This is the final part of a 3 part story that I’ve written. If you haven’t read to the first two parts, I shall post links to them below. Hope you enjoy the story!
Part 1: Run – https://jscarrottblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/fowl-play-part-1-run/
Part 2: Breath – https://jscarrottblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/fowl-play-part-2-breathe/
Fowl Play Part 3: Flight
By J.A Scarrott
Vauhn crashed in a heap onto the cold corridor floor. The jungle-fowl that was latched onto his flesh, let out an ear splitting hiss, beating it’s large grey wings in a frightful display.
Lizelle, Kayla and Logan all instinctively shifted backwards, as the Jungle-fowl squat furiously towards them, However they were violently shoved forward by Roland who shouted “Move! Go!”
They all clumsily piled out of the laboratory and into the corridor. Each of them doing their best to avoid tripping over Vauhn’s lifeless body. The small, blood hungry bird stayed situated on Vauhn, it continued to hiss as the students stumbled past.
“This way to the lift! Quickly!” Roland cried as he dashed down the corridor, slamming his finger on the small call button. They all stood anxiously waiting as the internal mechanics of the lift began to emit a low hum.
Kayla’s stood by the lift with the others, waiting, staring. The hum from the lift began to fade out, as did the rest of the world around her, as she stared at the bird before her. It pecked away at Vauhn’s raw flesh, ripping tendons, and veins violently out of the Vauhn’s slumped body.
Her friend was unrecognisable now. Vauhn’s once handsome face reduced to a pile of ribboned meat, which the jungle-fowl helped itself to. Despite the sorrow that swelled up within her, she couldn’t look away. That was her friend, 5 minutes ago he was living, breathing, talking and now, he was gone. Thin ray of golden light appeared to shine upon Vauhn’s body, she followed the beam with her eyes and was led to an open window that stood on the far end of the corridor.. An open window!? She thought to herself in dismay.
Immediately her senses were brought violently back to life. “We can’t go down yet!” Kayla called out to the others, spinning round as she did so. She pointed down the corridor, “You see that window? It’s open. If we leave it, then that chicken could escape!”
Liz and Logan looked at one another in worry, before turning their attention to Teah and Roland who stood behind them, ready to dive into the open, empty lift. “It’s not a chicken” Roland said coldly, “Besides, that Jungle-fowl seems too interested in eating, to want to escape. Why do you think it hasn’t come for us. It’s preoccupied.”
Kayla brushed through Liz and Logan, who both remained fixated on the small bird, and violently grabbed the cuff of Roland’s shirt before bringing her hand across his cheek, leaving a sore red hand print. “That’s our friend down there, show some respect. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone else, especially on the outside, to die. So I’m shutting that window!”
“We’re with you Kayla.” Logan told her, placing a hand upon her shoulder.
Kayla stared at Roland with heavy eyes, before turning to face the jungle-fowl that sat between them and the open window.
Nervously the three of them began to edge forward. “If there’s any sign of trouble or danger-”
“We’ll let you know, Don’t worry.” Logan replied, cutting her off mid sentence.
Kayla put her hand out when they were only a few meters from Vauhn’s body, signalling Liz and Logan to stop. The Jungle-fowl looked up at the three for a moment, before continuing to tear at the Vauhn’s back muscles.
She bent her knees slightly as she began to silently edge her way round, shifting her focus periodically between the Jungle-fowl and the open window. Her heart beat hard against her rib cage. Each step she took she placed delicately and with the utmost care, as to cause minimum noise or disturbance to the small, carnivorous bird. The fowl looked up at Kayla several times as she shuffled round, but was ultimately more interested in the feast that lay beneath it’s razor like talons.
Kayla let out a small sigh of relief as she finally made her way round to the window. She was greeted by a fresh breeze which poured in from outside the building. For a brief moment she was made to forget all that had happened that day and memories of laying on green park grass with Carole, Vauhn, Jason, Lizelle and Logan, between lectures, were brought to the forefront of her mind. The cool draft also made her aware of how accustomed her nose was to the thick stench of blood, which hung heavy within the university building.
