This was an idea my husband had, that I developed into a short for you all to read and have fun with. Enjoy!
by Rhiannon Paille
Carlos woke up and his chicken was gone. Not that it was a particularly special chicken, it was just that this chicken made him money and Carlos needed money.
He sprang off the sweat soiled beige couch and knocked the ashtray off the coffee table in front of him. The dingy little apartment in downtown Mexico City was atrociously dirty. Cigarette butt marks lined the yellow stained walls and cockroaches crept across the floors that hadn’t been vacuumed in years.
Carlos didn’t know what a vacuum cleaner was.
He cursed and grabbed the ashtray, leaving the ashes to mold into the carpet. Then he picked up the pack of smokes and shook it. One left. He pulled it out and put it to his lips. Even the taste of it was good enough. He spent another few minutes searching for the lighter and then breathed a sigh of relief as he took in a long drag.
He left the smoke hanging out of his mouth and went to the fridge. It was one of those round white fridges with the metal door hinges. This fridge door was falling off. He opened the door and scanned the contents of the fridge. Other than the sour milk it was empty.
He cursed under his breath and grabbed his short sleeve dress shirt. He threw it on over his muscle shirt and didn’t bother buttoning it up. Then he crossed the hallway and began banging on the door opposite his. A Middle Eastern man opened the door and stared at him.
“You look like shit man,” he said.
Carlos took the cigarette out of his mouth and gave the man a hard stare. “Did you see who stole my chicken Habibur?”
Habibur didn’t flinch. “Are you loco? I would never steal your chicken!”
Carlos shook his head and took off the down the hallway. Obviously his neighbor and acquaintance didn’t understand. He needed to find his chicken and he needed to find it fast. There was a bet on that chicken’s head, and without it, it would be Carlos’ head.
He clamored down the stairs and found himself in the busy streets of Mexico City. There were people milling all about the market place outside his apartment. He darted through the crowd in hopes that whoever took the chicken was still in the marketplace.
He scanned the shops. They were selling everything from grains and bread to carpets and lamps. There was a chicken coop, but they were brown chickens. His chicken was pasty white with flecks of black on his neck and a bright red beak. Carlos shook his head. That chicken was everything to him. Since he had found it a few months ago, it changed his life. He had always been a loser, owing friends money or favors. This chicken was his ticket freedom.
He glanced down an alleyway and saw a flash of a white feather. Carlos frowned and darted into the shady lane. He puffed on his cigarette and threw it on the ground. The shadows made the narrow pass feel like night. Carlos treaded forward carefully and felt his foot hit the edge of something. An open manhole. He stumbled and fell against the wall beside him and breathed a sigh of relief that he hadn’t fallen in.
Someone screamed from down there.
Carlos snapped back to attention and peered into the manhole.
“Please god no!” Someone shouted. They had a thick Spanish accent.
Carlos heard clucking noises and another scream from the man. He took a deep breath and then lowered himself into the manhole. He landed in the sludge and cursed under his breath. It was gross down there. Worse was that it was darker and Carlos had to squint to see anything. He carefully took a few steps forward and then paused.
“Fernando?” Carlos began. That was the chicken’s name. Fernando the Fighting Pheasant. Okay, so it wasn’t a pheasant, but the name fit.
There was a whimper from behind him. Carlos whipped around and started in the opposite direction. “If you’re the one who took my chicken you better not hope that you’ll –“ Carlos stopped in his tracks. He had been shaking his fist, but he slowly placed it at his side as he took in the scene before him. The man was lying in the sludge, barely visible in the light. On top of him was his chicken. Beautiful white feathered, red beaked chicken. Carlos gasped. Both of them were covered in blood and it looked like the chicken had attacked the man.
“Fernando!” Carlos scolded. Fernando had been in so many fights, but never with a human before, and he always won. He had a way of hypnotizing his prey and then going in for the kill. There was no betting against Fernando because he always won, even when up against the toughest cocks. “What have we talked about Fernando? You are a chicken, you fight chickens. You don’t bite people; you don’t eat rats, or cats or cockroaches. You’re a chicken!” He was rambling as he approached the man whom he assumed was still alive.
Suddenly, Fernando flapped his wings and leapt off the man. He clucked viciously at Carlos and beat his claws into the ground. Fernando wanted to finish with his prey, and wasn’t going to let Carlos stand in the way.
Carlos stumbled backwards and tripped on his own shoelace. He splashed into the sewage and let out a loud moan. As Fernando turned to finish what he had started, Carlos let out a scream. A bright white fang protruded from Fernando’s beak. Something so obviously wrong that even Carlos was afraid of it. He watched dumbfounded as Fernando buried his beak into the man’s neck, draining the blood from him.
When Fernando was finished his head snapped up and he faced Carlos with his beady eyes. Carlos felt himself descending into the trace he had seen Fernando put on so many other chickens and roosters and pheasants. He lost feeling in his hands and his feet as Fernando strutted towards him. The eye on the side of his head never broke contact as he approached Carlos.
Carlos was trembling on the inside, unsure of what to make of Fernando the Fighting Pheasant. He could see the blood dripping from his beak and knew that all his chicken wanted was blood. Carlos closed his eyes and saw the last four months flash before his eyes, the rats, the cockroaches, the cats, all of them, drained of blood, all of them with puncture wounds. Carlos assumed that was from Fernando’s beak, but now with his half inch fangs so close to his crotch he couldn’t deny the fact that the wounds had been from those fangs.
Carlos’ eyes opened in wonder and horror as he stared at Fernando. “Oh my god,” he whispered. “You’re a vampire chicken.”
Fernando clucked in response and then dug his fangs into Carlos’s crotch. Blood poured out from the wound and Fernando ate it up like it was dessert. Carlos screamed in agony and fell back into the sewage. He was paralyzed from the neck down. All he could think about was how stupid he had been to believe that a chicken could save his life. Instead, here he was dying at the hands of the one he thought would lead him to salvation. A vampire chicken.