Train Wreck
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Train Wreck

 Frank Sloan
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 Frank Sloan
Train Wreck
by Frank Sloan  FollowFollow
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Former small town cop, cow hand and general flunky; Frank Sloan lives and writes at the Dead Rabbit Ranch. He raises chickens and goats when...read more he's not busy dreaming about bombarding all the politicians with bottle rockets.
Train Wreck
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IT WAS A DAY SO WINDY my train of thought blew off its tracks.

Dozens of unwritten stories tumbled out of the wreck like cheap dime store freight.

I was stunned. All I could do was gape at the disaster...  

My flock of hens didn’t hesitate. They sprang into action. They attacked the spilled baubles like the natural born looters that they are.

You probably think I’m exaggerating. You probably believe chickens are some of God’s gentle creatures.

You’re wrong.

If you ever get a chance, watch a flock of hens go after a grasshopper that inadvertently flies into their coop. It’s brutal. Chickens have a sickening reptilian savagery about them that explodes when they get a chance to hunt.

I see the genes of a T Rex at work when chickens hone in on prey. They’ll slash each other in a battle for the prize. They’ll attack anything in their way, including me.

I stepped back and watched those vicious beaks hack and shred my stories in ways no spiteful, petty critic could ever dream up. The stories, being stories, had no defense. They couldn’t flee. They couldn’t fight back.

Feathers and verbs swirled in a furious cloud. Broken nouns littered the ground and gashed adjectives crumpled where they fell.

I saw one hen with a long modifier in her beak. Another hen rushed up and chomped down on the head of that modifier as it hung to the side of the first chicken’s beak. They both gave a tug and the modifier was beheaded right in front of me.

My stomach turned over and my heart sank into it.

That kind of brutal indifference to decent words can change the very core of a person  

I had to shield my eyes until the carnage was over. When I looked again, every single story had been shredded into gibberish.

After that frenzy, the chickens just drifted away. A few of them moved around to the side of the barn and began to take their dust baths. A few others hopped up on the bed of an old dead pick-up and began to preen.

I grew furious at how casual they were about destroying my stock. A few of those plots might have been saved. Certain twists out of other scenarios could have been grafted onto future tales.

But, no. Those cold blooded avian thugs left me nothing to work with. They put me completely out of business. I doubt I can get another train of thought shipped in for days or even weeks.

In the meantime those bitches expect me to keep on feeding them and filling their water founts.  They treat me like they owned the place and I was just a hired hand with some funny little packages in his head.

It’s an absolute outrage. Somebody should do something.

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