Kayla opened her eyes, after drawing her first breath of fresh air, and glanced down at the multitude of response vehicles scattered in the car park below. Yellow ambulances stood next to white and blue police vans. Response personnel dashed about the scene, helping the lucky few who had managed to escape the building with their lives. She took one last breath of fresh air, before reaching for the window handle pulling it firmly towards herself. As window closed, a loud sudden click echoed through the corridor.
Kayla flinched then froze for a moment, wide eyed. Slowly turned her head to look at the fowl situated behind her. It began to let out a low throaty clucking noise. Logan and Lizelle stared helplessly across at their stranded friend.
However to all of their surprise the fowl didn’t move, it simply turned to face the open door that lead into the I.T suite of Roland’s and Teah’s laboratory. Kayla’s heart dropped and her stomach twisted as two more menacing, grey Jungle-fowls emerged through the doorway. They were brutist and stood taller than the bird already present, they towered over it as they approached Vauhn’s mutilated body.
The birds exchanged a series of clucks and screeches, jerking their heads in a bazaar fashion as they did so. All of the students stood as still like white statues as they watched. Fear gripped them ever tighter, paralysing in a suffocating stranglehold.
The two larger birds looked at Vauhn’s dead body, before looking up to the students that surrounded them. They were fresh meat, and unspoiled.
The two brutish fowls fixed their stare upon Liz, Logan, Teah and Roland, moving forward slowly. One of the fowls leapt across to the other side of the corridor, in an attempt to outflank the small group of students. Who were all backing up slowly, being careful not to make any sudden movements.
Suddenly Kayla shouted “Hey, come and get me! Come and get me!”
The Fowls snapped round instantly, their attention drawn to the rapid movements of Kayla’s arms, as she waved them about in an exaggerated manner. The Jungle-fowls altered their direction and began moving towards Kayla, who was still stood at the window.
“Get the lift down! Get out! Go!” She cried, panicking frantically as the grey birds crept ever closer, their beady eyes fixated on a new prey.
“Kayla! No don’t do this!”
“Go!” Kayla shrieked, forcing a couple of tears to roll out from her watering eyes.
But then something unexpected and unexplainable happened. The two advancing jungle-fowls stopped in their tracks. Kayla watched in bemusement as all three of the grey birds, including the one poised over Vauhn’s body, began to jerk their heads in an odd chaotic fashion. Letting out an array of bellowing howls and squawking in a hellish fashion. Within moments, they had all quickly dashed through the open door and scuttled away into Roland’s lab.
Liz and Logan looked upon the scene, stunned. Kayla looked over at them, sharing the same look of confusion. As she glanced at them, she noticed a very subtle movement of Roland’s arm, seemingly slipping something, small and black, from hand into his lab coat pocket.
“The door!” Liz shouted out loudly.
Kayla was brought back into focus and heavily slammed the door to the lab shut. She clung to the glossy metallic door handle, panting out heavy sighs now that the ordeal was over and they were safe… For now.
Kayla looked down at her shoes, as a pool of red slowly spread across the floor. She dared not look at Vauhn, not in that state. She thrust a hand out towards Teah and Roland. “Coat.” She demanded quietly, still facing the white door.
Teah looked to Roland, confused and anxious. Her arms hanging awkwardly limp by her sides.
“Coat!” Kayla yelled viciously, turning her head this time revealing a fierce expression. Teah jumped slightly, before hastily removing her lab coat. She offer it to Kayla who snatched it angrily from her hands.
She spread the white lab coat across, what was left of, Vauhn’s body. Covering him in a white, makeshift, shroud. A thick sadness bubble up within, hanging heavily deep within her chest like fresh wet tar. Kayla closed both eyes softly and tapped her head, shoulders and chest in succession whilst uttering a silent prayer.
Roland pressed the small lift button once again and it’s door spread open.
Logan made his way over to Kayla who stood quietly, staring at Vauhn’s shrouded body. She turned as Logan brought his arm around her. No words were needed, the silence spoke for everyone.
