MTO Mike Friend

An operating room nurse in a Level V trauma hospital, Mike was no stranger to blood. He’d seen hundreds of surgeries, massive burns, stabbings, and gunshot wounds. But no matter how many car accidents got wheeled into the OR, he never got used to the caprice of mass x acceleration in rearranging bones, organs, and the viscous juice between them.

Holidays meant time and a half pay, and although Mike wanted Thanksgiving Day off for reasons of his own, a shortage of administrators and nurses meant he had to work, just for a few hours. Because it was a holiday, no elective surgeries were scheduled. Anything coming in would be trauma. Before the sliding doors even parted, he heard the code call for the OR. A patient was coming in by squad. Mike picked up his step, shed his coat, and quickly slipped on his shoe covers, hair cover, and surgical mask. The ready room was oddly empty. Usually, it was full of hand-scrubbing, laptop-reading, phone-stowing medical staff. Today, it was just Mike. Was he late?

He entered the OR to a shocking sight.

On the operating room table, headless, covered in third-degree burns, and utterly naked lay a…turkey. Complete with stuffing billowing out his rear end.

Mike froze.

From behind the table popped his colleagues. They jumped gaily out and began to sing “Happy Birthday!”

Mike rocked back, surprised and delighted.

Just as they finished the song, the headless turkey began to quiver on the table. Lights flickered. An earthy scent bloomed in the operating room, crowding out the disinfectant. Pointy instruments shook and danced, rattled right off the tables, and clattered to the floor.

Everyone hushed.

For a second, Mike thought the whole thing was a joke. Not just the turkey, the seismic rumbling, the lights, all of it. His mind couldn’t wrap around the vision before him.

On the table, the turkey made a wobbly stand onto its golden brown drumsticks, half the stuffing fell out as it staggered to the end of the table. Even with no head, there was palpable anger in its increasingly-sure stride. It came for Mike.

He put his hands out just as the turkey launched into the air and wrapped a wing around his neck. With the other, it began to dig inside his mouth. Mike wanted to shout, “Help!” but that would pry his lips, which he pressed together as tightly as he could. The little (unbelievably) savory wing niggled its way between his lips. Only Mike’s clamped teeth stopped it from further penetration. He bulged his eyes and pointed to the turkey, begging his colleagues to get involved.

At first, they looked to each other, confused. Then the surgeon laughed and held up his hands for a nurse on either side. He launched into, “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” and they all made a circle around Mike, holding hands. They skipped and laughed, and their faces grew feathers. Their noses became beaks. Their hair lifted up behind them and fanned out. One by one, their neck skin crenulated and turned a shade of blood red. Chins split in two down the middle and dangled into pointy-ended snoods. The sound of multiple explosions shot leather, rubber, and fabric about the room and was followed by a scratching, clicking sound on the smooth floor. The huge turkey feet tearing through socks and busting through shoes didn’t cause the doctors or nurses to miss a beat. They circled and cackled and sang and gobble dee gobble dee gooed.

Mike struggled mightily with his turkey. A warm, disturbing flow had begun down his neck where the claw had punctured his skin and was burrowing into the muscle in his shoulder. But Mike was resilient and quick on his feet. A nurse had to be. With all his strength he slammed his turkey head down into the table. Yes, it hurt, but it hurt the turkey more. Over and over he banged his head on the steel table. He counted to seven and felt the fowl grip slacken. His chance. He opened his mouth, allowed the wing inside, and chomped down with all the adrenaline of outrageous terror.

The bones, they hurt his teeth. But it worked. The turkey let go. Mike grabbed it by the breast, piping hot as it was, slammed it down on the table, and pulled the overhead light down on top of it. He put all his weight into crushing that sucker.

“Guys, a little help,” he gasped.

The singing had stopped. A gang of humanoid turkeys stood around the table, eyes malevolent, wings twitching. With a fowl and furious chorus, they piled on.

Credit: Michi Mass

True: Mike’s birthday IS on Thanksgiving this year. Feel free to drop in on him and make it memorable. 😉

Also true: Mike was an OR nurse. He now does something I can’t even put into words because it’s over my head, but it has to do with hospital administration. I have no doubt Mike could find a more clever way out of the situation I described.

Also, also true: Mike has had the pleasure of traveling across this great country with yours truly.

I’m H. He’s I.

Want your own MTO Horror? A new horror every Wednesday. It only takes a minute. Go HERE if you dare.

8 thoughts on “MTO Mike Friend

  1. This is brilliant. Along the lines of ‘surreal horror’ fiction by writers like Jeff VanderMeer, but with a dose of dark humour. I loved the humanoid turkeys. And if I saw a turkey like the one in the picture, I’d laugh, but think twice before eating it!

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