Last week’s post ended with an unparalleled moment in Goosebumps history. To recap:
“She’s turning us into chickens!” Cole called to Mom […]
“It’s the truth!” I cried. “You’ve got to help us. Cole and I—BLUUUCK—we’re both turning into chickens!”
“That’s good news,” Mom replied calmly “I need two more chickens for the barbecue this afternoon.”
Chicken, Chicken Chapter 15:
Unfortunately this badass moment is immediately ruined:
Cole and I both gasped. Was Mom joking?
As soon as we burst into the kitchen, I realized that Mom wasn’t talking to us. She was on the phone. She had her back to us and was drumming her fingernails on the Formica counter beside the phone.
I’m under no illusions that this chapter was ever going to start with their mother actually intending to cook her two children who are the victims of chickencraft. However, I was still hoping this was her sarcastic reply. Apparently that was asking too much.
Cole and Crystal try to tell their mother that they’re turning into chickens, but for some reason she isn’t taking them seriously:
“Mom—we… we CLUUUCK BLUUUCK have to talk to you!” I sputtered.
She turned, still talking, and waved. She said a few more words, then hung up the phone. “You two slept so late,” she said, frowning at the wall clock. “It’s nearly noon, and our guests will be here in an hour or two.”
“Mom—” I started.
She wiped her forehead with the back of her hand and moved toward the sink. “Did you forget we’re having a big barbecue this afternoon? We’re having at least twenty guests, and—and—” She gestured to the pile of chicken parts.
The sight of them made my stomach turn.
“Cluuucck bluuuck,” Cole murmured.
You have to feel for this woman who is so hardened to her wacky kids’ actual suffering because of all the nonsense she’s had to put up with. Really makes you think what parents have to go through. SHE’S JUST STRESSING ABOUT HER BBQ AND DOESN’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT.
I get that Vanessa was pissed, but she didn’t stop to consider the consequences for the people who will be affected by Cole and Crystal’s transformation.
Mom reminds the kids that they missed chorus practice that morning. She continues to ignore the children trying to tell her they’re turning into chickens and instead talks about how great their chorus teacher is for offering to bring over more chicken to eat. This BBQ sounds like the event of the season. Not to be missed.
“BLUUUUCK!” Cole exclaimed.
“Listen to me, Mom,” I begged. “Do you hear Cole clucking like that?”
“Yes. Very nice clucking,” she murmured, tossing a leg into the bowl.
Her wilful misunderstandings are the greatest. I will aspire to this kind of parenting greatness someday. Then again, I will raise my kids right and teach them to not to spill a witch’s groceries or play stupid pranks on her, so they wouldn’t get into this situation in the first place.
The children concoct a plan of questionable quality. They decide that they’ll find Anthony who was surely cursed as well. Once they have Anthony on their side, surely mom will have no choice but to heed the words of some random kid.
“So if all three of us tell our story to Mom and Dad, then maybe they’ll believe us!” I cried.
I think it will take more than that to get your mother to stop giving a shit about her party and believe your crazy tale, but okay guys.
En route, VANESSA.
Crystal runs up to Vanessa and begs/bluuuucks for her to help them. This takes some balls, so I have new respect for Crystal.
The confrontation turns fierce:
“BLUUUUCK BLUUUCK!” my brother clucked angrily.
That brought a smile to her black-lipsticked lips. She laughed, and her dark eyes flashed.
She brushed back her straight, black hair. “Bluck bluck to you, too!” she called. “Chicken chicken!” Then she turned and hurried along the sidewalk.
“Bluuuck—wait!” Cole called after her. His head bobbed frantically up and down.
“You have to help us!” I cried, my hard lips clicking.
Vanessa began walking faster. Her black hair flew behind her. She didn’t look back.
What a clucking bitch.
Cole and Crystal move forward with their Anthony-centric plan. They find him playing golf in his backyard, which doesn’t feel very chicken-y if you ask me. The kids ask if anything weird has been going on with him…
Anthony raised his eyes to us. “Yeah,” he replied. “Something weird has been happening. How did you know?”
“Because BLUUUCK the same weird thing has been happening to us,” I told him.
He stared hard at me. “Huh?”
Cole and I nodded.
Anthony made a face. He pretended to study his golf club. “You mean you suddenly started putting really well, too?” he asked.
After Anthony talks for like five hours about his improved golfing skills, Crystal finally surmises he’s not being turned into a chicken. They return home, dejected, to the barbecue.
