Only in the dark do lights shine the brightest.

Fear..

"Do you think it will work?" Ginger asked as she moved the piece of paper under Mac's beak. The slightly taller white chicken looked over the plan in fine to measure some things, before checking the rest. After Mary's parting two months ago, Mac had been down to the last detail of every plan. She recorded everything the humans and dogs did during the day on paper till she worked out some sort of schedule in her head. Mac was like a note pad herself. Jotting down information and taken a moment to find it. She remebered all the big things, and the little ones. Like looking over the nest sometimes to see who had layen eggs, all the way up to medical work.

She was determined not to lose anyone else, which saddened Ginger a bit. What would Mac do to keep it from happening again and how would Mac deal with it if it did?She worried about the hen. Mac was two weeks younger then her, making Ginger feel like Mac was her responsibility.

Then again this wasn't a game at the park. This was war! They had to escape from here... in order to finally be free.. Mac would have to look out for herself.

"Louks alri-ht ta meh Ginger." Mac said, peeking up from under her glasses, she pushed the plan back to Ginger.

Ginger looked back down at the paper. Mac never went on escape missions. She was one of the ' I'll come back for you' chickens that Ginger would return for. But what could it hurt? This plan had room for more..

"Do you want to come?" Ginger asked. Mac was clearly caught off guard, but nodded all the same. "Alright. Come to Coop 17 tonight and We'll go." Ginger decided. Mac nodded again and left the coop to prepare. Ginger rubbed her head under her hat, wondering if she was right about this not being a bad idea.


Later that night....

Mac looked out over the rest of the chickens who were here to try and escape. Babs and Bunty of course, Edweena was here as well. She was a good friend of Gingers. That was it. Mac was shocked. This plan had over seventy percent of succeeding and no one else came...

Or no one else was invited. Ginger's trust was hard to gain. Suddenly Ginger's mallet (Really a cork pipe) was banging down on her desk as the meeting began. "Quite everyone." Ginger said and the room grew silent. "Now take a good look around. These are all the chicken that will be escaping with us to night."

"What?! Four eyes is coming?" Bunty questioned. Everyone else looked at Mac."She never comes. What, is it her birthday or something?"

"Will there be a cake?" Babs asked stupidly.

"No, it just that the plan has room in it for more then the usual amount of chickens." Ginger explained. "Now here is the plan." Ginger flipped over a floor board and pulled out the plan, setting it on her desk for everyone to look at. "Well be using cardboard boxes and we will sneak out of the gate using the latch. The boxes will help us get at the latch, protect us from the dogs, and hide us from plain sight." Ginger opened another floor board to show the chickens a small amount of boxes "Everyone pick a box and follow my lead.


All the chickens were taking their boxes to the fence as Mac explained how much time they had, with the sqedual she had conducted form watching the humans and the dogs.

" Ah'd say aboout six minutes, if whare luka." Mac stated. "Thats aboout tee amount ta tam it takes hem to go around the pen there hen."

"So he have to hurry." Ginger muttered. The arrived at the gate and with Ginger's ok they piled the boxes ontop of each other till it reach the latch. Ginger began to climb the mountain of cardboard as Bunty kept the bottom form wobbling. Ginger managed to get to the top and unhinge the gate, it slowly creaked open. "Get the boxes!" Ginger whisper shoutted as she jumped from the pile. Each chicken took a box, Ginger and Mac both watch till only one bo was left.

"Su, am ah still goen?" Mac asked, kicking the large box that had once held chandlier over on its side.

"Of course. Well just have to share." Ginger said, putting the box over their heads. She poked the eye holes out her end and looked back at Mac. "Try and keep up, ok?" Ginger smiled warmly "Nervous?"

"Well ya. Tis my fist attempt fer escape." Mac shrugged. "Sopose it'll all be fine though."

