Robin woke up that morning with a cat in his arm.
He was sleeping on the ground, and it took him a moment or two to remember why. Oh yeah, he had been drinking, bottles of wine following the Alabama Slammas that Brendan had whipped up. Brenden and Curtis were probably still asleep, elsewhere in the house. Robin wasn't quite sure where Andrew was. He had been sleeping on the couch.
Robin was sleeping in a sleeping bag that was a little too small for him. In order to fit comfortably, Robin had had to unzip the top third of the bag, which had become half of the bag as the night went.
There hadn't been any extra pajamas readily available in the ten seconds that drunken Robin had considered trying to find them, so he was sleeping in his boxers, which, unfortunately, were of the "bottom of the underwear drawer" variety-the kind that doesn't fit. This is to say; sometimes these boxers don't quite provide the "coverage" that they should.
He woke up with Andrew's grey cat in his arm. It purred and looked at Robin, and Robin began to pet it.
This created a sordid cycle that trapped Robin in bed for the next few hours: Robin was warm in his sleeping bag, the cat was warm in his arms, the cat purred while Robin petted it, Robin couldn't stop petting it until he got out of bed, he became dependant on constantly providing such a huge amount of pleasure to the cat, and so on. The two of them were unable to exit the sleeping bag until Andrew came into the room and Robin had to consider his BottomOfTheDrawer drawers and his unzipped sleeping bag.
Throwing on some jeans, he wrested himself from the cat, and wandered around the kitchen, watching Andrew make breakfast-curry. It was cold in the kitchen, so Robin put on a sweatshirt, and then a black pea coat, as Brenden wandered through, put some curry in a bowl, and left the room again. Curtis wandered in the door almost immediately after, and took a bowl himself. He left the room in search of Brenden.
Robin decided that he wanted some breakfast just as the supply ran out, and, standing in the living room, was told that there simply was no more Curry to eat.
Robin was plainly disappointed by this fact. The cat rubbed against his leg. Andrew decided to list the options still available to Robin at this point.
"There's some cereal and stuff."
Robin stared blankly at Andrew.
"Uh…and chicken! We've got these great chicken breast things!"
Robin continued to stare, but something had changed in the stare.
"They're like breaded…and are filled with butter and basil…you put them in the oven, and heat them up…they're…"
Robin began peeling at his face. It hideously contorted, and then began to give, coming off completely.
It was, of course, a mask.
Robin was still standing in the middle of the room, in jeans, a sweatshirt and a black pea coat. But he had the head of a giant chicken.
He was, indeed, a giant chicken.
Andrew stood glued to floor, mouth slightly open.
Robin reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a sleek black pistol, silencer attached to the end.
He raised his arm and shot Andrew through the head.
He dropped the mask to the side, and walked briskly over to where Andrew lay, shooting him twice more on the ground. He then walked from the room, got into his car, and drove away.
Brenden emerged from the garage with Curtis to find Andrew, dead on the ground, next to a mask of Robin's face.
There was no way that they could ever begin to figure out what had happened.
..."Haha, and like weeks later, detectives would find a frozen, breaded chicken buried in the yard outside Andrew's house, but they would never know!" Robin finished telling the joke.
Andrew laughed and fished the chicken out of the freezer. "Here it is…don't kill me."
Brenden came in and they told him the story they had just made up, about Robin actually being a violent giant chicken. He laughed, and looked for more Curry. Robin told him there wasn't any more. Brenden shrugged and left the room.
Robin took the chicken and began preheating the oven. While he was wrapping a baking pan in aluminum foil, he looked up and jumped backward, startled.
In front of him, on the kitchen counter, was a giant porcelain cat face.
"Jesus," Robin said.
Andrew looked up from a fragment of newspaper. "Oh, yeah. My mom has lots of stuff like that." He gestured above his fridge. "Like that."
There was a huge porcelain carrot-person above the fridge, with a small, disapproving face.
"That thing," Andrew said, "gives me nightmares. I hate that thing."
Robin began pulling at his face, like in the chicken joke.
Andrew laughed, and then Robin's face really did come off.
His head was a giant carrot.
Andrew froze, stunned, just like they said he would in the joke. His mouth was indeed slightly open.
Robin walked over and got really, really close to Andrew's ear.
"If you tell anyone," he whispered roughly, "I'll kill you."
He then walked back to the other side of the room and put his mask back on, as Brenden came into the room from the garage, empty bowl in hand, and stopped short, looking at the look on Andrew's face.
"Ummmm…what's going on, guys?"
Andrew licked his lips nervously and shot a glance at Robin, who looked grimly back at him. "No…nothing."
"Okaaaaay," Brenden said, and then slowly walked over to the sink, placing his bowl inside. "That curry was great. What was in it?"
Without taking his eyes off Robin, Andrew answered "Chicken."
Brenden froze. He put his hands on the edges of the sink to steady himself. He took a deep breath.
Andrew finally looked away from Robin, glancing at Brenden's back.
Brenden turned around slowly. He reached for his face, and began to pull at it.
Andrew tried to laugh at Brenden's contribution to the joke, but then stopped laughing as Brendens' face came off, revealing him to be a giant chicken.
Everybody stared and nobody moved.
Then the room exploded into action.
Brenden pulled a gun from his pocket and raised his arm to fire at Andrew, when a shot rang out and Brenden dropped to the floor, dead.
Andrew and Robin turned to look at the source of the shot.
It was Curtis. He stood, gun smoking in his upraised arm, in the doorway to the garage.
His head was a giant stalk of celery.
Nobody moved for a second or two.
Robin pulled his mask back off.
The carrot and the celery looked at a stunned Andrew for a second. The chicken lay in a slowly spreading pool of blood.
Curtis walked over to Andrew and stood in front of him.
"I do this not for you," he said, "I do this…for vegetables."
Robin grabbed Brenden's legs, and Curtis grabbed his arms, and they carried him from the room. The door closed.
Andrew stood alone in the dark room and thought about all this.