View Full Version : The Dawn of the Chicken

09-20-2013, 12:46 PM
This is a quick two-page story. It's meant to be a preview for an anthology of stories I hope to create. It is called "The Dawn of the Chicken".

Page 1
8 Panels

Panel 1
Birds-eye view of a ranch style house on the edge of a cornfield with a barn in the backyard and a fenced in chicken coop area between them. It is early morning.

Caption: She Knows.

Panel 2
Side-Profile of a hen, pecking at the ground. The barn is in the background. Mary and Rob are speaking off panel. It's claws should be emphasised. Chicken's are scary.

Caption: You like to think she doesn't.
Mary: My ma got a new refrigerator.
Rob: Is that right?

Panel 3
Front profile of the hen. It should be looking directly toward the reader, one of it's claws raised forward. It should be in the center of the panel leaving room for the dialogue on either side.

Caption: But-
Rob: Is it one of those side by side ones?
Mary: I'm not sure. I didn't ask.
Rob: I don't like those side by side ones. Or the one where the freezer's on the bottom.

Panel 4
Looking into the kitchen through a sliding glass door in the backyard, we should still see some of the houses exterior. Rob, mid 30's, black hair, dressed in business casual wear, sits at a table reading the newspaper. He has an anxious look on his face. His son, Jr., sits across from him at the table. We only see the back of his head which is shaggy. He wears a plaid shirt or some other distinguishable pattern. He is 13. The layout of the kitchen for reference is as follows: The kitchen table sits near the sliding glass door. Along the interior wall is first the refrigerator near the table, counter space, the oven, and more counter space to the left. The kitchen sink and dishwasher sit along the exterior wall with a small window at the sink.
Caption: -she knows.
Mary: I heard they aren't very energy efficient.

Panel 5
We are looking into the kitchen now from the window in front of the sink looking in. The frame of the windows should make part of the panel. Mary, mid 30's, dressed in comfortable clothing, is in the foreground at the sink. Mary and Rob are both laughing.
Mary: We just had a conversation about refrigerators.
Rob: Oh God, we are old.
Both: Hahahahaha
Rob: I have to piss I'll be back.
Mary: Language, Rob!

Panel 6
We see Mary bent over into the refrigerator searching for something. If the counter is visible there is a cutting board, garlic, and bell peppers waiting to be chopped.
Mary: Nervous for your first day of school?
Jr: It'll be just as boring as every other day at school.

Panel 7
Now we face Mary from inside the refrigerator. There should be a carton of milk that says "MISSING CHILD" with a rough sketch of a child and nondescript writing.
Mary: Sometimes boring is better than you realize.
Jr.: If you say so.
Mary: Oh I do. Hey we are out of eggs can you go and check the coop?

Panel 8
We now watch Jr walking out of the backdoor to the chicken coop. The hen that was in the yard is paying close attention to Jr.

Jr.: Yeah, sure.

Page 2
4 panels

Panel 1
Rob is standing in the restroom in front of the sink looking into the mirror, almost like he is using the mirror to look behind him.

Caption: She watches you every morning-

Panel 2
Mary is at the counter chopping up bell peppers and garlic, facing away from us.

Caption: -as you cook and eat -

Panel 3
Finally, we see Jr.'s face, which is covered in freckles. In the foreground is a basket used to catch the chicken's eggs after she lays them.

Caption: -her children.

Panel 4
In the bottom left of the panel we see one of Jr's shoes with blood on it, lightly pecked at. We should see a hen with part of Jr's shirt torn off in it's beak. In the background we should see the chickens pecking away at a shadowy mass.

Caption: And she is plotting her revenge.
FX: Kluk! Cluk! Ku Ku Clack! Cluk!

The end.

09-20-2013, 10:39 PM
Well I have to say its definitely an original concept. I actually read this three times before I made the connection of what was going on. (I won't ruin it for anyone else.) Part of the problem was Page one is extremely crowded. You could probably get at least two to three pages out of it and it would still be as suspenseful. Because its so crowded your panel descriptions can be a little thin. Pg 1 Panel 8 is a moving panel and Pg 2 Panel 3 has no point of reference. I'm guessing we are supposed to be looking under the coop past the basket to Jr.'s face. What's his expression? Is he staring blankly? Is he surprised? Your characters seem to kind of float through this yet they seem like they're supposed to be aware. You have a great concept, flesh your panels out a little better and don't be afraid to use pages to tell your story.

09-21-2013, 03:21 AM
I definitley agree with the crowded nature of the first page. I was just sort of obsessed with trying to tell a two-page story but it didn't quite work out how I wanted. In regards to page 1 panel 8 we are supposed to see Jr having walked out the back door, mid stride headed out to the chicken coop. I think I have worked out a way to make it 4 pages. I think the page turn is vital to the surprise ending but in two pages it doesn't really get to flesh out the characters and what's going on so it does feel a bit like the characters are meandering around. Thanks for the response!