UPDATED WITH WINNER: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: May Edition

Flash fiction: A style of fictional literature marked by extreme brevity.

Welcome to the first installment of LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown. This shall be a monthly bout of writing prowess, in which you'll be challenged to thrill us in 250 words or less.

And to the victor go the spoils!

How It Works

We give you something. It could be a picture, or an idea, or an STD. You write a flash fiction piece, using the thing we gave you as inspiration. Put your entry in the comments section. One winner will be picked, and awarded a prize. 

The Rules

  • 250 words is the limit (you can write less, but you can't write more)
  • Any genre
  • We're not exactly shy, but let's stay away from senseless racism or violence
  • One entry per person
  • Editing your entry after you submit it is permitted (though don't start changing the whole thing)
  • We'll pick a winner on the last day of the month

UPDATE (5/14): The Judge

Today we're excited to introduce the judge for our contest. The winner will be chosen by Chester Pane, who facilitates a recurring flash fiction competition in our forums. And he has a message for the contestants: 

Flash is an elevator pitch. Cut the cables. Take us on a ride. Freefall with form and precision.

UPDATE (5/23): This Month's Prize

Since this is the inaugural contest, we're offering one month of free membership to LitReactor's writing workshop. If you're not a member already, learn more about that here

We've decided to throw another prize into the mix. The winner will also receive an ARC of The Last Werewolf sequel, Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan, slated for release on June 26 (and huge thanks to our friends at Knopf for the advance copy).

Your Inspiration

 

And the winner is... chrisdeal

Here's what our judge, Chester Pane, had to say: The dynamic, curious language and the transport to another place in a mere flash. Like a bolt of lightning illuminating a glimpse into another world.

Mictlan

From the nothing that is the world beyond the city's limits, Xocotl came roaring into existence like a bird from the flames. It started when the dealers out near Cancer Ally started ending up nude of product, their tongues pulled down through their throat in a coyote's grin. Then the fires started in warehouses up and down the river. Guns, with and without badges, roamed the streets with only that name, Xocotl, for a target.

When he struck closest to the seat of power, leaving bodies burnt and torn asunder, there came a survivor. His eyes had been plucked from their sockets and found in a glass of scorpion wine. His voice was made of velvet, the amaurotic witness said, and the shape of his form was that of a jackal.

When the city's Jefe, an old man with blood on his shoes, found the egg on his door step, crushed beneath an absent boot, he knew the day of his life was closing in on sunset. He consolidated what men he had that maintained the loyalty he required in his home, waiting for the man they called Xocotl to come for him.

Each creak of wood was an enemy blade slipping through the shadows. Each night held little promise of morning. The Jefe waited for his death while the streets were free for the taking. Product flowed once again, bodies sat unclaimed in the morgue. An egg hatched out in the nothing and the city was claimed.

Image of Talulla Rising
Author: Glen Duncan
Price: $42.41
Publisher: Knopf (2012)
Binding: Hardcover, 368 pages

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Howard Litchfield's picture
Howard Litchfield from Bristol UK is reading Jay McRoy - Japanese Horror Cinema May 5, 2012 - 8:48am

Easter Bunny

Three brightly painted eggs sat on the windowsill, colours bleached to silver by the moonlight.  Symbols of the Resurrection, his mother had said.  But instinct told Jack they were tokens of something darker, wilder and older than the Bible stories.

He had always feared the nocturnal intruders that crept with supposedly benign intent into bedrooms. While the other kids at school talked excitedly of coins and stockings, Jack knew that the Tooth Fairy had pliers and Santa had claws. But it was the thought of the Spring visitor that froze his blood.

He pulled the covers tightly over his head.   As any child knows, if you can’t see it, it can’t see you. Barely breathing, he listened for the creak of floorboards as the scraping footsteps crept closer.

Creak. Creak. Creak.

Then silence.

Jack waited…and exhaled. Could he have survived another year?

Slowly he lowered the covers.

And screamed.

Long twitching ears and a bone-white eyeless face cracked by a crescent grin. Two rows of jagged shark teeth splitting wide to receive him.

Then silence.

On Easter morning, while Mr Williams made a frantic call, his wife sat dumbfounded and weeping on their son’s empty bed. The detectives were baffled – there was no sign of a break-in, but no trace of the boy either.

Over the following months they scoured their memories for any detail they might have missed. They never gave the slightest thought to the four painted eggs that still sat on the windowsill.

Jackie Treehorn's picture
Jackie Treehorn from North Carolina May 5, 2012 - 10:36am

"What do you think it'll be like?"

"Cold. I bet it's going to be cold."

"Shut the fuck up assholes, I'm almost through."

"I amTrobarg, reborn from the ashes of the Phoenix. Cock of the henhouse. Impregnator of the multitudes. Bringer of the dawn. Captain of..."

"Shut the fuck up Trobarg, no one cares what bullshit you think you were captain of."

"Well if it's cold, I might just stay right here where it's nice and warm and dark and safe."

"It'll just get cold in here too, what's the point?"

"Trobarg will bathe in the blood and feathers of nonbelievers. The coop will run red with the spilled life of his enemies. It was I who slayed the fox. It was I who..."

"I told you all to Shut. The. Fuck. Up. I'm almost there."

"Barry, you've been saying that for ages now. Just give up and enjoy the warmth while you can."

