Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chickens: Revenge of the Flock by Paul Lewellan

Chickens: Revenge of the Flock
By Paul Lewellan

Megan prepared her last meal in the small farm kitchen. The siege was almost over. Tonight The Flock would attack again.

Defiant until the end, Megan peeled four extra-large hard-boiled eggs and chopped them into a bowl. She added finely chopped celery, green onions, and crisp bacon bits. Megan added a half-teaspoon of coarsely ground horseradish to two tablespoons of mayonnaise, and folded the mixture into the bowl. Salt. Pepper.

Megan cautiously pulled aside the blue plaid kitchen curtain and scanned her back yard. A wall of yews fifteen-feet tall lined the back of her property. Beyond the yews was The Coop. “The Coop,” she snarled. Harry, her husband, built The Coop twenty years ago from chicken wire and cheap plywood. She’d warned him then that chicken wire couldn’t contain the rebel hens if The Flock ever turned on them. He’d been foolish to think it could, and he’d paid the price. Megan wouldn’t make that mistake. She hoped her superior firepower would be enough in the event of an all-out assault.

Meagan turned back to the egg salad on her kitchen counter. She carefully spread the mix on freshly baked rye bread. She chewed the sandwich slowly as she contemplated her next move. She had one option left. The land mines were her last line of defense.

After the ambush that killed Harry, Meagan had set thirty-seven M-14 anti-personnel mines made from kits she’d purchased from They had made the chicken more cautious. And her daughter at Stanford had sent Megan a dozen M-16 “Bouncing Betty” fragmentation mines for her birthday. It was one of the M-16’s had killed Buddy, the neighbor’s pit bull. No war is waged without casualties.

What else could she do? The neighbors had been disappearing singly and in pairs for weeks. Her sister’s family had fled two days ago. Meagan remained The Lone Patriot. She put Warren Zevon on the loud speakers aimed at The Coop. She hoped “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” would put her in a killing mood, but the PA system went dead. “Damn, the poultry cut the power!”

At sunset Meagan the clucking began—first a series of single clucks, then dozens of clucks, rising to hundreds, then thousands. Megan pulled the Ruger P95L 9mm from the waistband of her lime green Capri pants and shifted the safety lever to the “fire” position. She walked to the cherry wood gun cabinet and reached for the Remington double-barrel. She hesitated. Firepower also cannot stop a dedicated insurgent force. She set down the Ruger and walked back to the window, raised it, and shouted out to the night. “All right! You win.” The clucking ceased.

She walked to the refrigerator, flung open the door, and grabbed the last three eggs from her most recent raid of The Coop. She walked to her back door and flung it open. “Here!” She raised the eggs high above her head. “Here are your precious children.” The Flock advanced toward the house. A Bouncing Betty exploded, filling the air with feathers and gizzards. The birds didn’t break rank.

“Here are your precious children!” Meagan repeated. She flung the eggs far into the yard. Before they had splattered against the Rubbermaid tool shed, the chickens opened fire. Meagan’s bullet-ridden body was reduced to chicken feed—the revenge of The Flock.

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