“Don’t take it yet!” The tween readjusted her barrette. Her mouth went through a series of spasms, checking to make sure her jaw still functioned. It settled in a faint pout. “Ready.”
“Smile, everyone,” her father suggested to the table.
“Skip, stop making that noise,” quipped the old lady seated in the corner. Skip crunched on his dentures. “Lord,” she grumbled.
“Alright, everyone,” the father urged. Then, deliberating: “get the rolls off to the side. They aren’t browned.” He checked his apron: Yes! I’m the chef!
“You’ve got something on your side, Bean,” the old lady swished her finger.
“Just buttons. It’s called steampunk,” the tween twitched.
“What’s that?” asked the old lady.
“Victorian stuff, but with gears and cogs. And buttons.” Her grandmother’s nose wrinkled.
“We’re taking the picture now,” the father warned. “If you don’t smile, you don’t smile. Dad, keep your teeth in.” Skip obliged. The camera flashed.
“Beanie, did you help with dinner?” The old lady turned to her granddaughter. They were seated next to each other, inspecting the green beans floating in a soup of garlic and cream.
“Well… I mean, I made the centerpiece,” the tween offered. The flower bouquet in the middle of the table was made up of daisies and orange roses. Paper turkeys had been glued to the side of the vase, creeping up the side in a colorful procession of red, blue, and candy-striped birds.
“That one’s no good,” announced the dad. His inspection of the camera roll had proved useful after all. “Put your smiles back on.”
“Dad,” Bean grimaced.
“Sit down and don’t step on Mommom’s oxygen cord,” her dad instructed.
“That would make it a little difficult to eat,” joked her grandmother in a whisper, patting her on the back.
“I hate this.” The tween applied her most formidable glower for the camera.
“Well, you haven’t been on your feet all day preparing meat and pie and the stuffing that I remember you asking for,” her father remonstrated with her, propping the camera back up in the corner.
“You didn’t make anything chocolate.”
“Neither did you, Sabine,” he skirted back to the other side of the table to pose behind his parents. “I want to see lots of teeth, gang!” He checked that his apron would be in the shot. “And Bean, there’s a lava cake in the fridge. Picture in three! Two! One!”
Her face broke into a smile. The camera flashed.