“Yeah dude, you're just a bunch of clear goo and yellow goo like the rest of us. How do you think you're going to escape the white walls?”

"Trobarg needs no body. Trobarg cares not for hot or cold or the breaking of the white. Trobarg cares only for the spoils of victory. And soon they will be his."

"Honey, grab the eggs from the table. I need them for the cake."

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones May 5, 2012 - 11:10am

Expiry

 

Sarah sits on the bathroom floor studying the brown blotches in her shorts. It's gone. Her little egg  rests on the porcelain at the bottom of the toilet. The sight paralyzes her and she swears she can feel little phantom limbs manipulating her insides.

Her heartbeat falls into a syncopated rhythm and she balls the shorts into her fists. She never told Dan that she was pregnant and now she didn't have to. She couldn't tell him now. It would crush him. It would be her fault. Tears begin to fall, diluting the blood on her fingers to water color pink, but offering no relief.

It doesn't feel right to just flush it away, but she doesn't know what else to do. With one hand hovering over the tank lever, Sarah places the other in the water and traces her finger around her little egg. She never knew that she wanted to be a mother until she felt it in her hand.

This is pain. She pushes the lever and watches her little egg be washed from her hand. This is how scars are formed.

Sarah is still curled up on the bathroom floor when Dan gets home. His footsteps cease and she can feel him on the other side of the door.

“You okay in there?”

“Fine.” Her voice cracks and she has to force the words. “Just taking a bath.”

The pain swells in her throat and she buries it, along with everything else.

Shea Bordo's picture
Shea Bordo from West Virginia is reading Screaming With The Cannibals May 5, 2012 - 12:51pm

“Yesterday Again”

Jeff stood in the grocery aisle, wearing a suit.  He studied the eggs through the glass door.  The cooler seemed warmer than it should be. 
“Wow, Jeff Wright how you doin'?”
He turned to see a man wearing cut-off jean shorts and a rough face that looked familiar.
“Chuck Yoak.” The man smiled looking for recognition. 
“Oh yeah...how are you? It's been...”
“Since the summer after high school.  It's so good to see you man!  That was a crazy time with Missy and Becky.” 
“Yeah.”
“How long are you in town for?”
“Just a few days to see family.”
“Crystal married Ronnie.” 
“Crystal?”
“My sister.”
“That's right.” Jeff said, looking back at the eggs in the warm cooler.
He could feel a slight tension, the widening of the gap that was already between them.
The gap that formed the moment Jeff left the small, green town they had grown up in. 
It happened instantly, not slowly over fifteen years, but right in the moment he stepped into his rusting Toyota Tercel and drove toward the West Virginia boarder: Toward freedom, toward life.
“It was good to see you.”  Jeff said.
“Yeah...good seeing you.”
Chuck looked back.
“I knew you would make it out of this little shit hole town. I always hated you for that.  That's why I fucked Missy.”
“That was a long time ago...”
“Fuck you man.”

christalvia's picture
christalvia May 6, 2012 - 5:31pm

I can feel your soft veined fingers gripping tightly into mine.  You're brushing through my long tangly hair just like you did night after night before.

"Stop complaining and let me soften this rooster's nest!" you always griped.

I'm listening to every piece of advice you are giving me; holding to each cold determined whisper. You remember that day in the kitchen.  I know you can recall the smell of vinegar suffocating every living thing in the house.  With a white crayon we crookedly wrote the names of every single person we knew onto individual Easter eggs.

"What about the brown eggs, momma? They are different.  I don't want to use them."

"Brown eggs are no different than the white ones, baby. We can save these for ourselves," you replied, laughing, as I rolled my eyes. 

That was the night you told me about the cancer.  I'm here alone now, but I feel you loving me. I still buy the brown eggs.

 

 

Jamie Alan-Anthony's picture
Jamie Alan-Anthony from Los Angeles is reading Gantz by Hiroya Oku May 7, 2012 - 1:08am

Eggs

I looked down at my feet. My shoes had been removed. I wondered where they might be. I decided that I should ask, but as I began my inquiry, the masked man standing to my right positioned himself in front of me and slapped me across the face. The impact knocked the saliva from my mouth and onto the floor.

“Where is it?” the masked man held his head inches from my face, screaming.

Silence.

“Fine, we’ll do this your way”

The beast lumbered away and reached into a bag, pulling out a carton of eggs. I tried hard to resist but began to laugh at near hysterical levels. Not amused, ‘Drago’ removed a single egg with one massive hand pushing my mouth open with the other. In a swift motion my jaw was slammed shut on the egg, cracking the shell into pieces and sending the entire mess drizzling down my throat.

“Wha-da-fuh?” egg oozed out as I tried to belch my question.

I wondered to myself what indigenous tribe or totalitarian hit squad conjured up shoving eggs down someone’s throat. The brute froze, and decided rather quickly I was not cooperating. He reached for another egg. Then another. Then another.

“ST-AHH!” I raised my hands. As he removed his mitts from my mouth, I regurgitated on my Tabriz carpet. My shoes, and now my carpet; they were monsters.

I cleared my throat and gasped, “—the dog house. It’s buried under the dog house.”

Fucking eggs. 

