Brood

Sylvia reached out to pluck the last of the eggs from under Clara, the largest and oldest hen, who responded with a quick peck to the wrist.  Sylvia drew back her hand in surprise, peered around Clara’s belly and let out a small gasp, “My my!”  The hen had a full clutch – 12 fawn-colored little eggs, smooth and perfect.  “I hadn’t even noticed.  Where is my head?  You’ve gone all broody, old girl.  Still some zest in you yet!”  Sylvia stared into the hen’s beady eyes and reassured her, “Don’t worry.  I wouldn’t take them from you now, love.”  She’d collected nearly two dozen eggs anyway.  That should be plenty.

After frying up the lot, Sylvia soaked up the yolk residue with a piece of bread, gulped it down and sat back with a full belly.  Sighing, smiling, she emptied 100 capsules into water and watched the bone-white powder dissolve.  Then, she returned to the henhouse, curled up on the floor and drank it down, smacking her lips against the bitter tang, breathing the fecund scent of her dears.

She began to feel warm and drowsy.

It must be ThanksgivingI can hear the children laughing, lining up for the parade.  When Daddy took me I was so small.  That’s why I couldn’t hold on to my balloon any longer.  It drifted right out of my hand and bobbed up and up, a bright yellow dot, another sun until it went away.  Oh, I can hear them – so fresh and sweet.  Just imagine their faces when Old Doc appears in his big red suit and white beard.  But that’s not right either.  Doc’s been gone for years.  And Daddy. Moira.  Where is my head?

The soft clucking of the hens lulled her to sleep.  She no longer felt she had a body.  Instead she was here and there and everywhere, drifting.  It felt so lovely to float away, so lovely.

But who will feed them?  Who will feed the hens when I’ve gone?

___

Forgot to link back to the prompt for this little story – from the Trifecta challenge to use the 3rd definition of the word ‘pluck’ – “3: to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly” in a work of 33 – 333 words.

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