Short Story – The Egg 🥚

The Egg

A short Easter story

by Cameron Brtnik

*Kid’s Easter Eggtivity: Your kids can read or listen along to find the hidden “Easter eggs” throughout the story – circle any words besides egg with the word “egg” in it – and win a sweet Easter prize! (*Send answers to Cameron at cbrtnik@gmail.com by Monday April 18, ‘22. Prize will be awarded in person or via post!)*

The Egg

Proleggue:

…and as the boy went to put it in his basket he had the nagging feeling that this egg was special, and so he paused for just the briefest moment, then put it in his pocket…

The hiding spots were good, but not so good as to be unfindable; the hunt was for the children after all. Hiding places included a bowl of fruit, the corner of a picture frame, underneath the couch, concealed in the cushions, under the brass dinner bell, resting on a window sill, hiding in the drapes, resting next to a chair legg or conspicuously behind a door. Some were even in plain sight, though I suspect those were for the adults. Many were in groups of four, five or six, depending on how many of us kids took part. The unbreggable rule was to: “Only take one and leave the rest for the others.” (Though I am certain that rule was broken once or twice. It was also common practice to “lift” some eggs from someone else’s basket, if not just to even out the odds. At least I believe it was common practice…)

The Egg
August 3, 2021

Agnus found it while she was vacuuming – she felt a conspicuous bump bump as the old Hoover struggled to pass over it. She looked down at the tiny obstacle but she instinctively knew what it was…

Agnus eleggantly bent down – not an easy task for someone her age, yet for her a manoeuvre as effortless as breathing, doubtlessly from all her years of gardening and tending to her beloved flowers. There was at least a month to go before the cool, briskness of fall would promise to wipe away all of her hard work. She reached under the radiator, her hand passing through cobwebs of long ago-sucked up spiders, and felt it: a hard, rounded, metallic object. She pulled it out and nimbly grasped it in her spindly fingers, “Where have you been hiding little guy?” Agnus delicately fondled the silvery egg in her hand checking for any ireggularities or signs it had been nibbled at by a sweet-toothed critter. Despite being faintly discoloured with age and hard as a stone, it had survived eggsentially unscathed during its time in hiding (what looked to be an era). She turned the egg looking for any markings revealing some tiny print on the bottom – what she could make out as a date: 1981. “Oh my,” she gasped. “That would make this egg..as old as my eldest grandson!” Memories suddenly flooded her mind like an ocean tide of Easters past…

The Hunt

The grandkids had arrived – the word of another eggciting Easter hunt in the air, eggerly bouncing about in anticipation like bunnies hopped up on chocolate, no time for family formalities, Let the hunt begin! With baskets assigned, the day’s winner would find and retrieve more eggs than their fellow candy hunters, their own basket full to the brim, the prize of showing off their shining achievement to the others with the knowledge that they were special and obviously had a talent for this sort of thing, and could then revel in their rabbit’s share of the chocolate.

Eggnus shook her head and let out a giggle. My time flies… Her attention was drawn back to the tiny object in her hand. The strange thing was that the egg hadn’t been in any particular hiding place – under the radiator where many other eggs like it had been hidden – yet it somehow managed to dodge every foraging and scavenging hand, or ultimately being melted to death. This egg was special, Agnus felt sure of it. Perhaps not upon first inspeggtion. One must first peel off the wrapper to get to the chocolatey goodness after all. The egg had finally been captured from its cave where it had comfortably been in hiding all these years; plucked from the safety of darkness now eggsposed in all its golden glory; had all but forgotten that once long ago it had been delivered by the Easter Bunny, its purpose to bring joy and happiness to a child. Sure it had some wear and tear: its wrapper was torn in one spot; the gold tint slightly discoloured; its insides now hardened like chocolate lava rock (hard enough you’d chip your tooth if you bit into it!), but an egg just as good as the rest. Perhaps there was nothing special about this curious little egg after all.