Crystal has to pluck some of her feathers and stuff. You know, normal maintenance girls have to do on their BLUUUUCK bodies as they begin changing. She heads downstairs and it seems like mom might finally notice what’s going on:
“See if there is enough ice,” Mom instructed. “And tell your dad he may need more charcoal. We—”
She stopped suddenly, with a gasp.
She stared out the window. “Crystal—what on earth is your brother doing out there?”
I stepped up beside her and gazed out the window. “Oh, no!” I cried.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
Really, Goosebumps, really?
So can everyone else not see the changes? Is that what’s happening here? I’m struggling to believe everyone in this universe is actually that oblivious.
Let’s find out what Crystal sees her brother doing.
Cole had climbed into the area fenced off for the chickens. He was down on his elbows and knees. There were chickens all around him.
God this is so embarrassing. How is mom going to explain this one to all her barbecue-loving friends?
“Why is your brother acting so dumb in front of company?” Mom asked, shaking her head. “Does he think that’s funny?”
NO, DUDE, HE’S BEEN CHICKEN CHICKEND, CAN’T YOU SEE?
Crystal goes outside, fully intending to get Cole to stop, but instead she joins him. This is getting out of control.
The next day at school, Crystal can’t stop thinking about the rest of the party. I can’t believe this all just got skipped over!
Of course, all of our guests thought what Cole and I did was some kind of a joke. They didn’t get the joke. But they knew it had to be a joke.
Mom and Dad were really angry. They needed us to help out. But we were too busy pecking seeds with the chickens.
I can’t even begin to imagine how frustrating this would be. Picture this, you are trying to throw what I can only conclude is the biggest event of the season, and your kids are pecking seeds outside with the chickens. Like they don’t have a care in the world! Ungrateful is what they are.
Mom’s anger is compounded when she discovers Crystal and Cole won’t eat chicken anymore. She’s completely lost control of this household.
The chapter ends with Crystal starting as forward on her CLUUUUCK basketball team. I’m sure if I understood basketball-speak this would be a significant moment in Crystal’s life. However, it’s probably ruined by this whole chicken situation.
To my horror, I realized that I couldn’t run without bobbing my head.
I glanced to the sideline—and saw Coach Clay staring at me. “Crystal—what are you doing?” she called.
I heard some kids laughing at me.
Crystal is utterly humiliated by her chicken-instincts taking over.
At home later, she is totally depressed.
After dinner, Mom and Dad had to go to school for a Parents Association meeting. Cole and I waited until we heard the car pull away. Then we waddled downstairs to the living room.
We were down on our knees, pecking crumbs in the rug.
My body was covered with white and brown feathers. It would take hours to pull them all off.
What the cluck?! Why are they plucking the feathers before trying to convince their parents something is wrong? Their first call of action to proving they were turning into chickens was not to show their parents the feathers growing out of their body but to instead seek Anthony’s help. Useless Anthony who has never cared about anyone or anything as much as his precious golf. Get better at plans, kids.
“Crystal, what are we going to do?” Cole asked softly.
I started to say, “I don’t know.”
But I suddenly knew exactly what we had to do.
If you’re going to talk to Anthony again, I swear to god I’m done.
They head to Vanessa’s house. This certainly seems like a step up from Plan A(nthony).
Our shoes plodded heavily over the hard dirt path. A few minutes later, I could see the black outline of Vanessa’s house against the gray sky.
“What are we CLUUUCK going to say to her?” Cole demanded softly.
Sir, I think you mean, “What the CLUUUCK are we going to say to her.” Come on, R.L. you handed yourself these jokes.
They knock on Vanessa’s door. Why this was its own chapter, no one BLUUUUUUUCKing knows.
There’s no answer at the door. Just when I thought this was gonna be easy.
They look inside Vanessa’s window. Because spying will lead to more good things happening to these characters.
“Cole—” I whispered, my heart starting to pound. “See those old books? Do you think they are books about magic?”
“Huh?” He pressed his face against the glass. “What do you mean?”
“You know. Bluuuck. Books about magic spells. Sorcery books. They look like they could be old spell books—don’t they?”
They decide to go ahead with this new, awful plan. The best thing this plan has going for it is that Anthony isn’t involved. Ug. Anthony.
I reached out for the book on top of the stack—when a furious shriek made me stop.
“Ohhh!” I pulled my hand back.
“Vanessa—!” Cole cried.
You are not going to BLUUUUUCKing fool me this time, Goosebumps. Nuh-uh. It’s not Vanessa. It’s probably Anthony. Or a sponge. I don’t know, it just ain’t Vanessa.