Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Today's #flashfiction Chuckles The Chicken

“Quoth the raven nevermore.”
Angry Birds* #quote

There's an expression that the truth hurts, but also lying can cause you pain. So maybe I should just say ambiguous statements with no real or difficult to discern meaning? Hmm...I don't think I'm cut out to be a lawyer. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Chuckles The Chicken

             Newspaper comic book artist and writer Ken made Chuckles The Chicken for years. And years. His hair was gray and he had middle aged people tell them how they grew up with Chuckles and loved him. Ken sat at his desk, frustrated, since after all these years, he couldn't come up with a gag.
           “Damn chicken, aren't you supposed to be my easy meal ticket?” Ken loved drawing and writing Chuckles for the first two decades. But eventually coming up with jokes became a robotic process for him. He became so good at it, and it became so routine that he made a comic in a few hours and went to the rest of his day. The cartoon character kept giving him an income, but in his day-to-day life it became an inconvenience, like any job.
            “I need to give them a strip. I always give them a strip.” The old artist mumbled, his fingers holding a pencil in hand. He flipped the pencil in his hand between his fingers. Something unusual for him. He always held his hand steady, ready to draw. “A joke, an idea for a strip. Anything. Please God give me something for this stupid chicken to do.”
            Over his desk hung an old poster with Chuckles the Chicken on it with the caption “Keep On Chuckling!” It was the piece of merchandise ever made for his comic so he held onto it as a memento. The thing was tattered and worn. The word old jumped into his head. He couldn't get an inspiration for a joke off the word old. He had no really old characters in the comic.
            A thought crossed his mind. He could add an old character. The idea revolted him though. If he added a new character he'd have to invent a new character design. This would take much longer than the usual amount of time he allotted to creating the comic. More thought and effort than he put into it for years. But a new character...would that solve his problem?
            He put his hand down on the paper and tried a little bit to draw a new character, but not too much. After all it'd be too much work to try too hard at making something new. But then in moments a rush of creativity came and vitality. The character quickly formed. A grandfather of Chuckles the Chicken's owner. His interest became renewed in the comic.

           A joke came in for that comic and the one after, and soon a few more characters. The comic was revitalized as the jaded comic artist broke his decades long formula and enjoyed his career once more.

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