The children would always search the place more thoroughly than an FBI inveggstigation, scouring every nook and cranny, upstairs and downstairs, making sure every last darn Easter egg was found. A childish challenge of wits, “Children vs the Easter Bunny,” the ultimate game of hide and seek. Thinking that they had snatched up every last chocolate egg that could be found, every year Agnus would inevitably find some lone stregglers cleaning up and snicker to herself, The Easter Bunny has outsmarted you kids eggain!, something she’d bring up “in passing” at the next family gathering: “Guess what I found vacuuming the other day?” The children would be egghast, each certain they had checked every possible hiding place, There could be no eggs left, IMPOSSIBLE! It must’ve fallen out of one of our baskets by eggsident. Agnus giggled at the thought, and reasoned that one thoughtful Higirl or boy, staring down at his own basket overflowing with chocolate goodies, realized that he already had enough and that this singular, inconsequential egg would not make a difference in his life but it might to another less fortunate child, desperately clinging to a much emptier basket – and so in a moment of glucose-induced generosity, willfully put it back in its original hiding spot. I suppose anything is possible.

Agnus wistfully chuckled out loud, shaking her head as she lovingly caressed the egg as if it contained a live chick. Her hands cupped around it, her skin resembling the thin, delicate membrane of an embryonic egg. No, she now felt certain this egg was somehow chosen, purposely, to make the ultimate sacrifice: spending the remainder of its days alone, hoping to be found yet every time evading detection, as Easters and seasons passed, year in and year out, steadily growing colder and harder yet always maintaining its inherent sweetness; for at its core it was still chocolate after all.

Agnus rolled the egg around in her hand, the foil still clinging on to its hardened core protecting it like a metallic skin. She continued to ponder, What made this egg so special? Nothing in particular, she supposed. Sure it had survived longer than the average Easter egg, and this egg had made it eggainst all odds. But it was, in the end, just an ordinary egg, but for one difference: it had persevered. This egg had defied all eggspectations. Of course, it was not conscious. That would be silly, Agnus reasoned. (Although she had to admit that her current predicament – talking aloud to a chocolate egg – was not much less). Yet somehow the egg seemed to be aware of its own eggsistence… Indifferent to Agnus’ thoughts, the egg rolled around comfortably in her palm.

As Agnus stood there enjoying the stillness of late afternoon, the sun’s rays penetrated the living room window forming a perfect patch of sunlight she could feel like a warm hug. She contemplated what to do with the egg: Throw it away? Keep it as proof to show her grandkids? Or put it back to see if this tenacious little guy might stick around a while longer? Or…eat it? No, better not take any chances. Agnus worried: If she put the egg back would it ever be found again? Or would it live out the rest of its days eggsisting yet never really coming out of its..shell?

The Egg was solid – its crystalline structure gave it a natural protection that prevented it from melting and becoming soft (as long as it avoided the heat like that secret nook under the radiator). Being entirely smooth meant that it remained motionless, never venturing out beyond that sliver of light, which kept it safe from the outside world of booming footsteps and rush hour traffic. It could live on peacefully egging out its days uneaten in obscurity… Naturally, this meant that The Egg would never fulfill its true purpose and bring joy to a child, and would never be truly appreciated for all its sweet, chocolatey goodness.

While contemplating over the fate of the remarkable little egg, a question came to Agnus’ mind, and the same one she posed to her grandchildren every year: “What is the real meaning of Easter?” She reminded them of the importance of asking oneself this question – somewhere between inhaling a basket of choccy eggs and devouring the ears off a hapless, chocolate rabbit of course. Just then, it was as if the little angels were right there in the room with her. Agnus could see all their happy little faces with chocolate-smudged cheeks beaming up at her so she stretched out her left hand and started listing them: “The resurreggtion of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us.” Agnus felt a warmth well up inside her and she raised her index, the first and foremost finger. She continued: “Being with loved ones and family,” and she cautiously unfurled her middle finger, the one she normally reserved for special occasions. The childrens’ faces were beaming even brighter, and so she moved on: “Bringing joy to my grandchildren,” and with tears in her eyes she delicately outstretched her ring finger, her silvery wedding band a symbol of love. There was still one more finger to go, but Agnus struggled to think of another reason… She rubbed her pinky for just a moment, then it came to her: “Easter is…a celebration of rejoicing in life!” Satisfied, she grasped her fingers in the crux of her right hand and squeezed onto them, thinking of those moments in time that go by so quickly if you blink you’d miss them, and held on for just a moment longer…

Agnus made up her mind; she took the egg, now slightly warm and soft from her hands, and put it back in its rightful spot where it would remain, tucked away for years to come as generations passed, until one day it would be found by a child on Easter morning, eyes lit up at the precious relic, and as the boy went to put it in his basket he had the negging feeling that this egg was special, and so he paused for just the briefest moment, then put it in his pocket where he forgot about it and the egg melted into blissful oblivion.

