Crossing the Road

By Leighton Tanaka, TIWP Student

Making my way down the street, my claws scratched the ground. The street lamps lit my way as I walked down the inky sidewalk. The world turned blue with the setting of the sun, and leaves rustled with the wind. Carefully dodging the clutter on the ground, I waddle toward the crosswalk. Buildings loomed in the mist, poking through the dense gray while neon signs shone, dotting the city with a multicolored glow. Dread spilled through parked cars. Shadows soaked the streets.

Waiting for the sign to turn into a walking white man, it felt like I was getting gently ripped apart. Mist curled its arms around me, icy fingers held me in a tight grip. Autumn leaves, no longer vibrant and warm, were brown and dead. If the wind blew, leaves would’ve crumbled rather than traveling with it. A single feather floated down from above, landing by my feet. I shivered in fear. I steeled myself, looked both ways, and crossed, just as I had always done. I had to get to the other side.

Suddenly, a deep rumbling sounded out below me. The colossal jaws of a massive apex predator emerged from below the pavement. I clucked in terror, trying to fly away from its massive teeth. But chickens were not meant to fly. They were meant to fall. With horror, I felt the weight of my body too great for my weak and unevolved wings to carry. My body rushed towards the open mouth of the thing beneath me. I screamed in terror, but nobody was around to hear me. Not a single bird was flying. They all lay dead around me. I was engulfed in the darkness trying to claw my way out. I was stuck. It was like a black hole sucking me in.

Time stops, and I’m drowning in darkness. A voice hisses eerily, laughing at my sorrow. It echoes around getting louder and louder. My eyes open wide but there is nothing to see, only thick black nothingness. With every choking breath, my cries grow weaker and weaker. I am lost in the void of a forgotten time. I pray to a god whom I know will not answer—calling to the ones who hold not pity. I welcomed the idea of death, I felt it had constantly been thrust upon me. A definite end for this finite life.

Cold hands cradled me as I finally stopped struggling. It was nice. I felt safe. Everything, it seemed, had become too heavy for my flimsy bones. A great roar grew louder and louder, the teeth tightened their grip on me. A crushing weight devoured my limp figure. I was eaten.

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