The light of the coming dawn tainted the inky blackness of the horizon as I hurried back to my dwelling. Another fruitless night searching for the monster that roosted somewhere within the grounds had left me despondent and weary of spirit. Soon the dawn would bathe the world in golden fire and it would awake. I had no time to lose, and retreated to the safety of the cold stone walls as quickly as my aching limbs would allow.
Not a moment too soon. I had barely reached the safety of my shelter and thrown the heavy oaken doors closed behind me when its call echoed through these dark dank halls.
Buck Buck BUCKAWK!
The demon fowl’s call chilled my very blood. I hurried from room to room, checking every ingress. Eventually, satisfied that my sanctuary was secure, I retreated to my study to await the coming of the dark that my search may continue under the safety of its onyx folds.
I was rarely granted the blessing of sleep but yet it seemed that I had dozed, for I awoke to a rap rapping upon the sturdy oak of the front door.
Was it the demon, taunting me? Tapping upon the wood with its sharp pointed beak and waiting for me to, bleary eyed, throw it open to my demise?
No. A voice called from the threshold and the jangling of the long disused bell by the door confirmed the presence of another living soul. Were they mad? I must act quickly before they too fell prey to the monster that stalked the gardens of the home that had become my prison.
I made haste to the entrance hall and threw open the door. Upon my threshold stood a callow youth dressed in a brown uniform bearing the insignia DHL inscribed upon it in golden thread. My eyes darted here and there, searching for my tormentor.
“Alright mate, got a delivery for you” said the youth, oblivious to my distress.
Then I heard it. The hell spawned sound that froze the very marrow of my bones.
A small russet head craned around the end of the house and evil yellow eyes regarded us with malicious intent. The fowl beast emerged from the undergrowth and began to race towards us, furiously flapping its wings to garner more speed.
“Quickly! Inside if you value your life” I yelled, and pulled the youth into the house, slamming the oaken door behind us. Not a moment too soon! Upon the door came the tapping of a razor sharp beak and a frustrated clucking.
“You know that’s just a chicken, don’t you?” said the youth, regarding me cautiously.
“That Sir is no ordinary chicken. Listen if you will, and I will recount the tale of that monstrous fowl.”
“I really need to get back to work mate, I got other deliveries.”
“I know you think me mad, but hearken to this tale of woe and judge for yourself once I have recounted it.”
“I made my fortune in the poultry business many years hence, and at first, life was good. This crumbling edifice was once a grand mansion, and my wife and I lived happily here for many a year, until the demands of the burgeoning fast food industry forced me to increase my productivity fivefold. I am ashamed to say that the conditions in which those birds lived and died were dreadful, cruel even. However my desire to increase my wealth spurred me onwards and of the animals well being I cared not.”
The youth yawned and made an obvious show of checking his time piece.
“The feathered demon arrived one morning and my wife, a gentle soul ventured outside to provide it with some grain and water, believing it to have strayed from a nearby farmer’s property. She was not twenty feet from that very door when the bird fell upon her in a fury, clawing and pecking at her tender skin until she lay quite dead, her once beautiful face a mass of bloody gristle. My faithful manservant Jenkins sallied forth with a shovel to slaughter the demon hen, but the creature proved wily, and secreted itself until he bent to examine my beloved’s corpse. I did not see the manner of his demise, but heard the furious clucking from the garden, and when I could bring myself to look from the window, he lay by my wife’s side, the monster perched atop his body, crowing in triumph. By the time night had fallen and the creature had gone to roost, all that remained of them both were a pile of white bones, with every morsel of meat pecked clean away. I have spent every night since searching the grounds for its roosting place that I may end my curse.”
The youth regarded me quizzically and said “Mate, it’s just a fucking chicken”. He turned and walked away, out of the front door to his fate.
I could not bring myself to look. I heard the screaming and the flapping, and knew that, come nightfall I would have another pile of gleaming white bones to dispose of. My heart sank.
A fluttering at the window roused me from my torpor. The bird sat perched on the windowsill, its russet feathers stained with blood. Within its beak it held an object. A gore covered eyeball that it swallowed in a single gulp before flapping away, into the gardens.
The police officer looked up from his notebook and said “So that’s your statement? The deceased was attacked by a demonic chicken? I’m afraid I am going to have to ask you to accompany me to the station sir.”
Horrified I begged with the officer to wait until the cover of darkness, however he was quite insistent.
He leads me now, in shackles of cold iron to his waiting vehicle. From behind me I hear the scampering of scaly feet and a low triumphant clucking, and I know that my time has come.