Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)
TITLE: Unscripted? Maybe
By Loren T. Lowery
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Although she only saw the movie once, (through the window of her owner’s den) she was sure the camera had been focused on her. She was equally certain that if it hadn’t been for her brother, John, puffing-up his feathers (and for all intent and purposes hiding Rosie’s face just as the camera panned her way) she would have been “discovered” by ole Hitch (as she liked to call him); and her life in the chicken yard would now be far different.
However, that wasn’t to be the case. And, since most, if not all, the other chickens had never seen the movie, she had them convinced she’d been the main attraction and was therefore a celebrity of sorts.
This morning, Rosie found herself across the road from her chicken yard, carrying a heavy valise. She was in a dither over something she’d just heard. “Oh dear, oh my,” she shuddered.
“What is it?” asked John from the other side of the road.
“I just heard Mr. Beckett answer Mr. Hobbes that he didn’t know.”
“Our owner, Samuel Beckett, didn’t know what?”
“About why the chicken crossed the road.” Her eyes grew large with concern. “They’re talking about me, I’m certain they are. They always are, you know – talking about you - when you’re a star.”
“Well, why did you cross the road?”
“I don’t know! I don’t know.” She lowered her valise to the ground. “I don’t know what my motivation was…err, is.” She paused. “But I’m sure it must be written down somewhere. Things like that are always scripted out you know.”
“Well yes. I mean how is one to ever live their life without knowing their motivation for doing things.”
Samuel shrugged. “You just do them, that’s all.”
“Honestly, you sound just like that Himalayan guy who climbed mountains just because they’re there.
“That was Sir Edmund Hilary of New Zealand; and it was Mount Everest - not the Himalayas.”
“What ever. The point is we can’t be doing things simply because it’s there to do. There must be a reason – Hitch taught me that when directing me in his movie.” She flapped her wings. “Why else would Mr. Becket answer Mr. Hobbes that he didn’t know why I’m over here?” She looked around. “It must be lost.”
“The manuscript explaining things.” She raised her beak, peering over Samuel’s red comb into the barnyard. “Do you think it’s lost?”
“It would certainly explain a lot of things…you know why everyone’s walking around so confused all the time.”
“Is this to be my life, waiting out here in the abysses of the world…”
“For heaven's sake, you’re across the road from the chicken coop.”
“Yes, but why, why am I here? Alone, all, all alone with nothing to guide me; left to live a meaningless existence, wandering aimlessly because the author’s words of why I crossed the road is lost?”
“I can see it now – a movie called <i>The Case of the Missing Manuscript</i>. I’d be the star of course, what with all my experience with despair and alienation not to mention my role in <i>The Birds</i>.
“Rosie, I’ve seen the manuscript.”
She gasped. “You have?”
“Then what was my motivation?”
“I can’t say. Something’s are left for us to figure out on our own.”
“Just like that, I’ll never know, left to figure it out for myself.”
“Pretty much.” His voice turned cocky.
“How come you got to see the manuscript and I can’t.”
“Because it said I did and you didn't.”
“The manuscript said that?”
“John,” Rosie hefted her heavy valise, “that time in the chicken yard - when you puffed your feathers – before my close up with Hitch – was that in the manuscript, too?”
“I was only doing what I was scripted to do.”
The next day, John woke up in the henhouse with a splitting headache and a big knot on his head. Rosie was sitting next to him, valise nearby. “Why’d you do that?” he asked.
“Unexpected?” Rosie clucked.
“Let’s just say I found my motivation and was doing what I was scripted to do – following another manuscript so to speak.”
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