Edward Bryant’s “Dancing Chickens” is a sci-fi story set during first contact with aliens, their vast, black ships hovering over the cities of America with nary a word from whatever extraterrestrial intelligence waits within. The main character is Ricky, a runaway with little going for him except his dreams and desires – he wishes for the ships to come and take him away from his life and responsibilities. He gets his wish, but not in the way he wanted.
The title refers to when a party guest uses a chicken as a puppet and makes it dance, to the disgust of the other partygoers. The opening line is “What do aliens want?” and the answer is the title, although the chickens actually refer to humans – to the aliens, we are nothing more than puppets, and that does not bode well for the human race.
What I liked about Bryant’s writing is how the science-fiction aspect is kept in the background, but not totally forgotten. The focus is more on Ricky and his relationships with others than the aliens, and the sci-fi elements don’t really come into play until the end, when it veers into horror. An interesting and somber story.
— Michael Malan, Blogger
Editor’s Note: Mike Malan recently graduated from Lewis University with a degree in English with a sub-speciality in Creative Writing. Mike especially enjoys writing gothic, Poe and all things that chill your bones. He is a dark writer but you can find him dabbling in politics. He is also interested in the editing process and hopes that you will enjoy his work.