I gathered the feed from a bucket in the barn and proceeded to pour the mixture of dried corn and grain into the trough. As soon as the feed hit the bottom, they came rushing. Running, running, the chickens all gathered around the feeding trough and gorged on their favorite food.
After it subsided, here he comes; strolling along, slow as molasses – William. He was quite the gentleman for being a rooster and has a brain the size of a walnut. He always let the ‘ladies’ go first; after all, if it weren’t for them, he wouldn’t have so many children.
“Mary,” mother screamed from the porch, “time for dinner.”
Setting down the bucket, I started up the trail that led up to the house.
My mother and I lived on a small ranch in Lewis County, Tennessee. Living in the country was marvelous. I was homeschooled, I got to get up in the morning and take care of the animals, and best of all I got to take in the fresh, country air that had sort of a sweet scent – paradise.
My feet scuffed the rough, dirt path as I followed it slowly up to the small house in the middle of the wilderness. As I reached the porch, I wiped the sweat of a long days work on my plaid shorts.
I opened the screen door with gumption, for the sweet smell of cornbread and pinto beans filled the air, and I was starving.
My boots clucked on the hardwood, mahogany floor and I proceeded into the kitchen.
“Mom, I can smell the Heaven from the cattle yard,” I said in my thick, country accent.
“Well, that’s saying something, because last time I was out there, all I could smell was the Heaven we call manure.”
I laughed at her comment, and sat down at the small, round kitchen table covered with a blue, plaid table cloth; in case you haven’t figured it out already, we liked plaid.
Mother stirred the pot of boiling beans and scooped some in a bowl, “Eat up sweetie, you’ve earned it.”
“It’s just a day’s work,” I said beaming.
“Honey, if it wasn’t for your help, I don’t even think this farm would still be running. After you father died, it’s been really hard lately; I’m just so grateful for all of your help,” she told me with a sincere look on her face.
“Thanks momma,” I think my smile grew wider.
“What you sitting there for, that cornbread aint going to cut itself,” she said sarcastically.
I grabbed the butter knife, and proceeded to cut the sweet, soft, homemade corn bread into 4×4 sections. I served my mother and me. We then took our bowl of beans and our plate of cornbread and headed outside on the porch to watch the sunset. We watched the yellow-orange sun sink behind the horizon till there was nothing left but darkness. The temperature quickly dropped and we cuddled on the porch-couch with a quilt and watched the stars.
“How many do you think there are?” I asked her as if she knew the answer to this impossible question.
“As many as you want there to be, sweetie.”
And with that, I fell asleep.
I was woken up by a loud crow coming from William. I look up at the sky and can tell by the position of the moon that it is around 3:00 A.M. I looked over beside me and see that my mother had gone inside to sleep, careful not to disturb me.
The loud, piecing sound of the rooster echoed again through the country side. Why would he do this?
I decide to go see what the matter was. Uncovering myself, my body was instantly exposed to the cool, night air. I cautiously slip on my shoes and head down the path toward the pen.
William crowed again, even louder.
When I arrived, I immediately knew something was wrong, an eerie feeling crept up through my entire body. I grabbed an ax lying beside the mounting stump and proceeded to open the gate. Right when I stepped foot in the pen, I could feel it; someone – something – was in there with me.
As I walked closer into the pen, the smell of dead animal filled my nostrils. My shoes walked over the soft hay as quietly as possible, but it was too loud, because the thing that was in here with me was alerted. I could tell by the tension in the room.
“Who’s there?” I yell into the darkness, fumbling with my flashlight.
I heard wretched gurgling noises as a silhouette of a skinny figure with an oval shaped head came into view.
My whole body trembled at its presence. My hand fumbled with the light.
The light flicked on and illuminated what stood in front of me – nothing. Whatever had just been there was gone. I waved the light back and forth just to make sure; there was nothing.
I then happened to look down at my feet to see mutilated, dead chicken. It lay there, lifeless. Its stomach had been torn out and its intestines lay scattered across the floor. The blood was thrashed all over the hay and started to coagulate from the cold air.
I could hear mother’s footsteps running down the pathway, “Are you okay?” she said emerging from the darkness with a shotgun in her hand. “I heard you scream and thought a coyote…” her voice trailed off as her dark, green eyes settled upon the mangled corpse of the chicken. “Did you…?” she trailed off yet again, realizing I would never do something like this
“There…was…I – I saw some – something,” I stuttered still in shock from what had happened. I walk over to her, shaking from the shock and cold air.
She sat down her shotgun and took me into her embrace. “Shh, honey, calm down,” she comforted me. “Let’s get out of the cold and go to sleep,” she said picking up her gun and leading me down the path toward home. “I’m sure it was just a coyote.”
I abruptly came to a halt, “Mom, what I saw…it – it was no coyote.”
She started me up again toward the house and said, “You just need to get some sleep, okay?”
As I lied in bed that night and looked outside my window, I could see all the way across the field. I stared long and hard, trying to come up with reasoning to what I saw, and as I stared, I saw, way out in the distance – where the sky meets the earth – a silhouetted figure just standing there, still. But the second I blinked, it was gone.
I awoke to the fresh smell of eggs and bacon.
Though it’s a little hazy, reminisce of what happened last night lingered in my head – the dark shadow, the mutilated chicken, all of it. I try to shake it off, but I can’t and I’m thinking about it all through breakfast and into most of the day. Soon though, as the day passed and routine starts to take over my mind, I eventually, almost completely forget.
The laboring day passed buy without a hitch, and I repeated the same night routine as I did before – without the falling asleep on the porch though.
As I was getting my bed ready for slumber, I heard mom shout from her bedroom, “Now, don’t have any bad nightmares, ya’ hear?”
