Let’s have a show of hands. How many of you know what chiggers are?
For those who don’t, the internet defines chiggers as the juvenile form of a certain type of mite of the family Trombiculidae. Personally, I could care less about their lineage and pray that none ever reach adulthood. In plain English, they are tiny red insects that leap from weeds and grass to burrow into your skin and feed on human flesh. The result is raised bumps that itch like hell.
I became personally acquainted with a few of these juvenile hitchhikers the other day while picking up trash along our road. This seems a high price to pay for performing community service, especially when I hadn’t been convicted of committing a crime. After all, I’m not that big of a celebrity.
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the exterminator who captures and relocates rogue pronouns and adverbs is Olive Orkin Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
Spectators peek through windows and dangle from second-story balconies, cheering on the daring competitors.
Piercing screams echo from the brick facades of ancient buildings while terror runs rampant down the narrow corridor. In its wake, the street and sidewalks are speckled with blood. Feathers float like snowflakes on the warm summer breeze.
A combatant reveals the beak-marks on the back of his neck and the streaks of blood racing down the calves of both legs.
“What was it like, running from chickens?” asks a reporter.
“Terrifying. I’ve never been more scared in my life.”
“Would you do it again?”
The above is an excerpt from a 4,200 word short story, Running of the Chickens, which will be included in my next book, projected for release some time in 2017.