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The Chickening - Part 10

Veronica Volt's picture
Submission type:

        The Correction

Veronica was awakened by a sudden sound. Still sleepy and resting her head on a large sack of tainted vegetable, she opened her eyes. Did she hear something or was it a dream?

Suddenly the sound again, a loud knock on the storeroom door. Why was she here? She began to remember falling down the stairs, being pulled to the storeroom passing the hotel guests all watching her. It was the clone, the one sent to stop her. That must be who it was. A knock on the door again. Veronica stood and went to the door. ‘Is somebody there?’ she called out.

No response.

‘Hallo?’ she called out again. ’Is somebody there?’

‘I see you have not taken care of the business we discussed,’ said a voice. It was the voice of Dilbert Gravy, the caretaker. Or was Veronica the caretaker? She rubbed her head, her thoughts seemed a little confused.
‘Mr Gravy?’ she responded. ‘I will deal with the situation soon.’
‘Will you indeed, Miss Volt? I have doubt. I and others have come to believe that your heart is not in this, that you have resistance to this.’
‘Just one more chance please, Mr Gravy. I need only one more chance.’
‘This, clone, appears to be stronger than we imagined, Miss Volt, somewhat more resourceful. Perhaps she is better than you?’
‘In this moment, Mr Gravy. Only in this moment.’
‘I fear you will have to deal with this matter in the harshest possible way, Miss Volt. I fear that is the only thing to do.’
‘I look to it with pleasure, Mr Gravy.’
‘Do you promise Miss Volt?’
‘I promise.’

There was the sound of a key in the lock, and a click. Veronica turned the handle and the door opened. She stepped out into the kitchen. There was nobody there. Where was Mr Gravy? Was he here before? There was a loud bang and Veronica turned quickly startled from the sound. She was now facing the ovens. All were closed, including oven number three. Nobody there, but something was there. She walked closer and picked it up.

It was an axe.

‘This is what she needs,’ Veronica said aloud. She swung the axe, heavy and sharp. ‘Yes, this is what she needs. It was time for some correcting.

Outside the storm was now at the full strength. The wind howled and screamed. The rain fell from the sky like rods of steel and hammered the ground. Tree branches and crop parts from the fields behind flew in the wind, hitting the walls of the hotel which seemed to tremble and shake.

In a room in the basement, a generator stopped suddenly and lights flickered and then become dark. The boiler shook and creaked. Pressure was rising. In the hotel somebody dressed in purple, slowly walked up the stairs toward room 101. Flashes of lightning showed the way. Below figures silently watched her walk up.

Veronica stood at the door to room 101. It was closed. Veronica tried to turn the door handle. It was locked. She knocked on the door. ‘Are you there?’ she called. ‘Are you in the room?’ There was no answer. She knocked again. ‘Please open. I think on the stairs, you hurt me. Hurt me very bad, but we can be friends. Please open the door.’ There was no response. She turned the door handle again, still it was locked.

Veronica stood at the door. She heard the voice but was not going to open it. Perhaps she will go away, leave her alone.

Veronica stood at the door. There was no sound behind the door. ‘Please open it, we can be  friends,’ Veronica called. ‘We can stay here in the hotel. Für immer und immer und immer…’ What was that on the floor? She bent and picked up a dirty feather. She felt watched. She looked left. Two large chickens were standing in the corridor. Watching. They were watching. Was Mr Gravy watching also? The hotel guests? The Chicken King? She lifted the axe and hit the door. The door began to break. She hit the door again with the axe. And again. There was a hole. She looked through it but did not see the clone.

‘Ich bin zu Hause!’ she called out and laughed.

She hit again the door, and again, and it fell to the floor.

Veronica was terrified. She heard the noise of the axe and saw the door fall. The clone was crazy, the clone would hurt her. She ran out of the room, and ran down the stairs gripping the axe in her hands for protection. She saw party balloons and ribbons. Where were they from? There was music from the ballroom. What was happening? She must call for help. She needed the big radio in the Manager Office. She ran inside. The radio was in pieces. The clone! The clone had destroyed it. What to do? She heard a noise and ran from the office. Looking behind she saw nobody but knew the clone was coming for her. She ran into the kitchen, perhaps there was somewhere to hide.

Veronica gripped the axe and looked around the kitchen She was here, she knew it. Hiding somewhere. Where? She checked a cupboard, not in there. She checked under a table, not there. One of the ovens was open. She walked toward it.

Veronica stared at the oven. Oven number three. The door was open. It was perhaps a place to hide. She put a hand on the oven. It was warm. A good place to hide, nice and cosy, just climb in and…. She was not alone, she looked behind. Dilbert Gravy stood there, skin burnt and blistered, feathers stuck to him. He lifted up a glass overfilled with red rum. ‘Super party!’ he said cheerfully before biting on a large chicken leg held in his other hand. Veronica ran.

Veronica ran gripping the axe. She must escape. Veronica ran. She must find that clone, correct her. Veronica ran.

In the basement the boiler now forgotten was groaning and shaking. Tiny cracks were appearing.

Veronica ran outside, out of the hotel into the storm almost falling over as the wind pushed her and the rain hit her. Lightning flashed in the sky and each time she saw the bushes in front of the hotel seem like animals. Animals with sharp claws and sharp teeth. Each flash they were seemed closer, ready to jump on her, ready to tear her apart.

Veronica ran. Along the side of the hotel into a field behind. The field was full of tangled corn. A place to hide. She walked into the corn and was swallowed by it.

Inside the hotel, in the basement more cracks appeared and moved across the boiler like blood through veins. The pressure was now almost too much.

Veronica swung the axe to move through the maze of corn. Where was she? Where was the clone? She would find her. She would find the clone. She would not find her, not if she stayed here, hidden in the corn. It was safe here. She gripped the axe ready to protect herself. She heard a voice. It was her! She had found her, she would not escape! Veronica gripped the axe and walked through the corn toward the sound.

Somebody was there in the field. In the corn. Was she found? She gripped tight the axe, ready. Somebody was coming. The corn moved and somebody stepped forward. Veronica swung the axe but somehow it missed the person. A voice said ‘Hallo!’ It was Mr Hallomann. ‘Hallo Veronica, I have returned to help you.’ Veronica dropped the axe and fainted.

In the rain and wind a figure walked toward a buggy carrying another in his arms. He gently put her in the buggy, and placed a blanket over her to warm her. A flash of lightning showed the purple paint of the buggy, the Voltswagen buggy of Veronica. Where wires were before cut they were now whole. Were there was before damage, there was now none. The driver got into the buggy and started the electric engine. He began to turn around the buggy and then stopped. He looked back to the hotel. The doors were open. Suddenly the wind blew the doors shut making a loud bang. From the windows figures inside watched. Hallomann lifted a hand to them, nodded and then drove away leaving the hotel dark and tall like a shadow. As they left Veronica opened her eyes a little, she could see the hotel where on the roof a strange creature stood, arms lifted like broken wings. In the rain and the lightning it screeched and screamed. The Chicken King. Her eyes closed again and she fell into a sleep of strange dreams.

They were too far away to hear the explosion when finally, the pressure in the boiler escaped.


Joe Spivey's picture



... Yeah, that sounds like V.V.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Hyle Troy's picture

A Shining example of wonderful story telling...  

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers

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