Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #228

In Every Bite Of Chicken
by Terry Black


"They say it means death," said Professor Wellington Church, nodding skyward. "When the raven flies over you."

Brooke Peplin munched a chicken wing. "Superstitious now, are we?"

"Not at all." Church watched the bird wheel to the south, riding the air like an invisible sea. "I assure you, Miss Peplin, my dread is purely science-based."

"The bird's going to kill us?"

"No. The bird will watch while something else does."

Peplin shrugged, thinking, Go ahead, Professor. I’m a psych major, I've seen crazier folks than you.

"Birds are dinosaurs," said Church.

"Beg pardon?"

"People say the dinosaurs went extinct. They didn't. When that asteroid slammed into the Yucat√°n Peninsula, it only killed most of them. The rest became the birds. They say there's a little T. Rex in every bite of chicken."

Peplin smiled. "Well, we're doing the eating."

"For now." Church smiled. "Did you know the dinosaur extinction wasn't the worst in history? Eons earlier, the Permian-Triassic Extinction killed ninety-five percent of earth’s species."

"Another asteroid?"

"Nope. Volcanoes put tons of carbon in the atmosphere. Warmed the planet, wrecked the climate, flooded the air with sulfides and methane. Killed almost everything."

"What's that have to do with ravens?"

"They grew out of an extinction. They survive when others die." Church folded back the morning Herald to reveal the headline, COPENHAGEN TALKS STALLED. “In the end, the birds win.”

"Are you saying—"

"I'm not saying anything." Church offered her the chicken basket. "Like some extra-crispy? Hurry, while it lasts."

31 comments:

Bernita said...

A certain delightful insouciance of style.

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

Good piece of Fiction. Seemed to me , it had the fantasy thingy.

If limit was not an exception, then more of this conversation would have been more exceptional :) Cuz it ended before i could enjoy the taste and digest it.

Take that as an compliment plz:)

Hope you take that sportively.

All the best :)

Cheers
Mahesh

Anonymous said...

Wow! I like the ending; I like the implied implication. Very well written. --JR

Laurel said...

Very well done message, here. The MC thinks the professor's crazy and the professor is citing examples of history repeating.

Cassandra for the modern age.

Aniket said...

I can't tell you in words how much I enjoyed reading this. I totally agree with every word of it. Its only a matter of time that we destroy ourselves and the earth rebuilds itself. Will the ravens survive, I don't know. But we as sure aren't.

And this piece shall forever be remembered as the most humble advice and a warning to mankind.

Okay, I might have over-dramatized it a little bit, but thats just by excitement oozing.

I'll push this in my top 10. Somehow.

A million thanks for this.

McKoala said...

There's some good thinking behind this one. I like the restraint in the presentation of the ideas. It's good work.

Angel Zapata said...

Thought-provoking and fun.

I'll be ordering a 20-piece hot wings order tonight. Thanks for the motivation.

Michael Solender said...

Hitchcockian.

kashers said...

I'll never view a bucket of KFC in the same way again.

Well reasoned and delivered 'it's only a matter of time' story.

maybe genius said...

Love your dialogue here :)

laughingwolf said...

good'un, terry...

PEOPLE, PLACES, VOICES, FACES... said...

Despite the Copenhagen reference, I can't see this as a doomsday piece. It seems to me this one's about the resilience of species, their ability to adapt and evolve--I want to say keep "becoming"--in response to the changes in their environment. I guess that's what I like about it.

I also like the ordinary dinner conversation aspect of what is certainly not an ordinary conversation!

Ranee

illyriataylor said...

wow. so clever and chilling.

Leatherdykeuk said...

cleverly done!

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

The whole concept and interplay - it's fantastic - erudite and playful


Something I Might Tweak

Using their full names made me Google them - I think in such a short piece you needn't do so, necessarily. Just "Brooke munched" and then he can call her "Miss Peplin."

BTW, I grew up in central Illinois with "Church's Fried Chicken."

Preeti said...

Reminded me of the "Age of Stupid"...

we need to take stock right now. although the situation has become irreversible at least we could prevent further damage...

very well written...

Katherine Tomlinson said...

Love the voice--just a good-time read.

Deb Smythe said...

I liked the tongue-in-cheek tone.

MHPayne said...

Another fine piece, Terry:

I think I'd probably like it even if I didn't know about the novel that follows it... :)

Mike

Beth said...

Felt like a classic novel, which I love cozying up with on just about any night.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Nice. Kept me guessing as to genre until the end. I thought he just might kill her. Very good commentary on what we're doing to the planet - for real.

Aimee Laine said...

Not sure I'm going to be able to eat chicken again. ;) Just kidding! I too was waiting for him to kill her! :)

Karen said...

I liked this one all the way through, especially the tone of the piece.

Megs - Scattered Bits said...

I like the way every objection was hit and built upon until we uneasily wonder what will come next? And I'm glad I don't eat chickens. :shudders:

JaneyV said...

There's a lot to digest in this. I love the quiet assured voice of the professor and the way that Brooke's changes from the arrogance of
Go ahead, Professor. I’m a psych major, I've seen crazier folks than you.
to disbelief as she realised global warming has historical precedence with catastrophic implications.

Nice interplay and I like the way it carries an important message without clubbing us over the head with it.

Well done.

Craig said...

I'll echo that great interplay.

Tara said...

Very nicely done.

pjd said...

I love the pompous fatalism of Church and how amused he is by the whole concept. He's almost got a zen approach to the idea. I think the exchange is terrific, and it curved in a way I didn't expect from the beginning. Loved this.

austere said...

Liked how contemporary you made this, and how.

catvibe said...

I agree with all the above and so I'll say something completely different since the rest has been said.

I'm so glad you brought up the dinosaur connection! I did too, in a very different way (#14). My favorite line:
They say there's a little T. Rex in every bite of chicken.

I swear I'm going to say that at chicken dinners from now until the day I die. Come over to my entry and tell me if you have a blog to visit.

Kartik said...

This is brilliant! I just loved the dinosaur talk :D