The Coop

Reads: 79  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 4

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Original image: Pixabay.com. Edited by Hullabaloo22.

The Coop

Rory McCallum backed the truck right up to the chicken shed, then once it was in position he opened up the doorway. The sound from inside the shed was pretty deafening, and that was without even thinking about the stench. The chickens began to surge forward in a bid for freedom, but before they had a chance to escape, Rory was back inside the truck and tipping the new members of the flock inside.

For a moment it looked like a tidal wave of feathers, with the occasional foot or beak popping into view before disappearing again. Without so much as a glance at the birds, Rory secured the door shut, trapping a wing inside it and breaking it off. The bird would probably be dead by morning; one to go to the meat plant and it would not be going alone. They never did.

The fact was that the poultry he farmed were valuable both dead and alive. If they weren’t producing eggs he had no hesitation in culling them. Rory kept the birds well fed, making them perfect fodder for the meat stores too.

Inside the shed was chaos. Many more than one chicken had been injured during the dumping process. There was a handful of the new ones unable to get to their feet, but double that of the older birds. Chickens approached them, nudged the bodies hoping to find at least some signs of life. One gave a final gasp, but the others had already passed away.

Even though it made the far end of the shed even more crowded than it would have been, the survivors, old and new, retreated into a huddle, only moving forward in ones and twos to get some of the scattered food. It was an insult, an atrocity, and the chickens had had enough. Somehow they would get their revenge on the man who looked at them as nothing more than products to be sold for the best price.

Chickens are not naturally hostile creatures, but anything living has the potential. They did not have claws that would inflict life-endangering wounds, and they did not have teeth that could bite and tear. No, the chickens did not have much going for them in the way of natural weapons; just beaks and feathers. The farmer might think of them a being harmless; the odd time that one had pecked at him and broken skin, Rory had swiftly broken the offender’s neck and added it to the pile of poultry corpses.

It was not until the following day that the farmer returned to the shed. In his hands he had a sack of feed which he poured into the hopper. Usually once that was done the chicken would come bustling forwards but for some reason they stayed, clustered and cramped, at the back of the barn. There was the odd clucking and fluttering of wings, but overall they seemed very subdued. Hopefully they were not sick. If there was the slightest rumor of avian flu, the agricultural officials would swoop in and destroy the lot, paying him a pittance in compensation. He’d put in another order, boost the numbers, just so any shortfalls wouldn’t be noticed by the people he regularly supplied.

Decision made, Rory turned his back on the chickens that were alive and focused on the bodies of the dead. In his mind, he added up the figures. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The chickens began to advance, for once silently. The only sounds came from the birds that remained at the far end of the shed. This began to make more noise as more and more of their companions moved stealthily towards the farmer.

They had him almost surrounded before he noticed them. Frowning for a moment at their odd behaviour, Rory stood up, dropping the corpse he was holding into the sack. He clapped his hands loudly, shouted: “Go on with yer, unless yer want to end up in this here sack too.”

The chickens held their ground, silently eyeing their enemy. Suddenly one managed to lift itself from the ground and hurl itself at the farmer. He batted it away but it did him no good, for where there had been one attacking him, there were dozens. When those dropped back there were plenty more to take their place.

Rory was forced to cover his face with his eyes, leaving him with just his feet to defend himself with. With the birds coming at him in all directions it did not take long for him to lose his balance. Once the farmer was on his knees, the birds moved in to smother him. Rory put up a fight, but soon his mouth became full of feathers, his nose blocked by the warm bodies that pressed against him.

It didn’t take long for the man to stop moving. The door to the shed stood slightly ajar, just as Rory McCallum always left it when bringing in feed. The chickens were free, or rather they would be as soon as they had finished eating. For once, the tables would be turned, and instead of poultry being on the menu, it was man.

 

 


Submitted: April 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Mike S.

Chickens turned flesh-eating peckers-excellent and disturbing, Hull

Sat, April 3rd, 2021 6:49pm

olive tree

Poetic justice but romantic

In reality the cycle continues

Chickens will never take revenge for unjust treatment. Just like humans will continue to ignore the moral issues inherent in farming chickens, salmon, cattle... what have you.

Orwell said revenge is sour, anyway. What can you do?

Sun, April 4th, 2021 12:10am

Author
Reply

Oh, yes. I know that in reality it would never happen, but I do like to let the animal kingdom get its revenge in fiction.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Sun, April 4th, 2021 1:30am

JE Falcon aka JEF

Hmm, farmer-fed chickens, or is that farm-fed.

Sun, April 4th, 2021 12:14am

AdamCarlton

"The chickens that stay together, prey together."

Or something like that ... . :)

Sun, April 4th, 2021 2:35pm

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