chickens bigger fontChickens. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are actually birds. But dogs can also be chickens, and so can people. In fact, all of us are chickens at various times, generally when we are confronted by new and daunting situations, when we are yanked from our comfortable routines and thrust into a world that seems—and is—mysterious and strange.

For an old man named Bert the Shirt, unwelcome change comes by way of a slip-and-fall that necessitates his moving out of his long-occupied Key West condo and into a compound filled with nudists and eccentrics. For Bert and his chihuahua, everything has suddenly been scrambled. Doors and windows are not where they should be. There are new names to be remembered, new customs to absorb.

Most jarring of all, there are weird and primal sounds in the night, courtesy of a tireless feral rooster staked out in an alleyway next door.

Can the real chicken and the figurative chickens peacefully co-exist? Must there be a confrontation, and if so, who will win it? This story, by turns poignant and hilarious, traces the trajectory of Bert’s fears and triumph as he and his less than heroic dog face down their respective demons and prove to themselves that they aren’t chicken.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a Short Story of approximately 5000 words.

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