"Good, just think free thought and we'll be out of her in no time!" Ginger nodded. "Come on everyone." Ginger ordered, looking back out of the eye holes. "Move out!" She skidded the box forward through the dirt, having the others follow suit. Gingerkept her eyes out till they came across the chickens next opstical. "Right where you said he'd be Mac."

"Hah only takes ones dog when he doze his rownds." Mac spoke. "Like alwayz"

One of the Tweety Dogs was staring at them, or some moving boxes from his point of view, he wondered up to them. A questioning gaze in his eyes. He sniffed at the boxes.

It was then that an idea struck Mac, making her feel cold. "Ah, Ginger?"

"Yes Mac?"

"Uh, with them noses, the wah thair pointed. Ah think that the dog could-"

Then the giant dog shoved his nose under the cardboard, flipping it over the two chickens head, exposing them.

"Flip the box.." Mac finished.

"Go back! Go back!" Ginger shouted, all the other squealed in panic and ran back to the safety of the pen. Ginger and Mac that their heels.

Then Ginger slipped on a rock. Mac sped to a stop, looking back at her fallen comrade.

The dogs had learned their lesson with Mary. Never attack the chickens. Now they just conrnered them for Mr Tweey so he could take them to the coal bin... Another thought crossed Mac's mind...

Ginger had't layen any eggs for three days. Roll call was in another two days, if she didn't lay an egg by then.... she'd be sent to the chopper!

Mac looked at the ground and snatch at rock that was nearby. She threw it into the air and let it slam into the dogs nose. Both he and Ginger looked over to where Mac stood.

"Come hand gat meh, you uglah, ohver growen rat!" Mac shout, flapping her arms around to get the dog more intrested.

"Mac no!" Ginger shouted.

It was to late.

The dog hurtled himself after Mac, who was leading him as far away from Ginger as possible. Ginger leaped up to try and help, but Bunty came running back to her.

"Come on Ginger!!" The bigger bird shouted and flung the fearless leader over her shoulder.

"Bunty! Put me down! I need to help Mac!!" Ginger shouted, but it was all in vein as Bunty raced past the gate, the others shutting it behind them.

Mac was still running for her life. Her breath was starting to run out, she could hardly breath. Her legs were getting sore and were about to go out.. she really needed to get out of the pen more. Then a hand came out of nowhere and snatch her around her neck. Mac squawked at the sudden surprise but didn't fight it. She knew from what Ginger had told her that if you fool about and try to get away then you just hurt you neck. Mr Tweety pulled Mac up close for inspection, while the other watch from the fence.

"Gotcha again you.. hold on a tick." Mr Tweety frowned, holding up the flash light into Mac's face. "Your not the Ginger one... your the one with the odd cock comb.. did that ginger one rope you into this escaping stuff?" Mr Tweety asked, not really expecting an answer.

"MR TWEETY!!"

Mr Tweety jumped a foot in the air.

"ARE YOU TALKING TO THOSE CHICKENS!!!"

"No Mrs Tweety.."Mr Tweety whimpered. He looked back at Mac. "Oh well, you'll just be treated like all the rest of the escapees I catch... your the second one I ever got other then the Ginger one." Mr Tweety sighed and carried Mac towards the coal bin. Mac gulped. She really didn't want to go in there, but then again Ginger did it every other day. How hard could it be?

Mr Tweety opened the bin and dropped Mac inside. Shutting the lid behind her. Mac scuffled around, pulling her face out of the bottom of the coal dust covered bin. She moved her wing to the left and found the heap of coal stored there. Mac rubbed her eyes and opened them, only to find a great surprise.

It was all black. That was all she could see. Mac checked to see if her glasses were still on, and tried to dust her eyes out a bit more. Still all she could see was darkness... then it hit her. The coal bin had no windows. No source of light... it was always dark!! The dark seemed to inclose around her. Her breathing became ragged, as if she were suffocating. Her mind couldn't think straight.. her mouth became dry and she began to shake.

So this was what it was like to be alone... She hadn't felt like this before... even in the create she and her sister had taken form Scotland to England. Mac whimpered softly and she could feel heart pound in her chest.

