The Last Supper
By Sally Madison
Like so many other suppers these past four weeks, Alexandria came in from the kitchen with Alma, who was carrying the supper for the general and his two lieutenants. The general would sit with his back to the kitchen, the other two officers facing each other on either side of the table and Alexandria would sit in the chair at the end of the table opposite of the general facing the kitchen. The general would choose a dolma, baklava, or vegetable pastry, and Alexandria would eat it. If soup was served, then a single pot was brought in, and four bowls would be ladled from the pot. Alexandria would be the first to eat, and then the officer’s would eat. They had fallen into a routine, so easily that they took their roles for granted.
This day was no different, or was it? Alexandria and Alma came in from the kitchen with pastries filled with peas, carrots and mushrooms, fresh bread and mushroom stew. Mushroom stew had been served several times before, and the officers enjoyed it with the bread that Alma made. The pot was delivered to the table and the platters were spread out for the officers to enjoy.
Alma returned to the kitchen with a smirk, as she rounded the corner out of sight. Alexandria took her bowl of soup and a pastry. The general and the officers also began the ritual. Just as Alexandria raised her spoon to her lips, Alma, who was watching from the kitchen threw a pot against the wall, then another and then another. CRASH !! CRASH!! CRASH!! Screams were heard from the kitchen. Alarmed at the sounds, Alexandria jumped. The officers all turned their heads towards the kitchen, as Alexandria stuffed the pastry in her pocket and spilled a bit of her stew on the table. “The stew is delicious,” she said, “and the pastry, too. But please excuse me; I need to see the noise in the kitchen.”
The officers were hungry and were not interested in any thing that may be going on in the kitchen and ignored Alexandria, as she left the room. Alma grabbed Alexandria and they hugged each other. Timing was everything. Alma peaked around the corner to see that the mushroom stew was being devoured. The officers were happy and boisterous, contemplating the army’s moves the following day.
The officers became quieter and quieter. A few hours passed as the women paced back and forth in the kitchen, waiting for silence. One more hour after the silence had begun, Alexandria returned to the dining table to see the officers’ prone bodies. She checked their pulse and their eyes. Alexandria called out, “Alma, Kolya, Natalia! It’s time! Come quickly!”