meal at McDonald's."
Edward's mother gritted her teeth as she polished the stainless steel kitchen appliances. "I can't believe you would put that garbage into your body."
"But Mom, the other kids were eating them, so I wanted to try--"
"The other kids? The other kids?" She threw her microfiber towel onto the granite countertop. "Who cares what other kids do? We are different, we are superior. A Happy Meal, how could you? You know our dietary restrictions."
Edward hung his head.
Edward's father came into the kitchen."Son, think of the environmental impact of fast food, the trash, the petrochemicals burned in the shipping." He shook his head in a gesture of benevolent disapproval.
"Dad, it's just... I feel so different from everyone else." Edward drew his finger across the countertop. "Couldn't we maybe be vegetarians? We live on a farm."
"Edward, you know very well why live in rural isolation," his mother snapped.
"But what you might not realize, son," his father added, "is that farming equipment kills countless animals every year. Between the pesticides and mechanical harvesters--not to mention the displacement of animals who could be living free on what is now farmland--why I wouldn't be surprised if vegetarians killed more animals than carnivores."
"Every time your friends eat a meal, they are destroying the earth and killing innocent beings," Edward's mother said.
"They are the problem." Edward's father nodded sadly. Then he brightened and clapped his son on the shoulder. "But every time we eat, why we're part of the solution."
"I never thought about it like that."
Edward's father exchanged a glance with his wife, then looked back at their son. "Boys will be boys," he said. "Let's eat. I brought in something rather nice."
Edward's mother stretched out her hand to her husband. "It might be old fashioned to say this, but you're a wonderful provider." She smiled and ruffled Edward's hair. "Let's forget about it now and go have a proper family meal." Edward smiled.
The vampires went into the dining room where their meal waited for them, hog-tied and weeping. After dinner the family played Scrabble. Before bed, the father pointed to the the chore chart on the door of the empty Subzero fridge. "Your turn to take out the garbage, son."
Edward went out immediately. The air felt cool and clean, and the old farmhouse was so far away from the city that the sky was black. A million stars shone down on him. He threw away the toy that had come with his fast food meal. He didn't want it anymore. Then he fed the empty husk of a teenaged girl into the wood chipper. Pin It Now!
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