He liked chickens. He liked them better fried but he didn't mind when they strutted about making chicken noises either. The sound was kind of relaxing. But what had woken him wasn't relaxing. What had woken him sounded like a fox or a coyote getting into his hen house.
One of the chickens plucked its way towards him and began pecking at his slipper.
"Knock it off." He nudged it away with his toe. "Bird! Knock it off."
The lone chicken was followed by several of its brethren. Clustering around his feet, they too, began to peck at his slippers. And it hurt. He was wearing velvet slippers his grandma had bought him. Nice slippers but they did little to ward off sharp beaks. He stepped away from the flock.
Shining his flashlight into the darkness, he couldn't see any sign of a predator. "Scared it off, did you?" He glanced at the flock of chickens, all lined in a row and facing him. It was probably a trick of his flashlight but their eyes were glowing. Frowning, he shone the light directly on them. The chickens scattered like roaches.
He followed their trails to the edges of the chicken pen. The coop fence had been damaged. Tufts of fur scattered the area. It looked like something had been dragged through the gap, and it wasn't one of his chickens. Blood and fur clung to the wiring.
"What the hell?" The chickens huddled in the corners, shying away from his light. "What's gotten into you birds?" He shone the flashlight directly on one. It lunged at him, its beak opening in a soundless shriek. "Back off, bird!" The man kicked at it. The chicken lunged again.
One by one, the other chickens turned towards him. This time, there was no mistake, their eyes were glowing red. They came towards him as a flock, hissing.
He fell with a cry and landed flat on his back. The flock descended upon him, their beaks sharp and unforgiving.