Henpecked

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Calvin loves to get in to his truck to escape his wife's 'henpecking'.

Submitted: September 29, 2018

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Submitted: September 29, 2018

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Henpecked.

Calvin climbed in to the truck’s cab. No, not Calvin, he was now Cal; only Fiona insisted on calling him by his full name. At work, with his mates, anywhere he wanted to be, it was plain and simple Cal, with not even an echo of the ‘vin’.

Her voice was still echoing in his head. Nag, nag, nag; when did Fiona get like this or had it been in their youthful lust he’d just never noticed. Even as he was going out of the doors she was going on about all the household tasks he’d promised to do and as yet were still not even started.

Oh, and he mustn’t forget it was his turn to pick out the presents for the incredibly picky twins they’d been blessed with. Neil and Nicola, both to be eight years old and already they’d learned to pick faults in every single thing. Where she thought he’d be shopping at Cal had no idea, but Fiona clearly remembered how he had laughed last year when they had ridiculed the gifts that she had chosen.

Nag, nag, nag! Blah, blah, blah,” he muttered, but one in the seat, with the engine roaring to life he could put all the moans from at home out of his mind.

A long trip, this one, but apart from the initial run, and the end, it would be pretty much a straight cruise. Mile after mile of being his own man, no one to complain or to distract his thoughts. So long as he kept half an eye on the road it would all go fine.

There was no great rush, not with this one. Chickens, hundreds of them, thousands even, for all he knew. He wasn’t going to waste his time counting, no way. All he had to do was drive. With his favourite country and western songs, booming round the cab, he popped the tab on a can of beer and took a deep swig.

There was virtually no other traffic on the highway now, not this far out of town, let alone any police. He tossed the can from his window, popped open another and began to sing along. All thoughts of Fiona as she was had gone from his mind; she was back to how he remembered her at the start. Happy, not at all bitter or disillusioned; interested in nothing more than making him feel good.

By the third can he was starting to get a bit bored with nothing more than open road stretching before him. Maybe he could have a bit of fun, give the chickens a bit of excitement before they met their early deaths.

There was no sign of a vehicle coming either way so he swung the wheel to the left and then back to the right, the swerving motion travelling all the way to the back of the truck.

* * * *

The chickens had never had much of a life. They had been forever cooped up, in cramped and overcrowded conditions. Not one of them had ever experienced the light of day, just the dim never changing light within the barn.

Of course, it could be argued that they didn’t mind; that they had never known any different. And there was a certain truth that you could not really miss what you had never known. That applied to any kind of living thing really, even human beings.

Birds have been found to be far from stupid; the bird-brain tag that was always used so disparagingly could actually in many places be a compliment. These chickens were only too well aware of where they were heading but might have been lulled in to some kind of acceptance of their fate were it not for Cal’s antics with the steering wheel.

As they stumbled and bumped and fluttered against each other, trying to stay on their feet, their hysteria grew. As a group they put out a cry for help, no doubt not expecting any to arrive. For they were just birds, bred for the table; who would care about them.

The Corvidae heard. Although not the same species, they were still birds and could feel the desperate distress that was being carried within the cries. They took to the skies in great black clouds, searching for the source of the distress. Not too hard to spot the truck, on an all but empty highway, first one, then another flew in closer to investigate.

Cal saw them in the mirrors, the crows flying around the crates. He pulled backwards and forwards faster on the wheels, trying to knock the crows away. If he’d not been so intent on what was going on behind him, Cal might have noticed the huge black murder of crows that flew down straight towards the front of the truck. The windscreen cracked with the force of their blows and soon the cab was full of black wings, sharp beaks and talons quite competent at ripping up live prey.

The truck, the entire huge length of it, tipped and tipped until it could no longer stay on it’s wheels at all and tumbled over. The crates broke apart, opened, skidded down the road. The chickens, and most had survived, were free.

Cal had been thrown from the truck. He lay unmoving on the road, surrounded by crows and an increasing number of chickens that showed no fear of their rescuers. The crows feasted, but were happy to share. If Calvin had remained alive long enough, he would have learned just what it truly felt like to be henpecked.


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