A Meal for Five


Image Credit: Jayden Barnes

Jayden Barnes, Reporter

The next installment of the Tales of the Clarion, this time following a group of friends, all gathering for a great seasonal feast. As always get comfortable underneath a blanket, get some dessert, and enjoy this tale.
Jon walked down the cracked sidewalk that was scattered with amber and scarlet leaves, kicking them up as he went down the path. His face was plastered with a smile as his eyes drifted from the puddles of rainwater in the gutter, to the falling leaves off the barren trees, to the dark clouds formed above him. He was almost there, “Hopefully I won’t get poured on,” he thought to himself as he began to speed walk. 


Jon slid his backpack off of his shoulder, knocking once more after a couple of seconds. He heard rustling and the sound of a lock clicking before the door slowly creaked open, revealing a girl’s face behind it. The door instantly swung open as the girl raised her arms.

“Jon! Long time no see buddy!” She shouted as she flew into Jon, embracing him into a bear hug. “Jon!” He heard several voices call out behind her as he felt overbearing arms wrap around them all. He looked around to see Jess, the girl who greeted him, Forrest, the smallest of the bunch, Calvin, his best friend, and Lance. They all laughed for a while, enjoying the small moment until untying their arms and led each other inside. 

Inside, the lights were dimmed to a warm hue as the table was already set, covered from edge to edge with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and all that Jon could ever imagine. His mouth watered as he set his backpack on the couch, almost running towards the feast. The rest laughed as they settled in their seats, spending what seemed like an eternity eating, talking, and bonding the best they could.

The sun had gone down just as they collectively decided it was time to leave. They stood up and hugged each other, feeling a soft tone of dread fill the room. Jon looked at his friends, his face flushed red as tears formed from his eyes.

“I’m gonna miss you guys,” He said, looking out the window at a car that slowly pulled up to the driveway. “Don’t forget me while I’m away!”

He chuckled and gave them all one last hug, heading for the door. Jon opened the screen door, feeling the crisp autumn air hit his face, causing him to tear up once more. He remembered every single time he had passed through that door; the good and the bad. He wanted more than anything to turn around and slam the door behind him, but he knew that wasn’t an option. Jon walked up to the car, opening the passenger door, and turned to see his friends standing on the lawn.

“We’ll see you in no time, Jon!” Jess exclaimed, the weakness in her voice present as she clung onto Calvin’s arm. 

Jon waved, leaning in and sitting down in the car. He sighed as he gave one last smile and closed the door, setting his eyes straight forward. 

“So. Where are we going?”

The man next to Jon looked over at him, glaring into his eyes. The shimmer of his metallic face mask glistened in the street lamp as his hand gripped the gear stick.

“The lab,” He grunted out, looking back at the street ahead of them. He shifted into drive and drove forward, disappearing as they turned the block.