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Attack of the Giant Chickens

by Ryan Matthew Harker 3 months ago in Short Story
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By Ryan Matthew Harker

It's Finger Lickin'

The wickedly sharp beak snapped and I remember thinking if any had still been alive a velociraptor couldn’t have been a fiercer adversary. It moved with extraordinary speed but blinking away the blood in my eyes I made a mad dash for the car anyway. It was a move of desperation and one I was sure I wouldn’t live to regret. But I did live and I didn’t regret it because just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, just when I thought it was over she arrived- the woman of my dreams.

Apparently she just blazed into town on her shiny, black and chrome Harley. I don’t really know for sure as I was a little busy running for my life but the facts support it. And speaking of facts, it’s a fact I didn’t hear the bike as she rode up. In fact I didn’t even hear the shotgun blast when she emptied it into the squawking, flapping, giant chicken that was chasing me across the parking lot. It’s crazy what fear will do to a person, pure, focus induced tunnel vision that forces you to concentrate on one thing and one thing only, achieving your goal of remaining completely unscathed, which in this case happened to involve getting to a car, any car, so I could jump through a window.

Anyway I reached the automobile I had chosen, a little red Fiero. It was close to the ground and offered the chicken a limited chance of success to get in after me. The bike screeched up without a squeak and the shotgun blasted without so much as a sound as I hurled myself full force, head first through the sports car’s narrow driver side window and landed in a shower of glass, curled up in a ball on the passenger seat. I don’t know how long I stayed that way but my hearing must have come back because it suddenly dawned on me that I heard someone laughing, sweet laughter too. It took me completely by surprise because the last thing I remember hearing was that horrible squawking, like nails on a blackboard but worse. I sat up slowly and looked around.

From my view out the shattered driver’s window her bike sat prettily perched on its kickstand and she sat sideways on its black seat with her long white legs stretched prettily out in front of her. I thought it was sort of odd that she was riding a motorcycle in a flower print sundress but I certainly wasn’t complaining. The shotgun leaned beside her against the bike and her chest heaved behind her crossed arms as each chuckle escaped her full, cherry red lips; she had green eyes. The visor of her helmet was up. I couldn’t make out the color of her hair from beneath it but it could have been any color, hell she could have been bald and it wouldn’t have mattered because she- was- hot!

So I decided, unless this gorgeous angel of death was enticing me out to the slaughter with beautiful peals of gentle laughter, it should be safe to exit the vehicle. I climbed out of the Fiero’s annihilated window and caught my first glimpse of the blood spattered bird lying on the asphalt. Explains the shotgun, I thought right before I cursed myself for not just opening the door. I picked myself up from beside the car and leaned against the damaged automobile, looked down at the bird, then back at her. “Hungry?” I asked casually. “I think I saw a KFC down the block.” Suffice to say I got a little concerned when she laughed herself over backwards off the bike.

You can never be too concerned about that type of girl though, she was ok except for some cuts and bruises; and by that type of girl I do mean crazy. And although I’ve never been the kind of guy to ride on the back of a motorcycle, she offered. I’ve also not been the type of guy to refuse a ride from a crazy woman; in my experience they tend to want to run you over for some reason… especially if they’re drunk. So we rode off into the sunset so to speak, well… the sunrise I suppose if you want to be exact, and we left that town in the dust with the hope that we were leaving the worst behind us. Ha, little did we know!

Yes I did say giant chicken. Yes, and blood spattered bird. Where are you from anyway? You know, actually, do you think it would be ok if I just started from the beginning? It might be easier to understand.

The beginning, yes the beginning, I think I’m going to call our present predicament Operation Broken Omelet. So let’s get cooking!

It was a cool day in August, raining. The rain was cold. There had been a cooling trend in Pacific Northwest weather systems for the last seven years. It started off one year with an especially rough winter (we got about six feet of snow where I lived) and was followed by an especially early but hot summer (80° in March is always a treat). The following winter was mild and wet. The next year was wet with a mild winter. On and on this went with less sunshine every year and every year getting colder with the Sun’s absence. So here we were in August, it was hardly 60° outside, two o’clock in the afternoon and raining, as I may have mentioned.