Sampsonics's picture
Sampsonics is reading The Hunger Games May 13, 2012 - 10:37am

JIMMY'S OMELET

And the Buddha turned to Christ and asked: why do you tell others what to do with such fervor? And Christ said: because I am fed up with the ways of the world. He turned to the Buddha. Why do you not tell others what to do? The Buddha smiled. Because I am fed up with the ways of the world, he said.

The two men laughed and walked on down the road.

Jimmy put down his pen. He liked the idea of Jesus Christ and the Buddha walking down the road but he hated the straight comparison. It was too clean, lean and comfortable. Perhaps something from the ancient Greek tragedies would do the trick, add spice to the omelet. He thought of his family. A tear began to bead up in his eye.

"This is the end..."

mags's picture
mags from the UK is reading Huckleberry Finn May 7, 2012 - 1:03pm

Do chickens know how we use ‘em?


I’m a lowly farm girl, and I’m their savi’ur. I send them to the woods, because it’s u’safe here. They shouldn’t be used the way they are. Mam makes me eat ‘em; she says they’re good for me.
Do the chickies mamas’ tell them not to be eaten, because it’s bad for ‘em?


My friend Marcy makes me laugh, she lives on a farm too.  Her farm is all about veg’tubles and s’uff.
My Daddy tells me we should preach the Bible to every creature, he told me creatures have hearts – so I guess Marcy’s veggies don’t needa go to heaven.

James Dougherty's picture
James Dougherty from Liverpool, England is reading God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater May 7, 2012 - 2:48pm

Watching The World Through Egg Stained Fingers

 

The steady beat of a swirling teaspoon interrupts my train of thought for a moment. I realise that Charlie is not the only member of this roadside orchestra. Everybody is stirring something or tapping away in unison. After this split second synchronicity, the cafe goes back to its usual chaos. It’s the little things that make my day.


Charlie is my boy. I had him for the weekend. It’s now Wednesday. Sarah doesn’t know about our “vacation”. I told him to bring his passport. Sold it as a secret agent challenge. Don’t get caught and all that crap. He’s enjoying the adventure. I’ve taught him well.


The discipline now is in the details. We never stay in the same motel for more than one night. Pay with cash. I’ve made a mental note of all the cars that have crunched past the window into the parking lot. Twelve so far. It’s also common sense to know where all of your exits lie, just in case you need to make a quick getaway.


I’m halfway through what I can only call a fried egg sandwich, but it’s on French bread (I suppose it’s just called bread here). It has a perfectly gooey yellow yolk which is currently covering my fingers with a slick mess. A greasy film. Afterbirth.


My phone starts to vibrate, but I ignore it. Fuck her, little boys need their father. There are things he needs to know.


We better leave soon. It’s another 493 miles to Disneyland.

Laura K Grant's picture
Laura K Grant May 7, 2012 - 11:21pm
Easter Monday

I’m wearing what I always wear, a shirt made of cotton, a skirt of linen. Carrying a basket of eggs. Holding on tight to life. I look young and innocent.

So fuck you.

Her face through the glass in the door slumbers white and smooth. I don’t know how all those beeping machines don’t wake her up.

They call it a coma. They call her a shell. They can go get stuffed.

All I want is a quiet place to talk to her, but cops guard the door, their fingers inches from triggers, their coffee breath tepid and black. She’s handcuffed to the bedrail, so even if I sneak past them, I’ll have that Gordian knot to sever.

But sometimes, Opportunity knocks. Sometimes, even, Opportunity comes stumbling down the hall, ass hanging out of a hospital gown, hollering for Momma, biting nurses on the face.

The coppers are distracted. A few carefully lobbed eggs arc through the air, their size belying their weight, their weight belying their fragility. They are perfect, though not perfectly round. They go splat on the back of a doctor’s head, and everyone think crazy-ass nurse-biter threw them. Three men with badges tackle him, and all ninety-eight pounds of tweaker come down. He cracks on the floor. I slip through the door.

Nestled in bed, she looks perfect. But I know she’s fractured. Hairline cracks line the inside, leaking yellow. She won’t fit in my basket, but I’ll find a way to carry her.

mikebarron's picture
mikebarron May 8, 2012 - 11:14pm
Bait and Switch

 

     Two weeks is all. It was a simple arrangement.

     Go! It said.

     I saw the ad in a travel mag: Two weeks free room and board in a small farmhouse off the European countryside, in exchange for a little help around the farm. Just mild labor, they said, berry picking, tending to chickens, simple enough sounding work. Only, it wasn’t. I haven’t seen one berry since I came here, and tending to the chickens turned out to be a lot harder than expected. It was a whole process, and, for the life of me, I just couldn’t take the eggs. They’d squawk and pop ‘em right out, sure, but I couldn’t take them. I felt like some creep swiping newborns off the baby ward. So instead, I’d go a few miles up the road to the market in town (real rainy shitsville is the European countryside by the way) and I’d buy dozens of farm fresh eggs from somewhere else, you know, to keep the chickens from having to part. It was so much easier to just buy them and not have to worry about where they came from. I never really put much thought into it. But today I was curious. So, before carrying my pale blue carton up to the checkout, I lifted it to see where it came from, and in tiny red print etched into the Styrofoam, I read the name of the same farm I’ve been staying at.

     Go... I thought. I should’ve stayed home.