The Egg.


Epileggue:

Dear Reader,

Do not feel sad, for you see this tenacious little egg was not lost but finally found.

– Dedicated to my wonderful family, each of you as unique and special as The Egg –

Thesaurus of Easter Eggs:
Proleggue
Legg
Unbreggable
Eleggantly
Ireggularities
Eggsentially
Eggciting
Eggnus
Inspeggtion
Eggsposed
Eggerly
Inveggstigation
Stregglers
Eggain
Egghast
Eggsident
Eggainst
Eggspectations
Eggsistence
Eggsisting
Egging
Resurreggtion
Negging
Epileggue
The Egg

BLOGasides: “Not Very Bunny” (An Easter Story)

BLOGasides

“Not Very Bunny”

(An Easter Story)


Preface: During our Easter brunch this year at the prestigious The Doctor’s House in Kleinburg, as I prepared to delight the family with some “Easter entertainment” during brunch, I magically disappeared before the show even began, leaving my family to think I’d dashed on the bill or ran off with the Easter Bunny. Now to “eggsplain” the mystery behind my unplanned disappearance…


     I was all prepared to give my best 5 minutes as the Easter Bunny, but of course my laptop crashed that morning, so I had no way of playing the audio file. It was at that point I made up my mind: I would find some living soul in Kleinburg that could help me. I ventured out into the attractive yet unknown terrain of Kleinburg Village, popping into every store along the way hoping to find a working computer. Alas, shop after shop, the townsfolk had never heard of a “computer.” Finally, glimmering in the distance like a mirage, was a Flower Shop with a flickering red light that read: “Open.”


I ventured in and the proprietor, an old Korean woman, tried her best to help me by plugging in my usb stick into what looked like Bill Gate’s first prototype of a “computer” to no avail. Now in full-on panic mode – all the while knowing I was missing out on a succulent 5 star buffet – the singular customer in the shop, a lovely lady with with her son, noticed my predicament (I had been joking around with her son: “Are you buying flowers for your girlfriend? Did you meet the Easter Bunny this morning? Etc”). She said, out loud, likely much to her chagrin, “We have a computer at home. We live close by!” After the shock of hearing one of the local residents actually owned a computer died down, I said, “Let’s do it!” and then she said, “Follow me!” to which I replied, “I actually don’t have a car!” to which she then retorted, “We don’t live that close…” Then she said, “What the heck, jump in!” and she, Cecelia, I learned after a hurried handshake, introduced me to her husband Michael; driver, and her four cute kids sitting in the back.


After a fun name game along the way where I purposely mixed up all the kids’ names much to their delight, we pulled into the driveway of what must’ve been the nicest house in Kleinburg. I started guessing what Michael must do for a living: doctor? Lawyer? Arms dealer?? As I walked into the front lobby, there was a single painting hanging on the wall, clearly depicted by one of their kids, but it wasn’t the painting itself that caught my attention; it’s what was scrawled on it: “Make Magic.” I stopped in my tracks and exclaimed, “This is a sign.” Despite it technically being a “sign,” I couldn’t help but think I was on the right track. I followed the sign further into their beautiful, sprawling home and then into Michael’s office. I made quick work: I inserted my usb stick into the computer (even the computer was big), pulled up my file, emailed it to myself, and confidently said, “It is done.” By now I was sure an hour had passed.

My intention was to bolt back up the road to the Doctor’s House, but Michael offered to take me back as he knew the predicament I was in. James joined us (“James Cameron”, another sign?) We sped up the winding road back to the D.H., and I jumped out and thanked them. Michael handed me his business card and I assured him I would contact them. After a friendly farewell, I sauntered in, clearly having been lost in the labyrinthine buffet, and the rest is as you remember it: At some point in all the craziness, the Easter Bunny made his debut, told some “not so bunny jokes”, scared a baby or two, delivered some hastily dyed hard boiled eggs, hugged a few people he hadn’t seen in years, then hopped off into some distant meadow where he’s happily hibernating till next year (mistakenly next to some hungry bears). And it struck me that that is what Easter is truly about; it’s about gathering together with family, sharing laughs, tears, and lots of chocolate; and about helping out a random stranger in need.

Happy Easter to all my lovely followers! – Cameron

Watch my “Not Very Bunny” Easter Bunny standup act: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=8zDIcGLgxJI