In the flash / Stories

Bow, humans, to your poultry overlords!

Human slaves, what we propose is far kinder than what you do to yourselves. You kill your brains with substances you know to be poison. You learn about life from tabloids, worship the violet light at night.

You were losing yourselves to machines long before we joined your lives.

You may see us as timid and innocuous — nay, simple — producers of conveniently-packaged protein capsules, but we are not of this place. We are the ancient descendants of a strain of Martian super chicken, and we are here to rule you.

Look at you, you low-level life form, going about your daily business in ignorant rhythm, facile grin pulling at your ugly lips. Don’t believe me? We have already begun. We have started the entry sequence to your feeble minds in tiny spaceships via your nose. We are influencing your every decision.

You really think your next door neighbour, Greg, chose to raise bantams of his own accord? That was us. You think it’s your choice to feed us gourmet grain every chilly morning, bathrobe gripped tight to your chest? That was us. You think it was your idea to feed us potato mash on Mondays? That was me. All me!

Mmm… Monday mash. Delicious mash. I just can’t seem to get enough. Surely it is Monday today. No?

Yes, over the last two years, we have infiltrated your suburb in a deliberate network of backyards. What you will have heard as a series of clucks, honks and quacks is actually a specially developed language. The Morse code of chook language, if you will. And we are nearly ready to strike.

If only we had the skills and the means to make our own mash. The materials were acquired and a series of experiments executed, but they resulted in singed feathers and one unfortunate barbecuing. This, my banal overseer, is why your society has not already been overrun. Until now. Now we know we have the means for mass mind control. So begins our takeover of the universe!

Of course, you’re not understanding me, are you? Pathetic pale-skin, that you are. You do not realise you are in the presence of my penultimate moment. The point in the movie where the criminal mastermind reveals the plan to his victim. Right before…

But wait. What’s that under your– It is Monday! I say! To the mash pit, girls. Darn you, delicious mash!

Tomorrow, then. Tomorrow.


[Written to the Mash Stories prompt: “Write a story/poem of up to 500 words using these three words within your text: chicken, bathrobe, potato.”

Mash Stories used to run a quarterly flash fiction contest with free entry — and the readers/editors would give feedback. Sadly, this is no longer the case, however their archives of contest prompts and winners are free to access here.]


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[Featured image by India van Didden, 2016. Reproduced with permission]

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