Victor's picture
Victor from U.k May 9, 2012 - 3:01am

That day I woke to find myself in a bizarre set of circumstances.
I woke to bright lights, i felt a strange feeling of being alien to something.
When I looked at myself I found I had webbed feet and feathers. This body seemed to resemble a chicken. I was in shock I called out. I could think but all that i could hear come out of my mouth was chicken talk. I was in a barn, in our barn at home. I looked to my left there was eggs and to my right a couple of chickens. Suddenly I heard a woman calling it was mum she was calling dad.
Oh no! to fetch a chicken for lunch. A large man approached, from down here it was hard to recognise you but it was you Dad.
"Dad, Dad" I protested, "It's me" but all that could be heard was chicken noise. You had a chopper in your hand.
Oh no please don't choose me!
You reached down and one large hand shadows me and grasps around my head I fight to be free but no joy. My neck is feeling tight you started to slow twist my head then in an instance I see darkness.
Then light.
I am no longer a chicken but now I am a soul flying around a palace in a land beautiful and heavenly. Dear father read this and know do not have fear or regret. Rejoice!
I am safe, your loving son Daffy.

Michael Riccio's picture
Michael Riccio May 9, 2012 - 8:12am

“Do these look good to you?” he asked, assessing each individual egg for cracks.  Her gaze focused beyond the carton. 

“I can never tell.” 

“Picking the perfect dozen should be considered an art form; each egg has to meet such high standards.”

“But what if they don’t?  What happens when an egg is not up to your high standards?”  Her focus lost, she began to move her gaze downward.

“Then we replace it.  That is the beauty of the egg market, there will never be a shortage of eggs.”  His eyes never swayed from the process of assessment, his gross obsession.

“But there is always a shortage, every egg we waste is a life that won’t take, and less eggs for the future.”  Her tone was changing, but he would not notice.

“Look at this place, dear, the day this section is empty is the day the world ends.” His final carton was nearly complete, the Aryan race of unfertilized poultry. 

“You’re right, that day would be the end of my world, the end of my legacy.”  Her hands were now naturally caressing her stomach and tears were streaking her face. 

“Don’t be melodramatic dear; it is nothing we’ll see in our lifetime.  Maybe our children, though.”  He hardly finished the sentence as her hand slapped the 12th egg from his grip, smashing against the ground, a display of fragile beauty.  She turned and ran, while he remained stunned, staring at the egg, another life taken in vain.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz May 9, 2012 - 1:24pm

Egg Me!™

Malcolm Ribeye's picture
Malcolm Ribeye from The middle part of the country. is reading J.R. by Wm Gaddis May 10, 2012 - 10:10am

Architectural Digest

We'd egg a house here, a house there.  Sometimes they'd stick to the side gelatinous and the sun would cake them on summertimes.  Least the yolks.

Those days we were more bored.  We'd down three gulps of mom's peppermint Schnapps at noon and egg any house that needed to be egged.  Didn't have to be a house of someone we knew.  


Old Man Scrooge's house got egged; we did it.  Called him that because we thought he was a greedy bastard; he was just poor.  His name was Lee.  Lee was poor and we didn't know it yet.  He saw us when we threw em at his house, shells cracking, yolks and albumin mixing--the taboo if you know how to really fry an egg and you give a shit.  Makin' the kind of mess you best get paid for if you're gonna clean it up.   

One of the eggs that Lissa threw missed the side of the house.  Landed in the bushes.  I stopped throwing em while she went up to get it.  Old Man Scrooge came out wildly arms like dancin' gardenhoses and pushed her out of the way.  I got pissed.  Then this sort of sunlight you don't see much came out and yes kiddo, he was wan.  Lissa came back to get more, retaliate, but I gave him the rest, he needed em.  Sometimes now when he sees around he smiles but don't have it in him too much cause he's hungry.

Jami Kali's picture
Jami Kali from Pennsylvania is reading words May 10, 2012 - 7:01pm

Last Night's Supper

 

In the picture, she holds the weight of a one-dozen carton of eggs and memories of the day's events, which weighed a ton. Cartons among cartons of various colors and brands lay stacked in the background behind glass. She holds the freezer door open with her left side and poses with her right. Under her eyes rests a heaviness due either to unwashed mascara run-off or a lack of sleep. We’d been awake for days at that point. And her smile. That’s in the picture too. Her teeth. Her dyed red bangs and the way they join with the far corners of her brown eyebrows. Her almond-shaped eyes only half-open above her dark circles.


The picture was taken with a wide aperture and so, with all that grocery store ceiling light coming in, she looks kinda like an angel. The blue and gray cartons in the background suck up the surrounding light and cast a bright glow around the outline of her body. Right before the picture was taken, she said, “Will a dozen be enough?”

“Of course not,” I said. We laughed together. Then I raised the camera and snapped the photo. Her smile in the picture is holy, like her.

She’d tell me later that she was only kidding about receiving messages directly from God but I know she’s only being modest.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff June 16, 2012 - 4:48am

Half Life

 

A snack bar in the hood, under sidewalk canopies we breathe warm pollen mixed with car exhaust. “Only a drink,” you said on the phone. Okay, but I've got a Pharmacology exam tomorrow.

Noradrenaline pulls a half-life of two minutes, the time it takes for a human to work up half its action. Washdown of the other half needs longer though, up to seven half-lives.

You don't want me to nail it. Squeezing your blood-red anti-stress egg, “In the beginning, with Carla, we spent the whole day in bed,” you say. Problem is, you're tripping me to fall now. And I don't make do.

