I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of the Shoppers Food Warehouse thoroughly pissed off at my day. Shopper’s was my second supermarket and I still hadn’t gotten everything on my list. I still had to get that stupid cheese, the kind I always have trouble finding. Oh they had cheese at Giant alright, and at Shopper’s as well, except, they didn’t have that one particular, certain special cheese, the one that we always used and desperately needed.
So, I put the key in the ignition and started the engine. The distant sky was grumbling and turning from white to dark gray. I suspected that by the time I got to the Safeway, it would be raining like hell. I shook my head in helpless appreciation of the sad, bitter irony of it all. I knew (or fully expected) that in not too many minutes I would find myself walking dejectedly out of the Safeway without the right cheese and madder still (if that was even possible). Plus, I’d also be wet. Life was killing me.
Somebody threw a rock at my windshield! That is how it felt. Fortunately, the glass didn’t break and the brown rock skittered across the glass and came to rest on top of my wiper blades. Although the windshield didn’t break, it was scraped somehow and seemingly, bits of dirt were splattered on the glass. The rock appeared to be a piece of brown stucco covered with mud. Then upon closer examination it looked like the windshield wasn’t really scraped after all. It was just sort of scuffed. There was something truly odd about that rock and when I looked at more carefully, I could see that it wasn’t a rock at all.
It was a chicken wing, fried extra crispy and golden brown, the entire complete wing. And the mud of course, wasn’t mud at all. It was just bits of brown crust and grease.
I was astonished! A chicken wing had just fallen from the sky! Now that is something you don’t see every day. I glanced quickly around outside, craning my neck to see if any more were coming. It was a freakin miracle! I knew it was about to rain, but just thought it was going to be regular rain. This was unbelievable. I looked about expectantly for several seconds until it was clear that the miraculous chicken wing storm had passed.
Then I noticed something outside in the little grassy island next to my parking space. It was a bunch of birds busily pecking around in the grass. They were big birds, crows. When I saw them, I knew exactly what had happened. One of those birds had somehow acquired a really great looking chicken wing. He or she latched onto it and took off. During the flight, perhaps 20 or 30 feet up, that beautiful chicken wing had become just too heavy to carry. And the bird dropped it right onto my windshield.
Well, that seems to be such an ordinary, mundane explanation. However, when you think about it, what are the odds against being hit by a chicken wing falling from the sky? Would they be greater than the odds against of winning a multimillion dollar lottery? I don’t know. But I’m guessing such an occurrence would be very rare. A storm of chicken wings falling from the sky, and people running happily around grabbing them out of the air, now that be amazing. That would be a miracle. But getting hit by one chicken wing falling from the sky would be such a rare event that it could possibly be considered to be an almost miracle.
It was starting to rain as I backed out of the space to begin my journey to the Safeway, maybe half a mile away. I turned on the wipers, smearing translucent haze of chicken wing scuff all over the windshield. I couldn’t help but smile. Even though I still didn’t have the right cheese (and it was raining) I wasn’t mad. Even though I believed that soon I’d probably be walking back to my car soaking wet, splashing through puddles of the Safeway parking lot, still without the right cheese, I wasn’t mad. In fact I felt pretty good, because after all, any day that you can witness an actual almost miracle has got to be a good day.
Leonard Henry Scott was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and is a graduate of American University (BS) and The University of Maryland (MLS). Scott was on the staff of the Library of Congress for many years. He and his wife Hattie presently live in National Harbor, Maryland. Scott's poetry, essays and fiction have most recently appeared in Storyteller Anthology Magazine, Garbanzo Literary Journal, Still Crazy, Wild Violet Literary Journal, The MacGuffin, and The Evansville Review.