Saturday, January 8, 2011

FOUND: Please call to recover

(Micro-fiction written for a contest on*


"So it's an egg?"

"No.  I said like an egg.  Shaped.  Egg-shaped.  Ovoid."

He looked at me blankly.

"Oval, like an oval."

"Oh.  Well."  There was a long pause.  "Did you try to move it?"

I stared.  "Move it where?"

He glanced unseeing over his shoulder, then, hesitating, opened his mouth.

"And if you say the bathtub, I will kill you," I said.  "We take showers in there."

"Well it can't stay outside.  People around here, they'll talk, us with a monster egg on our lawn –"

"Not an egg."

"– a slimy, pulsating egg.  They'll talk.  George cornered me at the bookstore the other day, went on for twenty minutes about our sprinklers soggying up his newspaper every morning."

"Sprinklers are hardly –"

"Twenty.  Minutes."

"Fine," I said.  "Alright.  But I don't want it in the house."

"I mean," he looked over his shoulder again, "do you have a better idea?"

In the end, it was the tub, me staggering through the house under the weight of the thing, trying to decide if I thought it had started to glow, him folding the shower curtain out of the way and standing primly to the side.  I glared, despite his obliviousness.

"You could help," I wheezed at him, stumbling into the bathroom.

"Like I'm going to touch a slimy thing I can't even see," he scoffed, staring blindly over my shoulder.  I dropped the thing unceremoniously from the towel I had carried it in to the tub, where it thudded sticky purple up onto the walls, my jeans and – happily – his hands, holding the curtain.

I brushed hair from my eyes and frowned.

"I think it's gotten bigger."

"How big was it before?" he asked.


He sighed and dropped the curtain, then pushed past me towards the door.  I let him go, still staring at the – at the –

"Egg," he said over his shoulder.

"What?" I asked.

"It's an egg," he said.  "You couldn't decide on the word."

"Sure, of course," I snapped.  "The blind guy can't see when he's stolen my socks, but he can tell there's a big glowing egg in our bathtub."

He turned back, and I saw he was rubbing the back of his hands, where the goo had hit him.

"It's an egg," he repeated.  His eyes, normally unfocused and searching, seemed to stare straight through me, past me, to the mysterious object in the tub.  His voice was cracked.  Delirious.

"It's an egg," he said again, now sounding a complete stranger.  "And we shouldn't have brought it inside."


* That I did not even come close to winning.  I'm not very good at the "social" part of social networking.

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