Egg by Eric Suhem
Enid drove to the supermarket, relieved that the divorce papers had been finalized. Her now ex-husband Frank was probably in his usual location at this time of the day, shooting seagulls at the city dump. He was still calling her on the phone, asking her to take him back, and she was going to change the number.
Enid thought about her marriage on her way to the supermarket, and all that came into her mind was the night she told Frank that she was going to apply as a contestant on the game show Jeopardy. Another one of your harebrained ideas, now why dont you do something useful and fix me some eggs, said Frank, plopping his butt onto a torn plastic chair at the kitchen table, expecting eggs scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled or poached, on his plate promptly at 6 p.m. every evening. Frank would continue crushing Enids spirit with further commentary, as his incisors and molars tore at the eggs, and the yolk dribbled down his chin.
But that was weeks ago, and now she was free. Arriving at the supermarket, Enid went to the poultry section and looked at the eggs. One of the eggs within a carton looked curious, and Enid felt drawn to it, so she pulled it out of the carton, put it in her shopping basket, and approached the checkout cashier. Id like to purchase this egg please, she said to the harried cashier, who looked quickly at the price chart near the register.
Where is the carton with the rest of the eggs? asked the cashier.
There is no carton, I just want this one egg please, Enid replied. The cashier was extremely vexed, and could already feel the clouds of impatience begin to gather among the other customers in line.
Eventually Enid was able to purchase the egg and drove home, caressing it, shielding it from the elements. She arrived at her house, and placed the egg on a fuzzy fabric near the window, nestling it constantly, keeping it warm and protected.
That night, Enid drifted into a dream .she was inside a steel white box. It was pressing in on her shoulders, feet and head. The steel white box was being pressed upon by forces from outside, forces of Frank, filled with fear. Enid felt the power of her imagination, the edges of the white gray box expanding, and then exploding! She staggered from the steel white box, emerging into a strange dark meadow she had never seen before. Hens were everywhere, staring at her from behind the weeds. Enid moved around in the new world, finding a cave, with hieroglyphics that constantly animated themselves on the walls in the form of Jeopardy game show questions. Ill take Autonomy for 800, Alex, she murmured as the hens ran about busily. Enid jumped out of the cave into the moonlight, seeing a bright red phone booth across the field. Its phone was ringing. Your destinys calling, are you accepting the charges? asked one of the hens dramatically.
Enid awoke from the dream, just as a bird was hatching from the egg. The bird had Enids face. She looked at the chick and could feel relief and empowerment start to grow within. The phone rang, and she knew it was that creep her ex-husband Frank, so she just let it ring. For some reason, she still hadnt changed the number. Enid then looked at the face of the bird, which slowly morphed into Franks angry countenance. It glared up at her as the phone continued to ring. She thought briefly about giving Frank another chance, taking him back again, but no, she would not answer the phone this time. Instead she put the cracked egg containing the Frank-bird into a plastic bag and drove to the supermarket to get a refund, but the supermarket was gone.
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