The End of Earth Part Two

The Stars in the Shape of a Chicken

“How did you get out here?” The mother replied.

The stranger answered with a strangely high-pitched voice. “I’ve been traveling for the past few months.” His mouth was muffled beneath the layers of scarves. “Please I’m begging you.”

Their mother noticed his orange beak beginning to peak out from underneath his clothes. “Okay, fine come in.”

Little Avion and Cormac screamed as his lumbering round body stepped into the cabin letting in a gust of cold air with him.

The man pulled off his scarves revealing an orange beak and yellow feathers iced over by the snow. His beady eyes, flitting back and forth, took in the surroundings, and immediately focused on the bright fire. Clucking with excitement he hopped across the room and roosted near the edge of the flame.

“ARE YOU A CHICKEN?” Cormac cried out.

Their mother snapped back, “girls, be quiet.”

Avion rebutted. “Isn’t he going to try and kill us?”

“No,” the chicken answered. “I’m not going to hurt you. I only want a place to warm up for a while and I will be on my way.”

Avion asked with a quiver on her lip. “How are you even speaking to us right now?”

“We all speak English where I come from.”

“Why are you out here?” Their mother asked.

“I wanted to see what there was to behold at the end of the earth. Not many of us care about exploring, but what few I could find I brought with me.”

“What happened to them?”

The chicken’s eyes glossed over. “They didn’t make it.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” She responded while smiling over at Cormac and Avion, in an effort to try and ease their concern.

“Your species have survived out here for hundreds of years. I’m amazed.”

With a sigh she disagreed and poured some water into a jug that sat in the middle of the kitchen. “Well don’t be, it’s something we were taught. You never learned I suppose.”

“Yes, that is in fact the truth. We never expected the ground to be so unstable. Or the temperatures to be this cold.”

“It gets worse the further north you go.” She warned him while putting the pot of water on the fire.

“Thank you.” The chicken explained, “by the way my name is Samson.”

“It is good to meet you Samson. My name is Kathy and this is Cormac and Avion.” Everyone in the room stood still. Samson’s presence was massive. Sitting by the fire he seemed like he could jump up and attack them at any time. Samson looked over at the two little girls, with his eyes flitting back and forth between their terrified faces.

“You know what we eat right?”

Kathy stepped towards the bed.

“Worms. HaHa. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking I would be interested in you little Avion.”

Avion pulling closer to her older sister, whimpered, and asked, “so you don’t eat people?”

“No, we don’t eat people. Is that what you’ve been teaching her up here?” Samson turned towards Kathy.

“Well,” Kathy winked towards Avion. “She’s just a child and a quite an imaginative one at that.” A warmer silence took hold of the cabin as Kathy pulled the water off the fire and poured it into some mugs. “We don’t have much, but it’s something.”

Samson, dipping his beak in the mug and taking a few small sips of the hot tea, turned back to watch the flame. “I guess they were right in the end…I suppose it’s better I die out here.”

Kathy sitting next to him and watching the fire as well answered. “Well, you’re a fool. That’s for sure, a fool who stumbled upon the right home. There is no way you can spend the night though.”

Samson nodded his head in understanding, before looking over at the Cormac and Avion who were staring at him with wide eyes. “Easy little one.” Samson stepped over to the bedside and laid down. Resting his head by her hand, he whispered, “can I tell you a story?”

Avion nodded her head, scooching as far away from his beak as she could. Samson raised his head and looked over at Kathy.

“Do you mind if I tell one story before I leave?”

“Sure, but make it quick, I’m not sure when my husband will be back.”

“Okay great I think a quick story would be the one about the worm Noodle. You see because once upon a time chickens and worms were friends. In fact, one of Noodle’s first ever friends was a chicken named Greg.

Noodle and Greg met each other when they were out on the farm looking for something to eat. They both felt fortunate to have discovered the same patch of nutritious wheat grass.

‘Wow, I never seen anyone with a neck as strong as yours.’ The worm complemented Greg, and Greg was a cocky bastard, so he took the compliment very well. He ate up every compliment that he got.

‘Thank you for noticing,’ Greg pretended to graze as he thought of another compliment to return. ‘I love how skinny you are.’

‘Thanks, my name is Noodle.’ The pair of unlikely friends hit it off immediately.

As they got to know each other more and more Greg learned that Noodle didn’t really have a comfortable place to sleep at night. So, Greg offered his feathers for a bed.

Then Noodle came back and explained that he needed some more feathers for his family.

Noodle knew Greg wouldn’t say no, so he started asking for more. ‘Do you think you could give me one of your toes? It will help my family eat.’

Greg was happy to help Noodle’s family eat, so he pecked off one of his claws.

Noodle asked for a wing next, then some more of his feathers, and his foot after that.

Piece by piece Greg dismantled himself to help his friend, because Greg was like all other chickens he was extremely loyal. But Noodle took advantage of that generosity, until one day Noodle returned to the patch of grass where they met, and Greg was gone.”

“That was a sad story!”

At that moment, the door burst open. Everyone in the cabin scrambled themselves with Kathy immediately running towards her husband and Greg diving underneath the bed, but he was too big so his butt just hung out the side of it.

“What the hell is going on here?”

“He was just on his way?” Kathy shouted, as their father pulled at Samson’s feathery tale sticking out from beneath the bed.

“You know what these things did to us?”

“Samson is an explorer.”

“Ha yeah that seems likely, I bet he’ll go straight back to them after he killed you guys.”

“N- N- No, I– “

“I don’t care what you have to say, you’re not going to hurt my family.” As their father pulled the gun from his belt Kathy was pulling at his arm.

“This is finally time for revenge for what you guys did to us hundreds of years ago.”

“STOP” Avion screamed as a gigantic boom reverberated through the cabin. The girls grew silent, trying to look past their father.

Samson dashed out of the room, leaving the door open as he left, disappearing into the night. Kathy took the gun out of her husband’s frozen hand and closed the door. “Alright, well I guess that’s the end of this story, hopefully we never run into him again.”