One by one, they made their way into lift. Kayla took one last look at Vauhn, the white lab coat that lay upon him was slowing turning a deep red. She closed her eyes before moving into the small lift, then pressed the button for the ground floor. The two lift doors drew to a close.
The gentle hum returned as the lift made it’s way down to the ground floor. They watched the number on the control panel change as they descended. A computerised female voice came from a small speaker situated above the lifts control panel, “Ground Floor.”
“Before we exit this lift, can I just ask, Why did the birds flee..?” Lizelle asked, “Kayla didn’t really do much in the way of scaring them.”
Kayla narrowed her eyes into a glare which she subtly aimed at Roland, who stood beside her in the lift. Remembering the small black item that Roland had slipped into his pocket moments after the jungle-fowls had fled.
Roland replied “They must have been called by another Fowl. We’re lucky we all got out of that mess.”
Kayla grit her teeth in frustration. I don’t know what you’re hiding, but I’m going to find out.
She didn’t have the time to say anything however, as the lift doors opened before she had chance. Each of them cowered slightly, in fear of sudden attack. To their relief the doors revealed an empty corridor. Logan stepped out first, glancing to his left, then right, as he made his way into the corridor. On their right stood the bottom of the stairwell, that ran parallel with the lift shaft up the side of the building. To their left ran the rest of corridor, littered with doors, which fed into different meeting rooms and study areas. At the end of the corridor stood a large window.
“It’s clear.” Logan said, turning to face the 4 that remained huddled away within the confines of the lift. Cautiously they made their way out and joined Logan in the corridor. Liz took off her spectacles, breathing on the lenses to fog them up, before wiping them on her t-shirt. She stopped after one lens, as faint scuttling could be heard coming from their right. Liz turned, wide eyed, and stared at the base of the spiral stairway. Not only was the sound increasing, but a set of spine shaking shrieks echoed down the stairwell and throughout the four walls of the narrow corridor.
Lizelle’s heart began to thumb furiously within her chest. “They’re coming… They’re coming!”
They all turned on their heels and ran. Racing their way down the corridor, distancing themselves from the mouth of the stairway and the oncoming danger. 4 of the 5 made a sharp right turn down another corridor, however Logan noticed something just beyond the far window.
“Wait! This way!” He yelled to the others, who all came to an uneasy hault. “There’s people from the fire service on the other side of that window!” Logan pointed with an outstretched hand. “Come on!”
He ran to the glass pane, unwilling to wait for the rest of them to make a decision. However they all followed shortly after him in pursuit.
When Teah, Roland, Kayla and Lizelle reached the large window, a service woman had already been made aware of their presence. The soul shaking shrills increased, echoing within the corridor.
“Open the top latch of the window, We’ll get you out. Stay calm.” The service woman said in a relaxed manner.
Teah and Kayla were at the back of the group, keeping an ever watchful eye upon the stairwell. At the same time, Logan opened the top latch of the window providing a small space which they could all squeeze through to safety, a cool breeze poured in. Lizelle was the first to climb through, the service woman, who stood on the other side of the clear window, took hold of both her arms, pulling her out of the building and onto the soft green grass that lay outside. The fresh midday air filled her lungs, purifying her senses of the thick stench of dried blood that clung to her clothes.
“Hurry… Hurry…” Kayla whispered to herself under her breath, blood pumping ever more furiously as the threat drew closer, still out of sight but definitely not out of mind.
Logan was next and, like Liz, he was quickly pulled through the small opening and brought into the safe, outside world. He was escorted off along with Lizelle to a team of paramedics who were situated in the buildings car park.
“Who’s next?” The service woman asked, but as she did a set of Jungle-Fowls materialised from the stairwell. Instantly they dashed full force down the corridor, blood curling screams bellowed from their throats.
“Shut the window! Shut it!” Kayla cried out, leaping backwards to slam the small opening. Barging Roland out of her way as she did so. The second that the window was shut, the fowls were upon them.
