The situation I experienced in an Asian restricted access nation caught me totally off-guard. Initially, nothing seemed unusual about the living room where I sat writing; only the clatter of my keyboard sounded as I chronicled my ongoing mission to backpack 360° around the world documenting Christian students’ university experiences. Soon, when a masters graduate strolled in for an impromptu interview, I became too engrossed in notetaking to detect anything sinister afoot.
“When I was doing my masters degree,” said the graduate, who stood backlit in the doorway to the yard—
I didn’t catch the rest of his sentence. All my attention, instead, locked onto the dark shadow which had suddenly materialized on top of his head. A strange expression—some hybrid between wonder and confusion—transformed the graduate’s face. Moving only his eyes, he looked up towards the shadow now fused to his forehead.
“Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak,” said the shadow.
The shadow morphed like an extradimensional shapeshifter, its sides extending and contracting in a frenzy of motion that propelled the strange being into the living room. There in the light, I could discern the creature’s true nature.
It was a chicken.
“Bwaaak-bwaaaaaak” the chicken repeated, alighting placidly on the floor. Then, as though recalling something urgent, it burst into flight, fluttered towards the graduate’s face, swerved, flung itself passionately into the curtains, and flopped back to the ground.
I wanted to ask the graduate what he’d been about to say, but I was laughing too hard to try.