The half-life of morphine is two to three hours. Depending on a helluva lot of biological factors, it will take up to twenty-one hours until its effects are gone.

I cling to my glass of wine, your lips won't cease sexy talk. Bulging arms circle the air – showing how you can nestle a woman – that spongy thingy pumping inside your hand. Sucked in your sweaty scenario, the egg is my thigh. I gasp. A fantasy astray of how long it takes to eliminate dopamine.

The egg spurts to the ground. Tight around the shoulders as you stretch, the white shirt reveals a shapely waist. 
Our eyes mesh and I may have dropped an ovum. I reach over to cradle the anti-stress, your hand in mine.

In a fit of hormone-induced panic – what's the half-life of desire, I wonder.

Chris Johnson's picture
Chris Johnson from Burlington NC is reading The Proud Highway May 14, 2012 - 6:56am

You told me the universe was shaped like this and showed me an egg. I wondered if that was before or after the gods filled the universe with hormones and antibiotics. I thought about methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and boils filled with fried yolk. About hospitals and whether they serve free-range universes or not. Probably not. I saw light hitting the porous surface of the shell and its texture and color of dried paint. You cracked the egg on the raised edge of the rangetop and dropped the stars into the cast iron pan, hissing on a bed of fat. I thought of nightsweats when you added cheese, being too hot under covers and waking up feeling paste against the roof of my mouth. I thought of being locked in a cage and you having your eggs taken before fertilization so our owners could eat our abortions. Every egg sandwich a failed pregnancy. It should feel better to be on top of the pile like we are. This should taste better than it does.

Razvan Teodor Coloja's picture
Razvan Teodor Coloja May 14, 2012 - 7:12am

"I'm sure I can make it if I concentrate long enough," the highway patrolman thought. And then the world turned pink. Children were playing on the lawn laughing, their voices like screwdrivers falling to the floor. Light was entering the houses and leaving them in the form of spaghetti - long tentacles like you'd think a chef would want them to be. He closed his eyes and felt the wind on his face once again and before he blinked again the world was green. Green as you'd imagine a pothead sees it. Leaves were screaming as they fell to the ground from the trees above his side of the road, taking their time like broken elevators hurling their prey towards the asphalt. He tried to rub his eyes in disbelief but his hands were soft as silk, fingers flowing to either side of the palm like dead socks. He winced and blinked again as fast as he could and the world was darker. 256 shades of grey to be exact, like old movies want to make you believe it is. In the monochrome grass left to him there were eggs. White eggs. He could call them that because they had the right shape and color and as he took a step closer the eggs began to hatch. Far in the distance, a family man was cradling the broken part of a fighter jet, his lips moving slowly but emitting no sound. He looked back at the eggs. Blink.

Kevin Maddox's picture
Kevin Maddox from Melstrand, Mi is reading Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut May 14, 2012 - 9:05am

Chicken or the Egg


     Any intelligent being wonders about the reason for its existence. Any educated being wonders about the process of evolution.
     You can’t have a Child without the mother, and you can’t have the chicken without the egg.
     Trust me when I say the process of evolution is a messy one, and even messier when the flawed nature of man is mixed with a god-like ego, and an endless supply of wealth and resources. This may be a product of our tax dollars spent on a “mad-biologist” vision of the future. Whoever it was either had a dark soul and concept of creation, or just found out why curiosity killed the cat, and if the latter be the case, I still won’t forgive their arrogance.
     I can’t imagine what abominable creatures came from the first batches of eggs. Hatching reptilian mutations for the sake of science. Thousands of rare birds fatally experimented on. I don’t like imagining the methods of breeding and genetic infusion, those sick fucks chemically combined with steroids and growth hormones.
     The eggs. They are beautiful, like emerald time-bombs. A smooth green armor, with a man-made demon growing inside.
     I imagine they are some kind of bird/reptile hybrid. Their eggs are nearly indestructible and the nests are elusive. They grow in size and numbers with each generation. The evolutionary perfected predator. The children call them dragons. Modern dinosaurs.
     They feed on all flesh, but the flesh of the creator seems to be preferred.

Typewriter Demigod's picture
Typewriter Demigod from London is reading "White Noise" by DeLilo, "Moby-Dick" by Hermann Mellivile and "Uylsses" by Joyce May 14, 2012 - 10:47am

In goes the first one, and she shudders and tries to scream at  me through the gag. This is what they call humiliation. She's naked, trussed on a table, her legs and arms tied behind her, angling into a point, like  a roast suckling pig. Well, she said she was flexible. On her back, there's a cup and saucer of tea. Between her toes, there's slices of toast. Curls of butter, Post-It note thin, slick her flesh and she moans into the gag after the second one, along with a handful of sausages. Wodges of black pudding layered in a circle on her back, around the saucer or tea bend in prayer to their tannin lord. I crank the winch a little, so I can slip miniature cupcake cases filled with ketchup and mustard beneath her breasts. Three make an omlette, and she's bursting now so there's barely room for a third.  This is what they call breakfast with your girlfriend....cum hostage cum bondage sub cum table. 

 

And as ever, it's delicious.