Kayla just managed to ducked out of the way of a bird that swooped down, dodging a pair of blade like talons. The Jungle-fowl collided heavily into the large window pane, the service woman that was out on the other side flinched as a large crack raced across the glass.
Teah, Roland and Kayla did their best to weave their way through the volley of lethal attacks that the fowls threw at them. Roland and Kayla managed to scrap their way through with only a handful of lashes on their arms and legs. Teah was not so fortunate, as she succumb to a set of slashing claws.
Roland and Kayla sped off regardless, not able to spare a second of compassion or sadness, else they too would be subject to the vicious claws of the Jungle-fowls. They bolted into the corridor they had initially tried to flee down before, which was now situated on their left. 2 fowls writhed their way round the tight turn, to find the corridor empty.
In the split second that they had been out of sight of the birds, Roland had managed to find refuge within a small supply cupboard, and had dragged Kayla harshly in with him. The small room barely had enough space to contain the two of them, it was littered with brooms, mops and buckets, cleaning fluids and other miscellaneous items.
The two tried to keep steady and remain on their feet in the tiny, dark cupboard. Grabbing hold onto one another and propping their hands against the walls, trying their best to avoid any items that may be hanging freely, in an effort to keep noise to a minimum.
They remained in complete silence within the cupboard and the two listened for sounds beyond the door. The corridor seemed to be as still as they were.
‘At least it was quick,’ Kayla thought to herself, ‘Rest in peace Teah.’
Kayla’s attention turned to the man who stood close to her in the darkness. The grip she had on him tightened and she pulled herself closer to him angrily. “I know you’ve got something. Tell me what it is!” She said in a harsh, hush voice.
Kayla jumped slightly as Roland clasped his hand heavily over her mouth. Muffling her cries of disapproval.
“Be quiet!” Roland hissed, he shook Kayla’s head slightly as he tightened his grip. Her muffling stopped, and in the moment of silence she could hear faint noises coming from the corridor. The quiet clattering of claws, pacing slowly up and down the hallway, sent a chill into Kayla’s bones. Her blood cooled as the footsteps trailed off and the bliss safe sound of silence set in once more.
She pulled Roland’s hand from her mouth and lent in again. “I don’t know what game you’re playing. But I’m onto you.”
Just as Kayla had finished talking, a phone began vibrating. She looked down to see Roland’s white lab coat pocket light up.
Roland withdrew the small device, the soft white light it emitted highlighted their faces softly within the darkness. The phone screen read “Teah Nicole.”
“She’s alive?” Kayla whispered lowly.
Roland didn’t reply, he brought the phone up to his ear and answered the call in a hush tone.
“Okay, Okay. We’re in the supply cupboard a few door down from you. Okay, Alright.”
With that Roland ended the short call and slipped the small mobile back into his deep lab coat pockets. “She’s in one of the classrooms near us. Two doors down. She managed to slip in unnoticed and killed the chicken that attacked her.” Roland told Kayla, “She said the corridor is clear at this moment, so now is our chance to move. Go.”
Kayla carefully edged the door to the cupboard open. A thin strip of light seeped through and stretched across her face. The band of light increased as Kayla continued to push the door open.
The two of them crept out into the hall way, and closed the cupboard behind them. The door clicked as it shut and their eyes snapped around the corridor wildly. Searching for any sign of danger.
Roland pointed with his finger to one of the classrooms and mouth the silently, “This one.” They edged their way over and wormed into the classroom, remaining as quiet as possible. Sure enough, Teah was sitting inside, blood stains covering her blue t-shirt. A headless chicken slumped on the floor beside her.
Teah flinched as they entered the room. “Oh, you scared me.” She yelped, before getting up to greet them, wiping her trembling, bloodied hands on her black trousers.
“How did you escape!?” Kayla exclaimed, still trying her best to remain as quiet as possible.
“I just got lucky I guess.” Teah replied, as she plunged her shaky hands into her jean pockets.
“You alright? You look shook up.”
“I’ll be fine.”
Roland looked at Teah and gave a simple nod of the head. She returned the gesture with a weak smile.
