Story Go Round 11/29/2009, #8


"It's just about the right size for a head," she told him, holstering her laser.

"But we still don't know how it opens." Klaus replied.

Jan continued, "What I want to know is where the rest went. And whose apartment is this. If I have to do one more recovery because some jackass doesn't know how to properly store a head, I'm going to scream."

Klaus gave her that look. "Well, you expect more from a minimum wage job?"

"I expect that the instructions 'store in freezer' are clear enough that even YOU could follow them!"

"Now wait just a minute," Klaus squawked like the hyper-chicken he aspired to be, "I can't read, but I know how to deal with heads."

It was then that Klaus's friend Katsu came in spiky red hair standing straight up like a broom head. "Anybody here into the idea of setting off fireworks at Old Man Buford's place?"

Jan and Klaus glared at Katsu and snapped, "Do we look remotely like crazy explosion people?! That old guy may be a zombie, but you still shouldn't bully the elderly!"

It was just like Katsu to come waltzing and totally ignore the current head and go off instead about fireworks. She always tried to work an explosion into whatever she had to say.

And Jan was right about bullying elderly zombies. Pieces fell off. Well, with an explosion, you had to expect that anyway.

Maybe that was where the head came from. "Katsu, have you been here before? Do you know who this is? And how to open it?"

Muffled thumping emanated from the box. "Hey, you bozos! Open this up!"

Klaus jumped back. "This one's alive."

Jan whipped her laser out and fired a quick burst over Katsu's head. "Geez! Sorry. Get back."

Katsu being Katsu and always interested in making more trouble, stepped up and opened the box. Jan leveled her laser at the head; Klaus clucked softly to himself, fluffing his imaginary feathers. Another few jobs and he'd have the money for feather implants.

Jan aimed her laser between the head's eyes and said, "Explain how you're alive," she said.

"I don't know," it replied cheerfully.

"Who animated you? Who do you work for?"

The head 'shrugged' or at least bobbed a little.

"No one, lady. I ain't got nobody."

"That's it," Jan said, "I'm shooting it."

"No!" Katsu shouted, grabbing for the gun.

In the scuffle the gun went off, a coruscating red beam slicing the top of the head right off. A muffled squawk came from beneath the bony hemisphere, which then fell to the floor and clattered, ringing like a manhole cover as it spun to a stop.

In the smoke-filled silence that followed, Katsu, Jan, and I just stared at what had been revealed. The hyperchicken that had been inside the head stared right back.

"Um." said the hyperchicken. It shuffled nervously from foot to foot to foot, rotating through four dimensions. "Well. This is awkward."

"Awkward," Jan echoed.

"Awkward turtle," Katsu answered, sliding her hands together and rotating her thumbs.

"Hi," I said, trying to be nice.

"Hiya!" it said, and then flew out the window.

"STOP THAT HYPERCHICKEN!" Jan cried, firing a few shots. Katsu gave me a look.

"Is she still there?"

"Um." I stared at her. "Well... it depends on the time of day."

That wasn't the first thought in my head, though. The first, most important thought was: "Since when do chickens, even hyperchickens, fly?"

"I see," Katsu replied, frowning lightly. "Is she safe?"

"... reasonably. When she's in the right mood."

Katsu didn't reply right away, just continued staring at Jan. "And is she in the right mood?" she asked.

"Let me check," I said. I went over to Jan and pressed a button on her neck.

Her head fell off.

"I guess not."