The Great Chicken Flood

I’ve had several people ask me if I had any of my writing here. Well, I’ve finally written a piece I know I’ll never use, so here is an example of my ‘humor writing’.

Main Street was totally covered, at least five feathered bodies thick the entire strip, but in places the birds were ten deep. A few of the shop windows had collapsed under the pressure, and everywhere there was pandemonium. The only places in town that seemed to be alright were the butcher’s place and the KFC at the end of the main drag.

“Well,” Lawrence said as he looked grimly down at the chicken flooded town, “I guess we can’t call the town “Eggless” anymore.”

It all started the previous day when Lawrence Dean, the foreman of the Eggless chicken house decided to take a nap. His niece, Patience and her brother Jackson were out playing on the mountain again, meaning he had at least an hour to himself before he had to start cooking dinner for them. They’d been his brother’s kids before he and his wife had gotten themselves killed in a car accident. Now they were Lawrence’s responsibility.

He set a stack of orders for the chicken house off to the side of his computer. He’d take care of that later, after he’d had his nap. Feeling satisfied, he kicked off his boots and climbed into the old cot he called his bed. Less than ten minutes later he was snoring. He didn’t wake up when the front door creaked slowly open.

“I can’t believe you have to poo,” Patience whispered to her younger brother as she peered carefully into the living room. “We ain’t supposed to come home for another hour.”

“I can’t help it, Patty, I gotta go!” Jack said back in what he thought was a whisper.

“Well hurry up,” she said, “And don’t let Uncle Lawrence catch you. He was real mad the last time we came home early.”

Jack nodded and scampered off to the bathroom, leaving Patience with nothing to do. Sighing, she settled on going over to the computer and see if she could get one of the games working today. As she sat down, she noticed the order forms sitting on the desk. She flipped through them once before deciding she would help her uncle. Maybe it would make him less grouchy than he usually was. Ever since she and her brother had come to live with him in Eggless, he’d made it very clear he’d never wanted kids, and actually couldn’t afford to keep the two of them. Patience tried to make herself useful wherever she could to try to make up for annoying him.

The program to order more chickens was a familiar one. She’d seen her uncle make these orders a hundred times and was confident she could do it, even if she’d never actually been allowed to use it before. She opened the thing and looked at the order form. Two thousand. That was a lot of chickens. If that was what Uncle Lawrence wanted, though, she’d get it for him. Looking back at the screen she typed in 20000 chickens, checked the overnight delivery box and hit ‘Send’. A moment after she’d hit send, she realized that was the wrong amount. Quickly she hit the ‘Back’ button and tried again. 2000 chickens, overnight delivery, send. An error message came up this time, so she hit the back button and tried again. It took two more tries before she no longer got the error message.

“Patty, I’m done,” Jack called just a little too loudly as he hurried back into the room.

“Me too,” Patience replied, grinning. “Ready to go, cue ball?”

“You can’t make fun of my hair,” Jack said, pouting, “Uncle Lawrence says your hair is dirty enough he should shave your head too.”

“Shut up,” Patience snapped, “Let’s go.” Taking her little brother’s hand she stalked out of the house with him.

Later that night, after everyone had gone to bed, the phone rang. Lawrence picked it up.

“Hello?” He said sleepily.

“Mr. Dean?” Said a man on the other end.

“Yeah, Bob, what is it?”

“We’ve got a problem up here at the chicken house. Seems you might have ordered too many.”

Damn, and he thought he’d double checked that too. “Just put them all in the house, we can sort it out in the morning.”

“Are you sure?” Bob asked, sounding uncertain, “There’s an awful lot of them here.”

“It’s just for one night, they’ll be fine,” Lawrence told him.

“Alright, if you’re sure.”

“I’m sure. Goodnight, Bob.”

The next day after breakfast, Lawrence took the two children with him up to the chicken house. Having them occasionally help out up there was about all the use he could get out of the two without having the state come down on his head with child labor laws. And he’d promised his brother he’d take care of the kids, which meant no social workers.

The Eggless Chicken Farm, named after the town in the hollow below, was precariously perched on the side of the mountain. Held up on one side by stilts, it would definitely not have passed any kind of modern building codes. Thankfully it had been built almost seventy five years ago during the New Deal era when people weren’t so worried about that kind of thing. Lawrence had never before worried about it, but today he did. He could see as they approached that the whole building was actually moving a little as it hung there on the mountain side.

“What in tarnation…Jack, Patience, get out and go start shoveling chickens!” The second thing that had caught his eye was the literal mountain of chickens that were being dropped off in front of the chicken barn. The two children leapt out of the truck as soon as it came to a stop and ran over to start moving chickens.

“What happened?” Jack asked as he threw chickens through the open doors.

“I..I don’t know,” his sister answered, “I guess..well maybe I ordered wrong, but there couldn’t be this many, could there?”

Her brother shrugged, and they kept throwing chickens. It looked like they’d be able to get all the chickens in without too much trouble. Then they heard the poultry truck coming.

Patience’s eye widened in horror. “Shovel faster, Jack! There are more chickens coming!” They moved chickens as fast as they could, but in the end, they had to get out of the way as the truck backed up to the door of the barn. Slowly the back raise to dump chickens off, their feathery bodies sliding out of the truck and into the enclosure. Patience and Jack came out of hiding to watch as the truck drove away, each holding a chicken. Lawrence saw them just in time to watch Jack go to put his in the barn.

“Jack, don’t!” It was too late, though, with a sickening crack, the bottom of the barn gave way, and the tidal wave of chickens headed towards Eggless had begun.


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