“We’re nearly out of here, The reception isn’t far from this classroom!” Kayla said, opening the door slightly to peer in the hallway. She turned back round to the other two, bringing the door to a close once again.
“No point hanging around. Let’s get this over with.” Roland replied dully, ushering Teah towards the door. “Lead the way Kayla.”
Kayla couldn’t help the glare that set across her face. However the expression melted away as Teah approached her, the poor girl’s eyes drooped and her hand were still visibly shaking within her pockets, despite her efforts to hide them.
“We’re nearly out of here.” She said to her reassuringly. “We’re nearly out. You’ll be home before you know it.”
Teah nodded her head limping, her eyes still staring at the floor. “Go.”
Kayla pushed the door open, and peered round to inspect the hallway, which still remained empty. “Follow me.” She mouthed silently, as she slipped out of the classroom. They were swift, yet silent and weaved their way to the double doors that lead into the main reception.
Kayla hesitates as she approached the two doors. She took a short breath before flinging them open. They walked slowly into the reception room. Before them sat an arrangement of tables and chairs, beyond that was the large curved reception desk and standing to it’s left, stood the two clear glass doors. Their bid for freedom.
Teah, Kayla and Roland walked across the quiet reception area, the room was unnervingly still. Kayla shifted her gaze constantly, looking for any slight hint of movement.
Teah didn’t share the same alertness or self control, and found herself sprinting towards the double glass doors.
“Teah wait!” Kayla exclaimed.
Just as Teah flung a door open, 3 fowls leapt from behind the large reception desk, letting out a loud terrifying screeched as they did so, landing between them and splitting the group in half. Isolating Kayla and Roland from reaching Teah or the door.
“Clever girls…” Roland said to himself quietly.
They all froze in place, being careful not to make any sudden movements. The 3 birds eyed up the prey that stood before them, they too were being mindful of their movements, waiting for the perfect time to strike.
Over by the door, Teah stood as still as she could. Trying her best to stop the shakes that ran through her body. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a group of service personnel standing at the bottom of the grassy bank, that led up to the reception doors. It wasn’t long before they themselves became aware of Teah, and started to shuffle up the parkway towards her.
As they approached she subtly stuck out her hand up and gave a slight shake of the head. Signalling them to stop their approach. The service group caught wind of her signals, and crouched down, remaining several meters away from the reception entrance.
Teah shifted her gaze to the room once more, only her eyes moved as her head remained perfectly still.
The three birds began to shift their attention from Roland and Kayla, who stood on one side of them, and Teah, who was planted on the other.
One by one the Jungle-fowls all turned to face Teah, sensing her fear through her shaking body and the beat of sweat ran from Teah’s brow.
“Oi! Chickens, come get some!” Kayla shouted, waving her arms about in a frantic fashion. She began to back up slowly. Roland looked at her in bewilderment, then across to Teah, as he was slowly pushed backwards by Kayla.
“Teah, get out! Go! We’ll distract them. Close the door!”
The moment that Kayla had finished her sentence, Roland brought his fist down heavily onto the back of her head. She collapsed in a heap on the floor, a painful throb pulsated within her skull. She looked upwards at Roland who towered above her, he slid a hand into his flowing, lab coat pocket, withdrawing a small black object.
The 3 Jungle-fowls that stood poised a short distance away from them cowered in fear, as they laid their eyes upon the small item, taking a few cautious backward steps. Roland drew a deep breath, readying himself to blow into the small device.
Just as Roland brought his lips to the whistle, Kayla threw a firm kick into the side of his knee. Roland cried out in pain as his leg buckled, he fell to his knees, dropping the small whistle in the process.
As Roland hit the floor, Kayla cried out “Teah! Go! Close the door, please!”
Teah hesitated at the door for a split second, however in her state of anxiousness and fear that fraction of a second felt like a full drawn out minute. The scene before her was still like a painting as her mind screamed a hundred thoughts at once. Then suddenly it came to silence.
Teah flung herself out of door, but left it open behind her.
