Browncoat Zone - Chapter One: Chicken is a Kind of Bird
Tuesday, August 10, 2004

From the Journal of Succatash...


Continued from The Prologue ------------------------------

I noticed the bird at work. I was on break, eating lunch under a tree. It was a hot summer day, and a big black bird stared at me. It was some kind of crow or raven, and it was huge. It perched ominously in a nearby tree and watched me with a giant unblinking eye.

I went back to work and forgot about the bird. But hours later, a shadow passed over my head as I walked into the parking lot. Despite the summer heat, I shivered. The giant black bird circled above my head.

I stared in amazement until the bird suddenly dove towards me with an ear-piercing shriek.

“Holy shit!” I cried and ducked instinctively. I banged my knee and dropped my coffee mug. Sharp claws scratched my arm and I screamed in pain. I shut my eyes and flailed my arms wildly into the air. After several moments, I was completely out of breath. I rose shakily to my feet. The vicious bird was nowhere to be seen. My arm was bleeding and hurt like hell. I was completely bewildered and quite scared.

I looked around, but the parking lot was almost empty. I had worked late. Even the security guard had gone home. The evening breeze was warm, but for some reason I felt cold. Something was very wrong, and I shivered. I wanted to be home, smoking a joint and drinking a beer.

“But no, instead I’m out here bleeding, getting attacked by some diseased bird and now I have rabies…” I muttered to myself.

I hopped onto my Honda Aero 80 scooter and lit up a cigarette. It was difficult to smoke because I was breathing so hard, but I didn’t care. I rode home, nervously checking my rearview mirror, but I saw no sign of the crazy bird.

My arm bled slightly. I sincerely hoped I didn’t have rabies, but for some reason I didn’t want to go to the hospital. No one would believe me. I just wanted to laugh the whole thing off and forget about it. I pulled into my garage and wearily entered my home.

I turned on the lights and screamed hoarsely. The flying monster was in my living room!

“You stalking devil bird, leave me alone!” I shouted fearfully. I threw an empty beer bottle at the bird, but I missed and it shattered into the wall.

“Hey, hey, take it easy, I’m not a bird” a small voice cried.

My eyes quickly focused and I cried out with glee, “Static!”

“The one and only!” came the cheerful reply. He was tiny, and flew around with a miniature jetpack and a propeller mounted on his helmet. He held a small calculator and ruler.

“Static, I’m glad to see you! I’ve had a crazy day, listen to this…” I spoke eagerly, suddenly no longer weary. Static floated patiently as I told him about my crazy bird attack. His expression grew darker as I spoke.

When I finished, there was an awkward silence. I lamely tried to make a joke.

“Say, Static, how come Time didn’t freeze when you showed up this time?” I laughed weakly and continued, “Are you going to use that white powder on me?”

Static floated and smiled gravely. “That is not always necessary,” he answered. “But let’s focus on the matter at hand. I sense a dark energy around you and now I know why. This bird you speak of is a not really a bird at all.”

“Tell me more,” I said over my shoulder. I reached into the fridge and grabbed a beer. I poured some into a shot glass and offered it to Static.

“Thanks,” he said, swooping in and gracefully taking the tiny glass. It looked like a big pitcher in his small hands, but he still managed to gulp it quickly, and then slam it upside down onto the table.

“More?” I asked, impressed.

”No, I’m good,” he replied. Static wiped his moustache and flew unsteadily for a moment. Then he seemed to find his balance and his face took on a serious expression.

He burped loudly and said, “I think you are in grave danger, Tash.”

I lit up a joint and took a long, sweet hit. I offered it to Static, but he politely refused.

“Danger?” I asked. “How is that possible? I’m nobody. I’m just a beer bellied, out of shape, cowardly computer nerd. How can I be a threat to anyone? Why would some crazy bird attack me?” I tried to sound casual, but my voice was slightly shaking.

Static floated closer and smacked me in the forehead with his ruler.

“Ouch!” I complained.

He hovered in front of my face and spoke harshly, “Don’t ever say that!”

“Say what? That I’m out of shape?”

“No. You ARE getting a little pudgy…but that’s not the point! Never say that you are Nobody! THEY feed off that.”

“Who the hell is They?” I asked mockingly, gulping more beer. Static quickly slapped me in the face with his ruler, knocking my beer to the floor.

Static spoke urgently, “Just trust me, okay? I can’t tell you everything...but the Three Layer person I helped you discover -- Let’s just say, a lot of powerful people are angry and they want to change her back. Oh, and they are also extremely pissed off at both of us.”

I stared at my tiny friend. “Well, who would want a Three Layer person to stay trapped within Two Layers?” I asked incredulously.

“That would be me,” a rough voice interrupted. “I usually kick down the door, but this time it was unlocked.”

I turned in shock to see a huge, ugly man standing in my house. He was at least twice my size. On his shoulder perched the giant bird that attacked me.

I shrieked in panic, and I heard Static grunt in surprise. I dove behind the couch.

I could hear Static’s tiny, yet commanding voice:

“You are not allowed here! You are not welcome here!” Static faced them alone, fluttering furiously in the air. I crouched in hiding, and watched fearfully.

The sinister intruder laughed, and the huge bird suddenly launched itself towards Static. It attacked viciously, striking with its claws and razor sharp beak.

“Static!” I cried, jumping up from behind the couch.

Static bravely fought the devil bird. He used his calculator as a shield and his ruler as a sword. The bird was much larger than Static, but the little man darted and dodged in the air, attacking furiously.

I suddenly realized that the big intruder was looking at me with hunger in his eyes. He smiled evilly and approached me. I was very afraid.

“Tash, fight the evil human, and I will fight the bird!” Static cried, as he lunged and dodged in the air.

“Are you fucking crazy?” I shouted back.

In a panic, I ran out the back door and sprinted down the street. As I fled, I could hear the sounds of Static shouting in pain, and the evil bird screeching victoriously.

----- Continue to Chapter 2



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