Jul 10, 2018, 06:29AM

Roostermon I

Three sides and six spur claws to every story. Here’s side one.

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I was standing in a field. Rays of sunshine burned un-dappled without a tree in sight. I could barely see without sunglasses, and missing my contacts, I was blind as a bat. It sounds like a dream but I promise it’s not boring. There wasn’t a cloud in the sea-blue sky and I was getting cooked. I hadn’t been near an oven in seven years and I was getting flashbacks to that day at the Italian restaurant. I couldn’t find Monica, and I didn’t want to find Bennington. I started moving, but don’t know why. I couldn’t remember why I was there or what I needed to do. So I started walking. My hackle was dry and cracking and my claws were bruised. I needed a talon trimming, but not then—I didn’t know what awaited me ahead. But did any of this happen? Has it even happened yet?

Suddenly a baseball. I’m hit in the head, I’m down, grass all that I can see and hear. Irritating my ears, I can hear the green. Commotion now: people rushing, to my aid or to trample me. I don’t know. I scramble, bound up and blindly charge forward. I encounter objects, animals, plants, people making sounds, crying, screaming. I still can’t see. Everything is all white. I keep running, like a chicken with its head cut off, but I can still breathe, I can still feel. I’m moving. Yet my senses fail me. I taste nothing but copper and dust. But now I’m in the shade, and I’m cool. I calm down, I fall down, and say nothing.

Hours later. I have no memory of the past day. It’s not even a blur, there’s just nothing, as if I was transposed in time. The sun has set but the field remains, empty again. I’m still not sure if what happened to me was a dream, a hallucination, or something worse: a delusion. I have to maintain for myself that this was an event in my past, nothing in my head. I remember getting up, walking, hearing cicadas singing in the bushes and in the grass. I storm a shrub and get a mouthful of a dozen of them, howling hysterically as I crunch down on their delicious texture, their shells cracked and gushing innards and liquid forth into my gullet. I am sated.

But I’m still alone. I move slowly, doing my best to avoid predators (Bennington). I get up over the fence and see a highway I recognize. I wait an hour until a car passes, and luckily the driver stops and lets me hitch back to the farmer. It’s Emma, my grocer. She’s always been so kind to us, and when I finally get home, she tells me with fear in her voice, “Tell Monica I say hello. And that I’m sorry. Tell her I had to do it. She’ll know. But I hope she understands, too.”

I don’t know what to make of it, and she drives off before I can gather my thoughts. I stumble inside and it is empty and dark. My wife is gone. All I can do now is write… and here I am, today. Okay.

—Follow Rooster Quibbits on Twitter: @RoosterQuibbits


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