 

Jake Peterson's picture
Jake Peterson from Seattle, WA is reading Dave Eggers - The Circle May 14, 2012 - 11:48am

Hankster the Prankster

Hank got his favorite kicks by playing harmless pranks on his friends. He tested people to see what their reactions would be to his playful deeds.

One sun-filled morning Hank woke up to the sound of his roommate, Micah, laughing from the next room with another person. When Hank opened the door, he witnessed Micah and another young man that he had never met before giggling at the sight of Hank’s pit-bull furiously chasing its own tail.

“Hi, I’m Juan.” Claimed the young man with a lingering smile.
“Hank. It’s nice to meet you, Juan.”

Hank immediately started making plans to prank this new stranger as he pulled the eggs from the refrigerator to “make breakfast”.

“Micah, I will give you twenty dollars if you let me smash two eggs over your head.” Claimed Hank knowing that Micah would decline.
“No way!” Micah stood.
“How about you, Juan?” Hank asked slyly.
“Twenty dollars? Okay, I could use some extra money.”

The three then gathered outside where Hank held two eggs in his hand and Juan stood head down with his hands placed behind his back. Hank smashed the first egg on the back of Juan’s skull. Everybody laughed. Meanwhile, Juan, still with his head aimed to the ground watched Hank throw the second egg to the dirt, witnessing it smash in front of his eyes. Juan realized what had happened. Only one egg had been cracked over his head, and he would be leaving penniless.
 

Jake Peterson's picture
Jake Peterson from Seattle, WA is reading Dave Eggers - The Circle May 14, 2012 - 11:36am

Hankster the Prankster

Hank got his favorite kicks by playing harmless pranks on his friends. He tested people to see what their reactions would be to his playful deeds.

One sun-filled morning Hank woke up to the sound of his roommate, Micah, laughing from the next room with another person. When Hank opened the door, he witnessed Micah and another young man that he had never met before giggling at the sight of Hank’s pit-bull furiously chasing its own tail.

“Hi, I’m Juan.” Claimed the young man with a lingering smile.
“Hank. It’s nice to meet you, Juan.”

Hank immediately started making plans to prank this new stranger as he pulled the eggs from the refrigerator to “make breakfast”.

“Micah, I will give you twenty dollars if you let me smash two eggs over your head.” Claimed Hank knowing that Micah would decline.
“No way!” Micah stood.
“How about you, Juan?” Hank asked slyly.
“Twenty dollars? Okay, I could use some extra money.”

The three then gathered outside where Hank held two eggs in his hand and Juan stood head down with his hands placed behind his back. Hank smashed the first egg on the back of Juan’s skull. Everybody laughed. Meanwhile, Juan still with his head aimed to the ground watched Hank throw the second egg to the dirt, witnessing it smash in front of his eyes. Juan realized what had happened. Only one egg had been cracked over his head, and he would be leaving penniless.
 

Jake Peterson's picture
Jake Peterson from Seattle, WA is reading Dave Eggers - The Circle May 14, 2012 - 11:40am

Hankster the Prankster

Hank got his favorite kicks by playing harmless pranks on his friends. He tested people to see what their reactions would be to his playful deeds.

One sun-filled morning Hank woke up to the sound of his roommate, Micah, laughing from the next room with another person. When Hank opened the door, he witnessed Micah and another young man that he had never met before giggling at the sight of Hank’s pit-bull furiously chasing its own tail.

“Hi, I’m Juan.” Claimed the young man with a lingering smile.
“Hank. It’s nice to meet you, Juan.”

Hank immediately started making plans to prank this new stranger as he pulled the eggs from the refrigerator to “make breakfast”.

“Micah, I will give you twenty dollars if you let me smash two eggs over your head.” Claimed Hank knowing that Micah would decline.
“No way!” Micah stood.
“How about you, Juan?” Hank asked slyly.
“Twenty dollars? Okay, I could use some extra money.”

The three then gathered outside where Hank held two eggs in his hand and Juan stood head down with his hands placed behind his back. Hank smashed the first egg on the back of Juan’s skull. Everybody laughed. Meanwhile, Juan still with his head aimed to the ground watched Hank throw the second egg to the dirt, witnessing it smash in front of his eyes. Juan realized what had happened. Only one egg had been cracked over his head, and he would be leaving penniless.
 

spitzmud's picture
spitzmud from New York is reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway May 14, 2012 - 1:10pm

 She was on her stoop – a septuagenarian lost in the throes of her morning routine – when I saw her, clutching extra-long cigarette and a hard-boiled egg.

I wanted desperately to sit with her, hear her prelapsarian stories. How today's stars can't measure up – Robert Mitchum, now there was a man!  Tales of the great war, then the not-so-great wars.

Her lipstick was vibrant against skin like parchment. I saw cracks in her lips, like deep ravines pooled with red mush.  I thought that she might have specks of lipstick on her teeth, but this wasn't some slovenly second grade teacher.  She was regal.  Holding court atop her brownstone throne, her ladies in waiting long dead, leaving this solitary dowager to eat her egg alone. 

I watched her grip the egg ready to peel it.  It'd be easier if Rheumatoid arthritis hadn't ravaged her fingers.  Her hands, despite skin like wet pages and knuckly fingers swelling at the joints, still seemed comely.  Those hands, liver-spotted and delicate as the shell of a quail egg.

Her past, I thought, was rich.  She was a seamstress for Dior in the 40's.  Alan Ludden was probably godfather to her daughter.  But those days have long since faded.  All that's left now is that egg, a reason to wake up. 

