I'm Not A Chicken
Copyright 2008 by Jammie Trigg
"So, what do you guys' want to do?" one of the guys asked?
" I don't know." The one leaning against the cement block wall said, "What do you want to do?"
"Ooh! I know," My sister blurted out, Then looked at me and smiled. You know, that evil smile, that only a big sister can give. "Lets go to the haunted house."
"Yea!" The others shouted than all at once set off down the road. And I, being the youngest of the five, had no choice but to follow.
Just great, the haunted house. I've never once stepped foot onto that property, let alone inside the house. I've walked passed it my whole life but always at a hurried pace and my eyes focused on the road. I did not dare to look up at that omnipotent structure that, just the mere passing, would send shivers down my spine. My stomach sank as the frightened butterflies took flight. I looked ahead to the others, who in turn, were looking back, laughing at me, taunting me with harsh words. My lovely sister the front of it all.
"I'm not a chicken." I yelled at them. But really I was more scared than I'd ever been.
At last we stood before a giant hill, grown up with grass and weeds. I looked up the broken concrete stairway to the small rickety house that had loomed over the street my whole life like a scary old man. I quickly looked away. The frightened butterflies turned angry as if they were trying to warn me to turn around and go back.
"Well, are you coming?" My sister asked as she looked down on me from the first flight of steps. I grabbed my stomach to try and calm it then followed the others up to my doom.
Everyone by now was quiet, all that could be heard was the scraping of feet against the concrete steps. No one called me chicken. No one even looked at me. I was alone and trying desperately to keep moving, but the ball of fear that slowly rose inside me as I climbed those steps, made my legs heavy and my stomach weak. But the thought of being called a chicken gave me the strength to trudge on.
We reached the second flight. I heard my sister laughing and looked up at her, she and the others were looking at me, laughing and pointing.
" Are you ok," she asked almost sounding sincere, "it looks like you've already seen a ghost," then laughing even harder and said, "You want me to hold your hand, chicken?"
"I'm not a chicken," I said again, than to myself, over and over until we reached the top.
I finally looked upon the house, now much bigger than it looked from the road. It was old and gray, the paint was peeling, the windows were broken and old grey shudders swung ever so slightly by a ghostly breeze. The porch, just as old and gray, was rotten and the smell of death lingered in the air.
"Are you ready?" My sister asked with that same wicked smile spread upon her face."
"Yea!" I replied with an attitude so as not to show the real emotion that by now was making my heart pound with terror.
I climbed the steps to the porch, each board creaking beneath my feet. The sound alone, caused a tingling of fear throughout my body, making each step harder and harder to take. The butterflies were frantic and screaming "go back go back'. It took all I could to ignore them and keep moving until at last I was standing on the porch and staring at the door to Hell. Slowly it opened. My body screamed, the butterflies flapped like mad. I couldn't move, couldn't speak, all I could do was stand and stare into the blackness beyond that door. The gate to Hell.
"I can't do it." I heard myself whisper. "I can't go in there."
"What?" My sister said, "you made it this far, all you gotta do now is walk through the door."I
"I can't do it Sis, I've got a bad feeling about this."
"Yea, and it's called the good excuse to chicken out feeling. Man you disappoint me." And with that she walked into the darkness and slammed the door behind her.
By that time I was mad, more at myself than at my sister. How could I have chickened out? I was right there. All I had to do was walk through the door. I paced between the holes in the porch trying desperately to build up the courage to just turn the doorknob. The anger rose pushing the frightened butterflies down and out of my stomach. I walked to the door, turned the knob, and pushed it open. I froze. 'This is crazy. What on earth am I doing? I don't have to prove myself to anybody. This is a dangerous place I don't have to go in there.' But as I turned to walk away a blood curdling scream, that could only belong to my Sister, rose out of the darkness followed by a loud crash and more screams.
That was all it took, I bolted through the door, "Are you ok Sis? Where are you?" Panic set in as I searched frantically for my sister, for as mean as she was, she was still my only sister and the fear that had held me back turned to fear that something bad had happened to her. I ran into a room and found the others standing in a circle. I quickly shoved them out of the way and there before me was my sisters' head and torso. The rest of her was swallowed up by the old rotten floor.
She was crying hysterically. I stared for a moment in shock. Then realized she was going to be ok. That's when the panic, the fear and all those angry butterflies were washed away by the irony of it all. I started to laugh, a chuckle at first, then as hard as I'd ever laughed before. It couldn't have been more perfect. My big sister squawking like a scared little chicken trapped in a net. As I stood there laughing, one of the others patted me on the back, praising me for being brave enough to run in there and save her.
Eventually, after we all had a good laugh, we
pulled her out and found that she had gotten a nasty cut down her
leg. She wound up having to go to the hospital to get stitches,
fifteen to be exact. Than surprisingly, on the way home from the
hospital, she apologized for calling me a chicken and thanked me for
trying to save her. I smiled big and gladly accepted her apology. I
wouldn't have to worry about being called a chicken anymore, I proved
my self and then some. But being the sly little sister I was, I just
could never ever let her forget how she squawked like a baby chicken
when she was trapped in the floor of that old haunted house.
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