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Verge 2012: Inverse

TAKE AWAY

Jeremy Johnson

Chip.

Chip. I see a chip. I want the chip. Give me the chip.

It’s there, it’s good, it’s a chip, it’s a Chip!

Quick. Get the Chip. I want the Chip. But he wants the Chip. And she wants the Chip. They all want the Chip, so quick, quick, get the Chip.

I look down from the tree. Claws gripping bark. I fall. I flap. Air. Feathers. I glide. I fall. I flap. I land on the metal statue.

Claws scratching. No grip. I stumble. I clutch on to metal. No grip. I fall. I flap. I land on stone. There’s grip. I look.

Grass to the left. Grass to the right. Friends down there. Many of us. Crowding, hurrying, pecking. There’s a Giant. He has a paper bag. He holds a blue pen, writes in a red book. From the bag he pulls the Chips. He eats one, I hear the crunch, the crunch of the Chip.

I flap. I fly. I land. So many feathers. My friends. I fight them. I peck a cousin. I claw my sister. The Giant sees. He smiles with his face. Giant face. He puts down the red book, the blue pen. Picks up another Chip. We stare. He laughs.

The Chip is golden. The Chip is steaming. It beckons us. I stab someone with my beak. The Giant sees. He stands. I watch. He hurls the Chip across the grass.

Jump, flap, fight, rush, grab, bite. Chip! Get the Chip! Got the Chip! I stumble, I fight. So many feathers. Someone claws my wing. I jump, I flap. I’m up, I’m flying and my friends drop away. The Chip hangs from my beak, flapping in the wind. It tears. I scream. Half falls. A mad rush of feathers below. I flap, I fly, up to the tree branches. I land, I stop, claws gripping bark.

I breathe. Thumping in my chest. I blink. Then, in ecstasy, I let the half Chip slide down my throat. It is golden, salty, steaming, crunchy, mushy, good. I breathe it inside.

The metal statue looks at me. The grass lawn and all my friends are below. I blink.

A good day.

Verge 2012: Inverse

   by Samantha Clifford and Rosalind Mcfarlane