What I may not have mentioned was that at the time if I had said I was extremely fed up with the rain it would have been like saying The Beatles wasn’t one of the greatest musical sensations of the last century. And I don’t mean to whine here but it had been raining for nearly two years solid and it felt like six. I had seen rain every way you could possibly imagine. Have you seen that movie, about the guy who goes to ‘Nam and he describes all the different types of rain he experienced? No? Well whatever, I’ve seen more kinds of rain than him, let’s leave it at that. But it didn’t really matter what kind of rain we were having anymore because no matter what it was always the worst kind… cold. The only thing that’s worse than being wet is being wet and cold.

Well I suppose you’re right, being attacked by giant chickens is worse than being wet and cold.

Anyway it was August, it was raining, and it was cold. This caused people to stay indoors more. This and the fact that along with the rain the economy had been getting worse as well, which caused an abundance of people who really had nothing better to do to stay indoors also. And in this digital driven, technological society we lived in it was inevitable for people to find themselves on the internet.

Ah, the internet. It was a wonderful and dangerous device, wasn’t it? You could find the answers to all of mankind’s questions and then some. An amazing network of information; that internet really did let you surf right along. Making smooth transitions from one piece of data to another, to another, to another, the beauty of which being that you could never get outta the net in any less than an hour and you invariably forgot what had prompted your search in the first place once you’d gotten a few pages deep. And with all the sexual predators and scam artists you couldn’t trust anyone. No one on the internet was who they said they were! Why this one time I joined one of those internet dating sites. I met this beautiful woman. 5’ 9’, blonde hair, really big… well you get the drift, and when we finally got together for a real live date she turned out to be 300 lbs of pure baby-back ribs. I don’t think I had ever run that fast before the chickens. But hey, like I said, wonderful technology, right?

So it was raining and everyone was inside because of it.

Now the rain and the lack of sun caused numerous problems. There were floods and power outages. Crops failed and livestock were dead or dying. Fruit, produce, dairy, beef and pork costs skyrocketed as these things had to be imported from other parts of the States and the world. This was even harder on local farmers. They couldn’t raise the crops to sustain their families let alone their livestock and with the rising food cost, for most it became impossible to buy hay and grain for their animals too. But chickens on the other hand were thriving and while cows and pigs became less common, you started seeing more and more chickens.

At one point a massive community forum was created on the internet to discuss this situation. It was created by Foster Farms as a promo piece for their distribution department but it quickly become something so much more and the massive chicken grower had no choice but to release the site as public domain. I’m a member, was a member, and I’d just jumped on real quick to track the market price comparisons of chicken to other meats. Really I wasn’t a huge poultry fan to begin with, definitely preferred a good ol’ fashioned hamburger with cheese and bacon (oh man my mouth is watering just thinkin’ about it), I was more interested in knowing when beef was gonna make a comeback.

So I had just turned off my laptop (after exactly eighty-two minutes online) and pushed myself away from my desk when I heard the whine of foreign objects burning their way through the atmosphere. I turned just in time to catch out the window the smoke streams dissipating in the distance. Curious. Feeling a bit like Chicken Little I turned on the TV to see if there was anything being reported on the news and there wasn’t. Over the next few days I made phone calls to some people I knew but no one seemed to know anything. There was still nothing on the news and I hadn’t seen anything posted about it on the internet so with no luck in turning up any info on the whatevers it were that fell out of the sky I did the most practical thing I could think of, I forgot about it.

Man I wish I had had the foresight to further investigate that one!

You see those smoke streams turned out to be the arrival of one of the most exciting memes to hit humanity’s consciousness since the advent of Velcro- there is life outside this blue and green bubble that we call home and it just said hello! Nine contact points in North America (three of which were in our beloved Pacific Northwest), six contact points in South America, ten in Africa, four in Australia, and a baker’s dozen spread throughout Europe. No one knows where they came from or how they were able to impact the Earth from all directions, if they had rained down on us accidently or as a product of intelligent design, or anything else that could be even remotely construed as pertinent to the situation. What everyone does know- that is, what was able to be figured out by humanity’s greatest minds before the power went out- is these extraterrestrial invaders came down in what could only be described as seed pods. Out of the seed pods were dispersed microbes. Speculatively they mutated immediately upon exposure to Earth’s atmosphere to become symbiotic microorganisms with an affinity for avian species of, you guessed it, the Gallus Gallus Domesticus persuasion. It seems these alien symbiotic microorganisms were at least part of the reason for our currently deep fried situation.