But I could be wrong? Maybe she never was a seamstress? She probably didn't even know Alan Ludden?

I snuffed out my smoke and left, stealing a glance over my shoulder.

JamieM's picture
JamieM from Scotland May 14, 2012 - 2:32pm

Lance corporal Jack Wall; Household Cavalry Regiment, that’s me. No, not me, that was him. I’m not him. But you are, the lab-coats say. My brain is scrambled like an – no, poor choice of words. Afghanistan, that’s where I was. No, I wasn’t there. Jack Wall was there. I’m not Jack Wall. But you are, the lab-coats say.
I’m in a room full of lab-coats; pale and puny men. They’re playing God. There is no God, the lab-coats say, only us.
It was an IED that got me. No, it got Jack Wall, the other - my brain is still scrambled. The IED got Billy as well, poor kid. I don’t know what happened to the rest of my squad. Forget them, the lab-coats say, they’re no longer your concern. Look toward the future.
We look through a glass window onto a chamber beyond; the Hatching Chamber – the future. There, rows upon rows of eggs, big eggs.
Mother.
Warfare is changing, the lab-coats say, you’re part of the change. Jack Wall is part of the change. Jack Wall was killed in Afghanistan. I am Jack Wall. Some of the eggs begin to tremble. Then they crack open. From each emerges a man; naked, fully grown, glistening with slime and shivering. These men, blinking in the harsh light are each identical to the other; each identical to me. Each is Jack Wall. I am Jack Wall though I’m not the first and I’m not the last. Warfare is changing they say.

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chrisdeal from NC is reading The Maid's Version May 14, 2012 - 6:00pm

Mictlan

From the nothing that is the world beyond the city's limits, Xocotl came roaring into existence like a bird from the flames. It started when the dealers out near Cancer Ally started ending up nude of product, their tongues pulled down through their throat in a coyote's grin. Then the fires started in warehouses up and down the river. Guns, with and without badges, roamed the streets with only that name, Xocotl, for a target.

When he struck closest to the seat of power, leaving bodies burnt and torn asunder, there came a survivor. His eyes had been plucked from their sockets and found in a glass of scorpion wine. His voice was made of velvet, the amaurotic witness said, and the shape of his form was that of a jackal.

When the city's Jefe, an old man with blood on his shoes, found the egg on his door step, crushed beneath an absent boot, he knew the day of his life was closing in on sunset. He consolidated what men he had that maintained the loyalty he required in his home, waiting for the man they called Xocotl to come for him.

Each creak of wood was an enemy blade slipping through the shadows. Each night held little promise of morning. The Jefe waited for his death while the streets were free for the taking. Product flowed once again, bodies sat unclaimed in the morgue. An egg hatched out in the nothing and the city was claimed.

Selaine Henriksen's picture
Selaine Henriksen May 15, 2012 - 5:22am

Go Figure

I'd set the plate of eggs, scrambled, in front of  Jean-Renee when Claudine sashayed through the door.  I flicked my eyes to the clock and cracked my gum.  Fifteen minutes late, again. I pointed to my office, a booth near the washrooms.

 
I lit a cigarette. Claudine rolled her eyes. I let her stew, blowing smoke rings at her.


Finally, I said, “You're late again, you're fired.”


I turned to go and heard her mutter, “Ugly, old bitch.”


“Don't call me ugly,” I snarled.


Ugly I wasn't. At sixty-three, old maybe. I'd married for a green card, I'd married for love and I'd married for money. Only to find myself back home now, near the end of my life.


So, imagine my surprise when husband number one walked in. The green card I didn't need any more.


“I'll be right with you, Bill,” I said. “Have a seat.”


“It's Greg now,” he said.


I thought about that as I took Pierre's breakfast order.  At my age I should've been able to retire. Go figure.


Bill-it's-Gregg-now followed me to the counter. “Sorry, Lilly,” he said. “But they figured I'd find you up here.”


He smiled his charming smile, like I'd forgive him because he's cute, and was still smiling as I reached under the register, pulled out the shotgun I kept for emergencies, and blew a hole in his chest. I'm an old bitch, it's true.

MaSmylie's picture
MaSmylie from London, England is reading Haunted May 15, 2012 - 11:24am

“Eat yer’ fucking eggs,” he said to me. Tommy was 7 years older than me. He wore chequered shirts tucked into slim cut Levis jeans and cowboy boots. His fedora covered his straggly, dark brown hair, which framed his masculine face. Tommy was my brother, and I loved him, but I didn’t like him very much. He scared me.  The dirty plate sat in front of me, two scrambled eggs thrown upon it. I didn’t like eggs. He made me eggs every day. He straddled the chair across the table and took a cigarette from the packet within his top pocket, placing it delicately within his mouth. He shoots me a look from under the rim of his hat.

“What’s the matter? You too good fer eggs now?”

I shook my head. Taking one hand out from under the table, I picked up the fork from the table and went in to eat a little of the egg. Tommy lit up his cigarette with a zippo.  Dad’s. He inhaled, eyes closed. Tilts his head back. Smoke billows from his mouth. The zippo clicks shut. I take my first bite of egg slowly, before he looks down at me again. They taste bad. Tommy opens his eyes and looks away from me. 