"Mac!"

It was Mac's turn to jump a foot, she landed on the coal heap, sliding back down to the floor.

"W-w-w-w-wh-wh-who?" Mac stuttered, she was shaking even more then from before.

"Mac! Breath and try to clam down. Its me! Ginger!"

"Ginger?!" Mac gasped. "Where-Why are ya hare!" She knew it was stupid to asked.

"Im around the back of the bin! So Mr Tweety won't see me." Ginger explained. She rapped on the side of the bin, alerting Mac to her where abouts. All Mac could focus on was the ringing now in her ears.

"Ah, ah don't know where ya be Ginger! Its too darck!" Mac whimpered.

"Hold on." Suddenly a small hole was opened at the back of the bin, a small light shone through. "Oh and as for the ' why am I here'question. Why do you think Im here?" Ginger snorted. "To comfort you."

"C-comfort meh?" Mac asked,quietly as she scooted closer to the tiny light.

"Yes. I remembered my first night in the bin. It wasn't pleasant." Ginger explained. "It takes a while to get use to it. From the sounds of you, you needed this."

"Aie, ah do." Mac admitted. "Ack, its so hard ta breath in hare! And so darck too!"

"Its the claustrophobia. Don't worry, nothing is going to hurt you in there." Ginger said soothingly. Mac nodded, but remembering that Ginger couldn't see her made an agreeing grunt.

"Su, whats this tinya hole?" Mac asked, looking through it, it was big enough to get three fingers through.

"Its the cleaning hole. You fill the bin up with water and this hole drains it out." Ginger explained. "But enough of that, why did you do this."

"This, Ginger?"

"Why did you get yourself caught?" Ginger answered with a question...

"Aaaaa....." Mac muttered, finally understanding "Well, fer the last coople a days, ah noticed you haven't bin leyen any eggs. Ah thought that tif you had tanight then you could lay one."

"When have you been checking the nests?" Ginger asked.

"Aboout six thirta every morning." Mac responded. Even from inside the bin Mac could tell that Ginger was shaking her head.

"Mac, I have this little nitch in my daily routine. See, when I lay an egg, I lay it at eight in the morning. You don't go back in until ten, by then Mr Tweety has it.

"Realla! Well, I saved ya one night in the coal ben." Mac said sadly.

"No, because Im speding the night right here." Ginger spoke "I won't leave your side till the farmer is out to get you himself."

"Ginger ah-"

"Shh!" Ginger hissed, in the background Mac could make out the closing of a door...

The farm house door.

"I'll be right here, but I have to put the lantern out.." Ginger whispered, before everything went dark again. Mac managed to supress another whimper. Then the coal bin roof open to reveal Mr Tweety, he jolted slightly when he saw Mac.

"Oh right, your in here." He muttered, reaching down into the bin. Mac shuffled back against the wall, shivering at how cold if felt. Three warm feathered fingers were placed on her back in comfort as Mr Tweety scooped up a few lumps of cole with a bucket. "Not long till morning." He muttered to her before closing the bin again. There was silence before the farm door shatter closed again.

"You alright..?" Ginger's voice came from the darkness. Mac just continued to shake.

"Aie, A-a-ah'm fine.." Mac whispered.

"Good, just remember to breath and try to relax.." Ginger stuck her fingers through the hole for Mac to hang onto, Mac looped them into her own fingers."Its going to be a long night." Ginger said.


After a long and sleepless night, just as Ginger had predicated, light finally began to spill into the cole bin. Mac blinked at the brightness of it. She could make out more of the bin's inners, the cole was piled to the left and there were strange marks on the wall.

"Ginger? Areh yew awake?"

"Yes." Came Ginger's voice through the hole.

"Um, Ginger, what areh theze strangeh merkens on the wall?" Mac asked, running her finger over one.

"Oh, thats how many times I'lve been locked in there." Ginger explained "I put a mark on the wall for each one."

