Big Dumb Red cock-a-doodle-do’d that morning, like every other morning, and woke Harold up bright and early. Harold had a routine that he followed every morning. He would get out of bed, cuss out loud about something that was aching. His wife, Francine, would roll her eyes, only when she was awake enough to be annoyed by the shouting man that she promised to spend the rest of her life with, in sickness and in health, till death do them part.
While walking into the bathroom, he would always ram his shoulder into the door jamb. This made him cuss out loud some more. Sometimes, if he was in a better mood, he would say thing like, “Who put that door jamb there?” or “That’s a plenty stupid place to build a doorway,” etc., etc.
Then he would pull out little Harold, whom he called Harry, and urinated. Hopefully, into the toilet, but in most cases, it was all over the floor by the time he aimed and got it in the bowl. Francine, when awake enough to care, would always be able to tell how much he missed. She would yell at him and tell him to sit on the toilet. He would yell back, “I ain’t no lady!” She would wait for him to leave, and then clean it up before going back to bed.
There was a time when she would get up in the mornings with him and make him breakfast, but those days were long gone. Now, Harold would go into the kitchen, make a cup of instant coffee with hot tap water and walk out back, making sure that the rusty screen slammed shut to wake Francine, if she managed to get back to sleep.
Harold would walk out to the hen house, having a pointless morning chat with Sparky, his beagle that sort of watched the hen house. He would say things like, “This weather, huh?” or “Kill any foxes last night, Sparky?” even sometimes he would ask Sparky really personal questions like, “You get any tail last night, old fella?” or “Any bitches in heat around here?” Sparky just wagged his tail. Harold would put his hand under the six hens in the coop and pull out whatever eggs he could get ahold of, thank the ladies for their service, then go inside and make himself and Sparky some breakfast; sometimes with bacon!
Something happened one day that began to trouble Harold; the eggs were getting smaller and lighter. Then, they became fewer every morning. It got so bad that one morning, Harlod went outside and shoved his fat, dirty hand underneath those hens and came out empty handed. Not an egg in the bunch! Sparky whimpered.
Harold and Francine argued about it all that first morning it happened. She blamed his manhood and his inability to be a good farmer. He blamed her inability to make him breakfast and then called her a stupid bitch. They finally decided that they would just eat one of the chickens, and maybe in a week or so, get some new ones that will lay more eggs.
Harold walked outside with a big, heavy cleaver and slammed it into a tree stump, then went into the hen house and grabbed the fattest bird he find by the feet and took her outside. She was not liking it. She was upside down flapping her wings like crazy, making more noise than a lawnmower.
Big Dumb Red and Harold made eye contact. Harold knew that Big Dumb Red didn’t like what he was doing. “There ain’t no choice, Big Dumb Red. We gots ta eat!”
Big Dumb Red screamed at him, then turned and walked away.
Harold swung the hen up on the stump and slammed down the cleaver. It was bloody. He left the head and took the body inside the house, hoping Francine would do the rest of the dirty work, but he knew deep down she wouldn’t.
This madness went on for five more days. They were out of hens. Francine asked if they could eat Big Dumb Red and Harold gave her a taste of his back hand. Her lips were red and puffy. She screamed at him and kicked him in the balls. He went down. She then said that they would kill Sparky and eat him for the next week. Harold crawled to the couch and lifted himself up, then pulled off his belt. He swung the belt at Francine and hit her on the cheek with his large brass belt buckle of a steer head. It sliced her cheek open. He took a step towards her, but his pants fell down and he tripped and hit his head on the corner of the coffee table. He slept there on the floor in a small pool of his blood that night.
He woke up cussing. This time it was because of the headache that pounded thought his brain with every beat of his heart. He tried to make a cup of instant coffee with his eyes closed and couldn’t pull it off very well. There was barely any coffee in the cup, most of it was on the counter and he only filled the cup up half way. He was drinking hot water.
He knew what had to happen.
He walked out back and pulled the cleaver out of the stump. Big Dumb Red was across the yard. Big Dumb Red knew what was happening too. Big Dumb Red ran all over the yard dodging Harold’s every attempt. Harold dove, Big Dumb Red moved. This went on for sometime. Harold asked Sparky to help, but Sparky was afraid of Big Dumb Red and just barked from the back porch.
Finally, Francine came out and watched the shenanigans with a half smoked cigarette hanging from her lips. Every time Harold missed, she made fun of him. Harold lay on his back, looking up into the morning sun, staring at it, wishing that he would go blind.
Sparky still barked.
Francine still bitched.
Big Dumb Red still cock-a-doodle-do’d.
Francine called him a stupid little pecker and then he yelled back, “Maybe if your fat ass would come down here and help me, we could have something to eat!”
She swallowed hard and said, “Okay, baby. Calm down. I’ll help ya.”
They chased Big Dumb Red around the yard and finally had him cornered. Sparky barked. Harold grabbed the rooster with his big fat hands and squeezed him to make sure he didn’t get away.
“We did it, Francine!” he hollered gleefully.
“We sure did, baby!”
He slammed Big Dumb Red on the stump, holding him down with one hand. “Hand me that cleaver, baby.”
“Now, Francine, help me hold him down, he is really giving a fight.”
She chuckled, “Wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah, Francine, I guess I would.”
He swung the cleaver down right on Big Dumb Red’s neck. The cleaver shattered, sending two big hunks of sharp metal into the throats of both Harold and Francine. Both of them, in shock, pulled the metal out and watched each other bleed profusely in a rhythmic stream that pumped out quickly. They fell to the ground and tried to say things to each other but couldn’t get the words out through the gurgle. The blood then slowed to a trickle.
Big Dumb Red was standing on the stump without a mark on him. He cock-a-doodle-do’d.