I almost laughed at her ignorance of a four-year old, “I’ll try not to mother.” Then I lied down, and fell asleep.
I shivered, and my eyelids burst open. I soon realized that I was still surrounded by darkness. My pupils jump over and look at the alarm clock:
I need some water. I decided, thirsty as hell. Commanding my legs and arms to lift me off the bed, I am shocked to realize that they won’t move. I tried again, still, nothing. Coming to the realization that all I could was breathe and blink, I started to panic.
My ears catch the sound of the door hinges to my room opening. Maybe it’s just the house settling, I thought to comfort myself.
I heard the soft footsteps of something coming across the room. My eyelids reacted quickly and shut themselves as if by instinct.
My senses tingled, as I felt whatever was in my room reach the side of bed. I could hear it breathing at a steady slow tempo. In. Out. In. Out.
My body tensed – well at least I tried to make it tense – as I felt the cover being removed.
Dare I open my eyes?
I feel a warm, slimy hand rub my leg; it slowly goes up till’ it reaches my shoulders. Okay, that’s it.
My eyelids opened, and nothing prepared me for what I saw: two big, black oval shaped eyes stared down at me. Its grey skin covered it slippery, slimy face. Its arms were thin as a pencil and legs the same. It stood about eight feet tall.
It then soon realized that I had seen him (it?). It took off as fast as its skinny legs could take him, and was released by the clutch it had on me, so now I could freely move, and for the second time that week, I screamed.
By that night, I think mom was tired of my antics; I think I was too.
A week had almost past before anything eventful happened. I did some research and found many logical explanations to what happened those two nights, but of course, my crazy mind only believed the ridiculous (logical to me) answers.
Apparently, if a rooster crows at night, it is considered extremely bad luck. Also, rooster apparently crow only when they think they are in danger or something around them will cause them harm.
Now for the thing I saw…
The logical side of this equation is that I saw a coyote. My crazy, totally believable, side is that it was either an explosion inside the intestines of the chicken or…an E.T…
I’m going with the second one. They say that they usually carefully select there next victim by personality. I have no idea how they had interest in me, but considering I haven’t been bothered in awhile, let’s hope they lost interest.
I lied down in my bed and didn’t go to sleep for a long while that night. Will it – they – come back?
That question irked me through the evening and well into the morning hours.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until I walked down the path toward the chicken pen. The smell of death filled my nostrils in an instant. My pace picked up, and I reached the pen, shocked.
Five of the nine remaining chickens lay dead; their body parts lay scattered about the pen, and the remaining chickens and William clucked around the remains like nothing happened.
“Mother,” I scream.
She came down the path, and her gaze sees the sight I do.
“Still think its coyotes?”
She stared at me, her eyes full of utter loathe for whoever – whatever – did such a crime to this farm, because no chickens equals no eggs and no eggs equals no selling eggs and no selling eggs equals no income. “Whatever this is, human or not, it’s going to stop tonight,” she with utter intent.
I smiled; finally glad she was on my side, because all this time she didn’t believe, but now…
“Get the shotguns loaded and ready tonight; looks like we’re going to be pulling an all-nighter.”
I nodded and agreed in an instant. I had wanted to put a stop to this the moment it started, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone, now was my chance – are chance – to stop this thing.
The cool, night wind blew across the land and caressed the hills as it flowed by. Mother and I were sitting on the porch, not caring about the beautiful sunset, the final chirp of the day’s birds, nor the fact that are growling stomachs were aching for food; no, we were there to finally figure out what all this shit going on was.
We both cradled are guns on are forearm and waited…
The mid-day quickly fell into night fall, and the night surpassed quit fast. It wasn’t until the moon was a little more than halfway across the sky, that we were alerted.
Considering we had fallen asleep – not a very good idea on a stake out by the way – when William crowed, we almost jumped out of our skin from fright.
“Hurry,” mother told me while running down the path toward the pen.
“Mother, wait,” I shouted back. “We don’t know what this thing is, we need a plan; it could hurt us.” I tried, but she didn’t listen; she was already to the pen before I could warn her.
“Come on out, you bastard,” this was then proceeded by gunshots. “Come at me,” she yelled. At that point she moved further into the pen to so the barn stood in the way, blocking my view.
“Mother…!” I shout while running to her aid.
Gunshots are firing off. Confusion sets in.
“The bastard’s got me! There is no way in hell I’m dying like this.”
I turned the corner just in time to see her tumble to the ground, a luminescent stick of some sort sticking out from her chest. Standing, holding the weapon was the thing I had seen that night, the thing that had been in my bedroom.
“You kill –,” I stopped in mid-sentence. My head started to turn, my vision started to blur, and I hit the ground with a loud thunk.
The last thing I remember is feeling a cold, hard table. I was lying on my back and when I looked up, there was window letting me see the stars. Though this time, I couldn’t feel the breeze, couldn’t smell the sweet, country air, couldn’t feed the live stock. I was a prisoner now – a test subject, and that’s what I would be for the rest of my life. I just wish I would have run the moment I saw that thing, alien, whatever it is. But, I’m sure it would have followed me wherever I went. But, I will never, ever give up on escaping…
“Mary, you have to calm down,” shouted a doctor.
“Let me go! Take me back to Earth, now! Let me off this spaceship! I want to see my mother!”
“Mary, you’re not in a spaceship, you in Baltimore, Maryland.”
“No! You lying bitch! Let me go! Take me back to my mother!”
“You had a car accident on your way back from vacation, and your mother is dead.”
They rushed the stretcher into the hospital and one of the nurses said, “Looks like severe head trauma, she’s hallucinating.”