Kayla’s heart dropped, as did her jaw as she watched helplessly, heaped on the floor. Roland lunged forward and swept up the whistle in one swift motion, before Kayla had even the slightest chance to react.
With the whistle firmly in hand, he brought to the device to his lips, his cheeks ballooned as he blew into the small black rectangle. No noise could be heard by human ears, but the 3 Jungle-fowls that stood before them hissed loudly in irritation, turned on their heels and fled. Running straight out of the open door and into the vast expansive world.
Kayla lay frozen in place on the floor, staring at the open door. A cold numbness ran throughout her body, as her heart thumped slow, heavy beats. “What have you done…?” Kayla whispered weakly.
“I’ll tell you what we’ve done, we’ve created a new world Kayla.” Roland replied, standing tall above her. His dark wild eyes were set upon open entrance to the reception.
Kayla clambered up onto her unsteady feet, the pain in the back of her head was starting to slowly subside.
“The United Kingdom will now have it’s first true predator. These birds are now the Apex of this island.” Roland said calmly, his long black hair lapped about his face gently as a chilled breeze rolled in through the open door.
“You’re fucking crazy. I expected something like this off you, but not Teah.” Kayla replied as she shook her weary head.
“That is surprising, I suppose it details how dense you are. You met her in the computer lab on the 3rd floor didn’t you?”
Kayla cocked her head slightly in bemusement.
“Don’t you find that a little odd? Considering our lab in on the 2nd floor? You bumped into her shortly after she released the little beauties from their cages up on the 4th. Idiot.” Roland scoffed, as he began to walk to the reception exit.
Kayla stood in place, her arms limping hanging by her sides as she watched Roland slowly walk away from her. Thoughts of Jason, Carole and Vauhn raced through her mind, flashes of their fear and of their deaths burnt brightly.
“Why? Why do this?”
Roland stopped in his tracks and turned back round to face her. “The ideas of great minds are comprehensible to the minds of lesser people, like you and your friends. For so long this country has been docile and weak, nothing challenged the humans that resided upon it except themselves. But Teah and I have added a new player to the game. The whole eco-system is going to be shaken up. Humans aren’t going to be the number one predator here for very long.” Roland rubbed his hands together in delight, a twisted demented smiled swirled across his face. He threw out his hands widely, his crystal white lab coat bellowed calmly in the breeze, and announced proudly “We’re playing god Kayla and we’re holding all the cards!”
Then suddenly his eyes widened in shock. Kayla flinched and stood a cautious step backward.
A small set of white razor sharp fangs materialised above Roland’s shoulder, in a flash the teeth sank into the soft flesh of his neck. In one swift jerk, his jugular was torn straight out. A stream of red dashed upward, showering the ceiling in hot blood. He sank to his knees, wobbled slightly before falling flat on his face. Blood poured out of his neck into a pool on the floor.
Kayla stood a step back as the wash of red spread across the floor, almost enveloping her shoes. She snapped her gaze upwards after jumping backwards, and saw a grey Jungle fowl staring at her. A large vein clasped between it’s teeth. It’s black beady eyes shifted from Kayla to the door, and moments later it was gone.
Kayla stood alone in the reception room in almost complete silence. The soft sound of the outdoor breeze beckoned to her. She walked calmly towards the reception doors, warm sunlight poured across her face. She filled her lungs with fresh air. It’s over… She thought to herself, It’s finally over.
The small island of the United Kingdom was never quite the same. The set of Jungle-fowls that escaped from the building quickly bred with the general domestic chicken population. All across the land rural farmers were waking up to find their livestock slaughtered in the fields and each of them was to suffer a similar fate.
Quiet walks in the woods no longer brought the same relaxing feeling they once did, instead a feeling of dread, fear and anxiety brewed within. Fearful of the eyes that may be watching and dreading the fate they brought with them.
Teah was arrested swiftly after the initial incident, on multiple man slaughter charges and all the victims of her honorific crimes finally found peace as their family put them to rest, 6 feet under the ground. Safe from all of the horrors that now prowled the surface of the new, dread filled world.