It’s Sunday again. So that mean posting a bit of flash fiction, which I will try to keep to a thousand words or less. Here is today’s Sunday Short…
Twelve-year-old Jeremy stared at Lisa with an exasperated sigh. She was being silly again. Showing off her newfound abilities and making him jealous because he couldn’t do anything like that. Shape-shifting into animals was a really cool power to have. She knew this. And she was flaunting it, rubbing it in.
It was really pissing him off.
“One of these days, I am going to change into a tiger or something,” she said with a sly grin, her green eyes dancing. She stood up from picking daisies in the field and watched him. The tiger was the animal he admired most. She knew that too.
“Well, why don’t you do it now? Huh? Can’t do it, can you?” he shot back. “You don’t know how to do ‘the change’.”
Lisa, his best friend all his young life, now stood with her hands planted on her hips. “I know how! It’s just real hard to do. But at least I can do it…”
If Jeremy was a tiger, he would have growled and pounced on her, knocking her off her high horse. But since he was only a kid, he simply turned from her and threw the rock he had found in the field. That was when he spied the Old Yoder farm in the distance.
“I bet you couldn’t even turn into a stupid chicken,” he taunted, pointing at the deserted hen house. What a dumb animal, he thought.
“Why would I want to be a chicken?”
“Jeez, can’t even change into a chicken? That’s so easy.”
“I can, but I just don’t want to.”
“You don’t want to cuz you can’t.”
“Yes, I can!”
“Well then why don’t you? Prove it!”
She snorted. “FINE!”
With teeth and fists clenched, she held her breath and squeezed her eyes shut. Her whole face pinched together with extreme concentration. Jeremy watched her with ever-widening eyes. He hadn’t been sure that she would actually try.
Then suddenly, it happened.
Her body melted away into that of a nondescript chicken only a foot and a half tall. Jeremy’s eyes bugged out, and his mouth dropped at the sight. He was speechless.
The chicken, however, wasn’t. Lisa balked at him as if to say “HA! I did it!”. She ran to him and began pecking at his shoes. If she had been in her human form, she would have been raining punches on his arm.
“OKAY. OKAY! I’m sorry! You can do it. That is so cool! Imagine if you did that in the middle of class. Freak the teacher out!” He started off in peels of laughter that was quickly cut short. He stopped and turned around. Someone far off was calling.
“Oh, dang it. Mom’s calling. I gotta go or she’ll get real pissed.” Before taking off, he looked at the chicken Lisa. “Change back and if you want, come on over. Your parents said it was okay, right? Then we can watch movies or something. Maybe stay the night. I got these really cool Batman comics. Okay?”
Lisa balked at him.
He took it as a “Yes”. With the speed of youth, he dashed through the field. He glanced back only once to see chicken Lisa staring after him. Then she turned and hobbled back towards her house. His mom called again and Jeremy raced home.
* * *
“Whoohoo! Smell that cookin’!” Dan exclaimed as he crossed through the kitchen. “Just gonna change real quick. Can’t be eating in these clothes.”
His wife, Trish, stood over the stove stirring the gravy and rolled her eyes. He’s going to be full of himself tonight, she thought. But perhaps that might not be a bad thing. Maybe he’ll be in the mood for other kinds of sport.
She smiled as she shut off the various knobs on the stove. The gravy was now done. The meat was ready to come out of the oven. The corn was cooling, and the bread was on the table. The place settings already put down, she began putting the various foods into bowls and set them on the table. Once everything was done, she glanced over the waiting meal. Only the eaters were missing.
“Dan! Kids! Dinner’s ready!”
Immediately feet thundered down the wooden farmhouse stairs, forewarning of the arrival. Her three teenage sons bounded to the table. In a blur, chairs squealed back violently as hands flew over the bowls. “Hey! Hey! Not yet!” Trish cried. “Wait for Claire and your father!”
The boys sulked but obeyed. Trish’s oldest daughter, Claire, hurried in to take her seat. “Where’s Lisa?” she asked.
“She’s not back yet? Oh, she must have gone to Jeremy’s then,” Trish answered as she sat down. One other seat at the table was still empty. She frowned in exasperation. “DAN!!!”
She was about to stand up again when a figure entered the room. It spoke in a deep booming voice: “This is the tale of the Great White Hunter.”
The boys snickered and Trish just scolded. “Why don’t you tell the tale while we eat. The ‘Kill’ of the Great White Hunter is getting cold.”
Dan thought about it and shrugged. The instant he sat down, all hands grabbed at the food and dumped it on the plates. “This looks great, Mom,” Claire said.
“You should really thank your father for this one,” Trish said.
“That’s right!” Dan said as he ate the moist tender meat. “Got Old Yoder back for being such a mean ol’ bastard…”
“Found one of his chickens roaming about in our yard and you know what? Fresh chicken tastes mighty fine!” To prove his point, he took another savory bite. “I chased that sucker down!” he said with a grin.
Claire looked at him and frowned, forehead wrinkled. “But I thought Old Yoder didn’t have chickens anymore.”