They Only Come Out At Night

by Adam J. Whitlatch

John scratched his thick white beard and cursed under his breath as he stared at the scene of death and mutilation that only last night had been a flourishing chicken coop. All over the room, masses of matted feathers, wings, gristly bones, and cloudy-eyed heads littered the floor, nesting boxes, and the brooder; they hadn't taken the eggs, the dirty varmints - why the hell hadn't they taken the eggs? Three nights now this had happened; he looked up into the rafters at the remaining six hens and two roosters cowering there, frightened and shaking, and decided that enough was enough. Tonight I'm gonna bag those sons a bitches, he thought with resolve as he set down the rusty steel traps and began collecting the pieces of carcasses with the most meat left on them. He went to bed that night with a smile on his face, certain that in the morning the nightmare would be over and he'd have the filthy varmints right where he wanted them. Imagine his horror the next morning when he opened his door to find three bloody steel traps dangling from the nail above his door and a message scrawled in blood on the door, No MoRR cHiKenZ HooManZ nEXt!


Adam J. Whitlatch is fighting a losing battle with weasels, coyotes, and neighbor dogs in his chicken coop. (Sometimes he wonders if they're not something bigger... and smarter.) He lives on a small farm in southeast Iowa with his wife and their two boys and continues working on new sixes as well as his novel-in-progress "E.R.A. – Earth Realm Army." (Adam's full 6S catalog can be found here.)