The other contributing factor in Operation Broken Omelet brings us back to another major event from over five years ago, an earthquake, an underwater earthquake that cracked open the ocean floor off the coast of Japan. It was because of this earthquake that the whole chicken disaster was able to spiral so suddenly and utterly out of control.

This 9.0 seismic catastrophe triggered a ten meter high tsunami that devastated Japanese cities and countryside and ultimately lead to the biggest nuclear failure since Chernobyl when the tsunami damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility finally melted down. It was the aftermath from this naturally induced manmade disaster that no one could have predicted.

When the reactor ‘Bit the Big One’ radiation spewed into the atmosphere making the levels released while it melted down look like a trip to a Day Spa. So you know all this already, huh? Well do you know where all the radiation went from there? It condensed into clouds and went raining down all over the planet; that’s where it went! And where has it been raining the most for the last seven years? That’s right, the Pacific Northwest. Our Pacific Northwest, this Pacific Northwest! And how many seed pods fell here? Yep, three.

Things wouldn’t have been nearly as bad if it weren’t for that earthquake. (I’ve heard the chickens in Africa are only the size of Labradors. Man wouldn’t that be nice!) The best I can figure the un-irradiated, symbiotic microorganism infected fowls didn’t change much once shackled with their little hitchhikers but the radiated birds, well the radiation spawned an immediate mutation. There was a sudden and exponential increase in size and aggressiveness, like some genetic switch had been thrown reconnecting our tasty little friends with their larger saurian ancestors. This change seemed to manifest almost overnight. The region was overwhelmed, as was much of the country, and the world to a lesser extent.

I woke up three days after I’d seen the smoke streams and it was another cloudy, grey, wet, cold, miserable day. I need to move to Mexico, I thought to myself as I stood by the kitchen sink and stared out at the soggy morning, burning my tongue with my black coffee. If it weren’t for the fact the drug cartels had won the drug war and established a military dictatorship three years earlier the idea of flying south to Mexico definitely held appeal. And why shouldn’t it?! It’s not raining down there right now! I turned away from the kitchen window to go watch the news. I’d only been up for about fifteen minutes and I’d already decided the day wasn’t going to get any more exciting when….

“….the devastation is terrible here in the Portland Metro Area as the reports of giant chicken attacks continue to flood in. Let’s go to our woman in the streets where she’s reporting from the Saturday Market, Sophie.”

The picture on my 47” LED changed from the stuffy news anchor and the relative comfort and safety he enjoyed in the network studio to a scene of absolute carnage and anarchy as a lovely but terrified reporter attempted to put a brave face on the madness sweeping along the waterfront.

“Thank you, Pete. As you can see around me the situation is one of chaos and brutality. Downtown Portland is in ruins today as an epidemic of ravenous, giant chickens rage through our fair city. If you look behind me you can see the mutilated remains of those unlucky enough to fall victim to these dreadful attacks.”

The camera panned away from the reporter and displayed the blood and gore that was all that was left of commuters who had kissed their wife goodbye for the last time, eaten their last Pop Tart, or wished for the last time that they could afford to drive to work instead of getting soaked on that damned bicycle. It was pretty gross to witness but short lived as the camera panned back to Sophie.

“Have the police had any luck in containing the situation, Sophie?”

“No Pete, they haven’t. Police Chief Mike Reese was not available for…”

The pitch and yaw of the camera became jostled and the woman’s news report was cut off mid sentence as a large, feathered animal crashed into her and knocked her off screen. There was a short but piercing scream and the cameraman re-jostled the camera until it centered on a giant chicken about the size of a Jeep Liberty. The chicken had poor Sophie pinned down with one large claw and was furiously pecking at her already dead body. There was blood everywhere and the network wasted no time in cutting the feed.

I have to admit for most of the broadcast I was wondering why our valuable news hours were being wasted on this piece of science fiction but after seeing the look in the reporter’s eye right before the blood crazed bird swallowed her severed head I knew it was anything but fiction.

My coffee sat ignored by a stack of outdated girly and four wheel drive magazines on the coffee table beneath my feet. My head was reeling and my stomach felt a little sick. I always knew the world was gonna end I just didn’t know it was gonna end with a chicken entrée. I retrieved my java and enjoyed its warmth; it wasn’t hot enough to burn me anymore. I was going to need some weapons, this much activity my addled brain was able to produce as the ingested caffeine forced it into action. I had a double barreled twelve gauge and a .45 cal Desert Eagle in my bedroom but ammo was scarce and expensive since Obama firearms activists started campaigning against our constitutional gun rights the last year of his Presidency. I had a box of shells for each but if Portland was any indication I’d need more.

