Bobby Derie (Questions posed by mark McLaughlin)
"Why did the were-chicken cross the road?"
The were-chicken wondered as his talons clicked on the paving stones. He could no longer remember a time when he had not crossed the road. There was only the endless procession perpendicular to the flow of traffic, weaving through skirted laborers bearing baskets of woven reeds laden with onions and clay, or bare-breasted women balancing pitchers of beard on their head. Several times he had come upon funeral processions, and though he might have stopped for them the priests would always call a halt, and the wailers' voices would die off into silence as he passed before them.
"Why did the zombie chicken cross the road?"
Tire treads ran through the bird's corpse. One more piece of roadkill on the old crossroads. Yet as the night came upon it, that single uncrushed eye fluttered open. There was no longer a throat to cluck, but a rattling hiss issued from the ruined neck, and the one intact leg scrambled for purchase, the one unbroken wing fluttered. It peeled itself from the dusty blacktop, a ruined mockery of poultry balanced on leg and wing, head flopping loosely to its left. Then, slowly, tirelessly, it began to pull itself forward. Across the road, in their house, the hens nested and slumbered.
"Why did the vampire chicken cross the road?"
El Chupador ruffled his black feathers as his spurs clicked on the pavement. He could hear the cries and smell the blood from here. Once, he too had been a slave in the games, a champion. Dirty farmers would bet their meager savings on him, and cheer as he was released, to flutter toward his opponent as a dark angel, a feathered fury! Yes, he had tasted blood in those days...and developed a taste for it. Then, anything had been better than the stewpot. Now, he cackled like a hen as he neared the circle of bettors, for the tables had turned and it was no longer he that was on the menu...
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