Mac let out a whistle. "There be a lot of merks"

"I know, but one of these days, we'll get out of here." Ginger said. Then the farm door shut, once again with a bang. "Looks like you'll be back in the pen soon. I have to go now Mac."

"Right.." Mac mumbled "Ginger, ah--"

"Shh!!!" Ginger whispered, then Mac could hear her foot prints echo across the lane and back to the pens.. A few moments later a small door open at the bottom of the bin. Fearfully and blinkly, Mac stepped out into the light.

Mr Tweety stood there, tapping his foot. The two dog were chained to their dog houses on the other side of the yard. Mr Tweety pointed to the pen, clearly showing Mac which way he wanted her to go. Mac was more then happy to oblige. As soon as they were at the gate, Mr Tweety opened it and raised his boot, to kick her in, but was shock to watch her run in all by herself.

"Well I be tickled pink..." Mr tweety muttered and closed the gate.

As soon as Mac was in the other hens were on her. Some asking questions, others wanted to know if last night was true or not. One of them was even asking if Mac had saved Ginger's life. Mac winced at all the noise, it had been a long night, she was tired, hungry... and she felt sick from smelling coal all night long.

"Everyone! Everyone! Quite down! " Ginger shouted as she came through the crowd, standing between Mac and the others. "Mac has had a long, scary night and we should just let her go back to her coop. Everyone, go back to your usual." Ginger shooed them away with a scatting motion of her hands before looking back to Mac. "Follow me." She said in an concerned but angery way. Mac followed Ginger back to coop 17 and inside. They arrived at Mac's nest. Which was just under Ginger's.

"Lay down." She ordered. Mac climbed into bed, pulling the covers over her legs.

Much comfier.

Ginger began to pace in front of the bed, Mac watching her. She was wondering what Ginger was up to..until..

"WHAT KIND OF STUNT WAS THAT!?!?!" Ginger screamed. Mac was caught off guard and she almost fell out of bed. "You could have been hurt! Or you could have ended up like Mary! Do you realise how lucky you are Mr Tweety caught you! With me, they know not to attack, but you! They'd would have eaten you!"

Mac blinked, Ginger was scolding her?

"Do you know how I would have felt if you had been hurt or, egg forbid, killed! And on your first mission?!" Ginger continued. "When that dog took off after you, I felt sick! Watching through the fence as you were run ragged! If you want to go on anymore mission you have to shape up!" Ginger stopped, it took a second for Mac to realize she was waiting for a response.

"Ginger..ah, donno what ta say."Mac said. "Ah just did what ah thought was right at the tam... why didn't cha scold me back at the ben?"

Ginger sighed. "It would have just made you more freaked out then you already were...Look." Ginger looked Mac in they eyes "I don't want anyone to get hurt with one of my plans again and neither do you, but risking your life for me won't solve anything. Its my plans, so I risk my hide. No one elses. I take the hits, the nights in the bin, everything."

"Well now, that seems a wee bit unfair." Mac began, but was silenced by Ginger's glare.

"Mac.." Ginger held her head, she was just as tired as Mac was, but she had to get through to her. "If anything happened on one of my plans , to you or somebody else.., I just don't think I could continued with my plans any longer." Ginger sat on the end of Mac's bed. "Do you understand?"

"Aie, ah do." Mac nodded. Ginger smiled and patted Mac's feet.

"Good. Now you better try and pay an egg. Mr Tweety might give you a zero." Ginger said.

"Ack, I thenk the egg ah had was killed bah all tee stress of lass night." Mac sighed, stretching back in her bed.

"At least try."Ginger said, then she went to leave. Mac propped herself up on one elbow.

"Oie, Ginger!" Mac shouted, catching Gingers attention. "Thanks for stayen with meh."

"Don't worry about it. " Ginger smiled, the shut the door behind her. Mac snuggled uner the covers of her bed. She higly doubted she'd lay an egg right now, but sleep would come much easier.

FIN