I’d been driving for forty-one minutes and I still wasn’t to the local ammo shop. The closest distributer of quality ammunition for thirty miles may have been Cougar Store but Cougar is even further into the mountains. I opted to go in the opposite direction to Chelatchie which is only a ten minute drive from my house, normally.

My mind wondered if normal would ever be normal again as I surveyed the road in front of me for more gruesome obstacles to detour around. I’d already come across a three car, two chicken pile up as soon as I’d hit Lewis River Road. One of the chickens was under one of the cars still alive and squawking feebly. It sounded pretty pitiful and for a moment there I toyed with the idea of putting it out of its misery but these aren’t really humanitarian times now, are they? I decided I couldn’t afford to expend the round.

It took me ten minutes to clear that mess and get back on route again and I was just about to shift into fourth when a young girl, she couldn’t have been no more than fourteen, ran right out in front of me and I had to slam on the brakes again. I stared at her as she stared at me as she ran by. The moment seemed to stretch on forever while we locked eyes. Her face is burned in my brain forever. And so is what happened right after that. Two chickens, one black and white and the other tan, burst across the road after her. The girl squealed in terror and stumbled as she left the asphalt for loose rock and sticks. Wings flapping and beaks snapping the angry beasts clucked happily as they brought their prey down.

There wasn’t any time for me to act; at least it was mercifully swift. The birds were too busy enjoying their fresh meat to notice when I snuck over quietly from the truck and put a bullet in both their bird brains on pure principle.

So this is the world we find ourselves in now, a chicken eat human world.

Chelatchie Store proved to be a gutted out, smoking shell of a structure and Amboy Market was literally wrecked with a log truck jutting out its side. On to Fargher Lake Store proved much of the same and all along the way I was slowed by and forced into combat with these ferocious feathered fiends. Even if I had wanted to I couldn’t’ve turned back. My ammo reserve was gone like an acid junkie at a Grateful Dead concert and my rig’s gas gage was quickly dropping into the red. I had no choice but to keep steering towards Battle Ground. Big mistake there.

Three and a half hours after my morning coffee and I was slowly rolling through the intersection of 503 and 502. Considering the mayhem that plagued me throughout the countryside Battle Ground seemed unnaturally serene, empty but serene and I kept my eyes peeled for any hostiles while I pulled up next to the fuel pump. I went into the Village Mart Chevron and turned on the gas pump, grabbing a pack of smokes on my way out. It had been five years since I’d had a cigarette but taking that first drag it was like I had never quit. What do you mean? I thought I was gonna die! In the face of that, what’s a cigarette? Whatever, anyway I was feeling pretty good as I turned west on 502, aiming my nose towards LL Guns. I didn’t want to head any further south and LL’s was the next closest ammo dump.

The chickens surrounded me on all sides. It happened so fast I felt like Barry Allen. They had me boxed in and with a loud POP! I felt the left-rear tire go flat so I punched it and yanked the wheel hard to the left. Go to Hell CHICKENS! The squawk-boxes flapped away amidst much annoyed clucking but by then I was already jumping the curb and skewing out of control towards Rocky’s Pizza. I hit my head hard on the steering wheel as my vehicle imbedded itself into Rocky’s front porch and the lights went out for a moment.

I pretty much told you what happened after I woke up. Yeah, thing’s didn’t really work out with us. Actually she was eaten by a giant chicken right after she tried to run me over, not-too-pretty. Surprisingly no, she was sober. So what do ya think? Rebuilding civilization you say? I suppose you could count me in on that; I didn’t really expect to live this long. Damn chickens need to be taught who’s really in charge of this planet! We’re on top of the food chain around here!

Short Story

About the author

Ryan Matthew Harker

Ryan has given up on the rat race of business to concentrate on becoming the creative being he truly is. As an author and an artist he strives to bring fun and entertainment to all!

Thank you and enjoy the ride!

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  • Ryan Matthew Harker (Author)3 months ago

    I hope you had as much fun reading this, as I had writing it. Salutations, and have a wonderful day!

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