"Now, shove your whole hand in. That's it. Right up the butt. There you go."
"The hole's too small for my hand, though," Candy protested, having difficulty slipping her knuckles past the taut skin. This was, after all, her first time.
"Just wriggle your fingers around a bit to loosen it up. You want to shove your hand in as deep as it can go."
Candy grimaced and grunted, twisting her hand around through the tight opening, pushing it deeper and deeper, until finally, it was all the way inside.
She felt a proud sense of achievement as she wiggled her fingers around in the warm, gooey interior. Her first goat stuffing had been a success.
Easter, who had coached Candy through the process of preparing the main dish of a traditional Avestan New Year's feast, beamed a smile at her and clapped her hands together. "You did it!"
Now that the stuffing was in, she'd just have to get her hand back out. Candy pulled and yanked, but her hand seemed to be stuck inside.
"Here, let me help you," Easter offered, coming in beside her and pushing her hands against the goat's back, while Candy pulled.
Candy twisted and wriggled her fingers, as she had done to get them inside the damn thing, and pulled with all her might. Easter bent down to get more leverage and used her body weight to push the goat in the other direction.
Suddenly, Candy's hand came flying out, smacking Easter hard across the face as it did, the juices going flying. Easter immediately brought her hand to her face, opening her mouth to adjust her jaw.
"Easter, I'm so, so, so sorry! That was completely unintentional!"
Easter started shaking her head, looking sternly at Candy. But then, a tiny smile made its way to her face. It widened slowly, her chest palpitating with a chuckle until she was full-blown laughing. Candy burst into laughter too.
The two women howled with laughter uncontrollably, bent over themselves, unable to speak. They laughed so hard that their laughter made no sound but bursts of high-pitched hissing, gasping for air in between giggles.
"What's gotten into you two?" Kevin asked, popping his head out from his office.
Easter pounded the counter, unable to even look at her husband. Candy watched her, caught her eye, and burst into laughter anew.
Candy and Easter had become pretty good friends. Their friendship had started to blossom a few weeks back when Kevin had followed up on Easter's invitation for her to come for dinner.
"I feel a bit badly inviting you over for dinner, and asking you to cook, Can," he'd admitted. "But Easter is getting annoyed that I won't stop talking about your pasta, and she really wants to learn how to cook it. Plus, honestly...she could really use a friend. I think she's quite lonely."
So, Candy had agreed. She'd given them a list of ingredients they'd need, which Kevin had promptly picked up, and Candy had come around to their house early that evening. She'd been apprehensive about spending any more one-on-one time with Easter. Yes, she was starting to warm to her, but they didn't have a fun-loving relationship like she and Kevin did. And Candy hadn't had much desire to foster one.
But that had quickly changed that night when Easter had opened up to her even more while they were preparing dinner, confiding to Candy her insecurities and vulnerabilities, which had humanized her even more, and helped Candy relate to her. Plus, Easter had totally screwed up on cooking the pasta, overcooking it so that it was lifeless and mushy, which had given Candy a certain sense of satisfaction that she had been very careful not to show. Candy had re-cooked more pasta so it was just slightly al dente--just the way she liked it. She'd promised Easter to keep the pasta incident as 'their little secret,' not telling Kevin nor the kids, which had further bonded Easter to her.