The Mayonnaise Murders, Chapter 5, Scene 1

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Chicken revenge is a serious thing.

The way these birds saw it, they had a score to settle with the Mother planet, and they were gonna settle big. I mean real big. We’re talkin poultry with a plan. All those years of gettin kicked around and abused had made them real good at stayin focused on a goal. Now, after all these years, their time had finally come. Well, almost.

First thing, we had to get outta this house before some very unpleasant guests arrived. Then their time could come. Johnny Beardy was runnin around makin sure everything was left like it was supposed to be, makin sure all the chickens were good to go; except for the few he was leaving behind to “clean up things a little” he said. The rest were bein crowded into this huge contraption of a trailer built special for transportin great big chickens. It looked too big to hitch up to Vee’s pretty little mobile, and she wasn’t too thrilled about having to yank around something that ugly, but since it rode on an air cushion, that made toting it around a lot easier. Kinda like having a big aluminum balloon attached.

So anyway, when I asked Beardy why he gave a kitty about cleanin up a rundown shack like that, he just grinned. Said he had a different kind of cleanin up in mind. The kind of cleanin up that entails waitin for the garbage to show up at the door.

Oh. I cleared my throat.

“So uhh, you need help with anything, kid?” I asked.

“Yo, dude, I ain’t your kid, all right? I’ve been grown awhile. And no, everything’s groovy. Just gotta make one last run-through, and then we are outta here, my friend.”

Vee and I looked at each other, then shrugged. Fine. A few minutes later, I reminded him that Deep Cluck was supposed to be meeting us out here. Kid cursed real loud. I told him to watch his mouth around the lady, then wondered why I even bothered since she knew some words that would make the little rocker’s hair fall out. Old habits die hard, I guess.

He cursed again.

“Hey. Kid. Didn’t I just tell you…”

He stuck his finger straight up in the air, like he was fixin to make a big deal speech.

“First thing, Vid, this is where I stay. I make the rules here, Dude, which means I get to curse like a son of a bitch. Second, what you just told me? Not good. Not good at all. We’re gonna have to leave him some kinda signal, and just hope he gets it. If he doesn’t, then we’re all gonna be screwed. Trust me on that. And trust me, it’s something worth cursing about, OK? It’s worth every fucking curse word you know how to say. This whole thing, it hinges on Cluck baby. Without him, it’s all just a door swingin in the wind. And that is no good.”

“Cluck baby…?”

“Never mind, man. I gotta figure out a good…GOT IT!”

Beardy tore through a heap of junk that was piled high at the back of the basement until he came up with a small, silver-colored can of something that had him smiling like he had a mouthful of somethin good. Turned out to be invisible paint, which turned out to be another one of those helpful products developed by Vee’s pop.

Chances are, whoever this was chasing us, if they ever made it to the shack, wouldn’t have thought to bring the special kinda chemical you need to toss on the invisible paint to see what the hell it says. Plus, you need a special kinda light to shine on the letters after the chemical gets applied. Otherwise? You still ain’t gonna see nothin but what you were lookin at before. Chances are, whoever this was chasin us was gonna see an empty shack, figure out we’d high-tailed it, and wasn’t gonna waste any time gettin back on the road.

At least that’s what Beardy hoped was gonna happen.

As for Cluck Baby, Beardy was assuming he’d figure the whole thing out and know a secret message was written for him on the front door in invisible paint. Personally, I had some questions about makin these kinda assumptions, but Beardy says Cluck is no dummy. He just senses these things is what he says. Fine. Because personally, if I don’t ever see Cluck again, I will still feel just fine about life. I’ll feel great. Because I do not need that no-dressin clown in my life to make the day go down easier.

The front door swings open and Beardy’s standin there flashin all those teeth lookin proud of himself.

“What?” I say.

“All done,” says Beardy.

“All done what?”

“Dude. The message. All done. Now we gotta get outta here. Quick.”

Vee popped up from where she was sittin on the couch, I guess tryin to show how cooperative she knew how to be. Never acted like that with me, that’s for damned sure. I took my time gettin up.

“You know, you still haven’t told us who this is you got us runnin from. You’re tellin me whoever this is is so dangerous they can overpower the three of us and a herd of pissed-off, king-sized chickens with an attitude. I wanna know who the hell this is that’s so tough.”

He grinned at me in a kinda way that wasn’t makin me feel too comfortable. Then he glanced at a couple of the chickens, who were standing behind where I was sitting on the couch with their wings folded. I heard a few snickers.

“Should I tell him, fellas?” he asked.

I couldn’t believe this guy was asking the permission of some chickens whether or not it was OK to tell me how much my life was in danger.

“Sure. Why not,” said the one with the eye patch. “He won’t believe it, but what the hell.”

Beardy looks back at me, then sneeks a peek at Vee and gives her a wink and mouths a kiss. Her gills damned near dried up right then and there. Then he looks back at me.

“The keystones.”

Surprise didn’t come easy.

Like what you’ve read so far? Get the book to see how it all ends! Then get Part 2!

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