The smooth skin of her thighs dimple beneath his clutching fingertips, her eyes wide threatening to swallow him. By the creaks of the bed, it could collapse beneath them at any point, but he does not care. Her pouty red lips crack as he shudders in anticipation of her silk voice telling him how much of a man he is. They stretch wide grotesquely, her tongue standing erect...cockadoodledoo! cockadoodledoo! cockadoodledoo!
Damp with sweat, George jolts upright in bed, heart thundering, as he gasps for breath. Shadows cling to corners, faint moonlight spills through the windows on opposing walls. His wife, wearing her paisley cotton sleep dress lays wrapped warmly in the covers, lightly snoring. Red numbers pierce the night from her bedside, 2:33 AM.
Cockadoodledoo!, the cock's scream bursts through the window into his ear like an ice pick.
"I am going to kill that damn rooster!" he throws back the sheet, rising.
"Hmmummph," his wife mutters.
"Just...go back to sleep," he hisses at her, as he storms out of the bedroom.
Grabbing his work boots, George shoves his feet into them, not bothering to tie the laces. He is in boxers and a soiled t-shirt, but this early in morning no one will see him, especially not the neighbor. That stupid neighbor.
Tromping across the living room, he twists the key in the lock, opening the door to his gun rack. Cockadoodledoo!
He and Marge had lived here for years, moving in after they were married thirty-two years ago. Kenneth and Lydia Smith had moved in next door within a month. They were quiet, choosing to keep to themselves. No kids. No pets. Peaceful, quiet neighbors.
Feeding three shells into the shotgun, he ratchets one into place. Cockadoodledoo!
Two months ago, Kenneth saw George leaving for work one morning and walked over. He and Lydia were moving to Florida to retire in style. How Kenneth could ever afford the move, George would never know, still owing on their house after all the refinancing to pay for Marge's every need. Kenneth was younger than him too.
Huffing, he wrenches open the door, passes through, letting the aluminum storm door bang against the frame. Cockadoodledoo!
He still can't believe the hillbillies that Kenneth sold their house to. When they started pulling crates of chickens off the truck the day they moved in, George knew it was going to be trouble. The rooster started that night, with the loudest damn racket he ever heard. He had not slept well since. He was so tired he was screwing up at work, and got written up several times the last couple weeks. Marge was ticked at him for always being so pissy. It was all that damn rooster's fault. It was time for it to stop.
Stalking across the lawn, he pauses at the edge of the thin woods separating his house from the neighbors, letting his eyes adjust. His breath puffs in wispy clouds. The chicken coops form a hulking shadow at the rear of their property, barely visible through the tall bare trucks. The rooster will be there. Pine needles crunch beneath his shoes as he moves closer.
A clucking babble emits from the coops, the hens about their morning business or trying to get settled, George doesn't know other than they mask his approach. Gripping the shotgun at the ready, he peers around the yard, looking for the rooster. So loud moments ago, it had grown silent.
Starting to realise how cold it is, George shivers, any warmth left over from the bed long gone, his legs prickling with goose flesh. Leaning the shotgun against his shoulder, he rubs is free hand against his face giving momentary heat from the friction. Cockadoodledoo!
George spins, letting the barrel slap back into his palm, casting his eyes across the area until they settle on the rooster, standing tall, chest thrust forward on an old post. Head cocked sideways, one eye roams George as he creeps closer. Raising the shotgun he levels it at the offensive beast, finger tensing on the trigger, when it throws its wings out to full extension ruffling its feathers and leaps into the air directly at George's face.
BOOM! the shotgun bucks in George's hands, feathers flying, obscuring his vision as he stumbles backward. The roosters talons sink into his fleshy cheeks, wings beating the sides of his head. Dropping the gun, he paws at the agitated fowl, trying to peal it from his face. His nose erupts in fire as the rooster clamps its beak on one of his nostril.
He howls as they spin in an awkward dance in the grass, wrestling for dominance. Bellowing obscenities, his fingers dig into the feathery body when suddenly the bird releases his face as George trips over a discarded feed bucket. Flailing his arms he fights for balance, but gravity exerts its might, spilling him backward. His head makes a sharp pop as it slams into wood post of the chicken coop.
Cold wet grass meets George' face as he crashes to the ground. Vision swimming, clouds obscure the edges, as the porch lights come on at his neighbors house. George watches the rooster, one wing extended down, waltzing in a half circle, hens clucking in glee from the coop above. Stopping a few inches from his face, it thrusts out its chest and spreads wide its beak.
"Fugben stoobis ash roopter," he mumbles, losing consciousness.
This is a Magpie Tale.