“What are you having for dinner, Tommy?”

He grunts, eyes turning downwards.

“Nothing.”

“Why?”

“You know why.”

“Why?” He slams his open palm down onto the table and shouts, “Fuck!” He storms away. He leaves me with the eggs.

Jordan Bone's picture
Jordan Bone May 16, 2012 - 9:12am

                                                                      Expensive Shells

   Beep, beep, beep! My hand hits the night stand about five times before my fingers finally collide with the snooze bar. Awake, back into life, back into the real world. Shit, I’m fifteen now, hurray for me, maybe Marcy will see me in the hall today? Maybe life will go on and I’ll be invisible like always.
     What should I wear today? I know, the same shit I always wear, my black T-shirt, my used to be blue jeans, and my old shoes. The white sneakers with the red stripes on the sides. The one’s I’ve worn for more than a year, the ones from Payless.
    I like to wear the socks with the crusty brown stains on the toes, because my white shoes are now, also, stained brown. The brown stains match the shoe holes which make them stand out less.
     I smell breakfast, toast and eggs, like every day. I sit at the table. Mom drops a plate in front of me. “Hey, babe, I got the brown eggs for your birthday. I’m making a cake with them too.” She lifts the cracked egg shells so I can see they are brown.
      I asked her to buy the brown eggs every week until I was nine. She never would, she said they are too expensive. I can’t believe she remembers now. I take a bite, they taste just like the white ones. I throw them in the trash when she isn’t looking. Fuck the brown eggs. 

                        

Bill Tucker's picture
Bill Tucker from Austin, Texas is reading Grimm's Fairy Tales (1st Edition) May 16, 2012 - 12:37pm

Call Me Jane

Jack had noticed some changes over the past month but thought nothing of it.  Just a byproduct of getting older, turning 30.  But as he sat on the toilet, he knew this was not normal.  Not the usual way of things.

James had been there for ten minutes, working a monstrous object from his sigmold colon, the Sunday Times at his feet.  Between thrusts, he examined the goosebumps on his forearm.  Little ridges of skin and fluff sparked awake as another stomach cramp punched him square.

Jack doubled over, held fast to the off white tile of the bathroom wall and pushed.  Veins in his neck popped outward as he strained.  The more it slid, the more he stamped his webbed foot against the floor tile.

Another stab hit his midsection as he felt his bowels begin to give way.  With a high pitched squawk, he clenched his buttocks and pressed one last time.  The object fell from him and hit the toilet water with an audible sploosh.  Backwash hit the newly formed bump on his tailbone.

Jack didn’t think his orange nose was a sign of things to come, even when the cartilage hardened to the texture of bone.  Didn’t think his fluffy arm hair was reason for concern.  But as he stood above the toilet, staring down at the white oval that had rocketed from his small intestine, his mouth fell open and eyes grew wide.

That’s when the egg started to shake.

addtheliquid's picture
addtheliquid from Austin, Texas is reading Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc May 17, 2012 - 2:07pm

The neighbors were moving in next door. They didn't seem to have a lot of things. A few boxes came off of a truck, a guy carried a lamp and a girl was carrying a computer monitor. They disappeared into the house.
I continued working in the garden not giving much attention to the people moving in. I finished up in the garden and just as I was about to go in, a woman appeared at the fence. Her name was Lisa. She was moving in with her husband and another guy, which I never got their names, nor the third guys relation. They had a somewhat questionable arrangement, I guess. I didn't question about what particular part the third guy played. I didn't ask. Lisa invited me to dinner. She said it would start at 8. I told her I would be there at 8.
A man answered the door and shook my hand and introduced himself as Tom. He took me straight to the table where the woman sat. A tall man with hairy arms brought hard boiled eggs. The woman looked at me and said, "You don't mind if we eat immediately?" I shook my head no. She smiled, and the man introduced himself as Jerry, her husband and distributed the eggs. I thanked him, and complimented him on the appetizer. They all looked at me and said in unison, "This is the main course!"

Cameron Lawrence Merker's picture
Cameron Lawrenc... from Twin Cities is reading Watership Down May 17, 2012 - 3:50pm

Huevos

I hate walking into a new school. The smells of teenage insecurity carry through the stale fragrances of Axe body spray and cheap street perfumes.

I walked into my first class. I should be used to this by now but the anxiety creeps over me every time. I know my classmates are half way through the semester. And they know I’m not from here. The class is the Mexican equivalent to a home economics course in the States.

The teacher introduces me to the class and I realize immediately its not one of the school’s cherished and well advertised “bilingual classes.”

“Clase, silencio, clase. Les presento nuestro nuevo alumno, La-wren-ce,” he struggles with my name. I correct him, “Lawrence.” He nods. No one was listening anyway. I sit down.

“¿Clase, trajeron los huevos para el proyecto de hoy?” Everyone nods. Apparently I was supposed to bring eggs to class. I guess we are doing some sort of baby project. Unsure, I raise my hand, “Profe, No tengo huevos.”

The class breaks out in laugher.
Shit, did I say that right? I forgot the subject.
“Profe, Yo no tengo huevos.”

This time the class stares with laughter.
Fuck, I’m using the wrong verb.

“Profe, falto un huevo."

A young guy with a horrible hipster haircut reeking of Axe’s cheap body spray stands up next to me, grabs his junk and says, “¿No tienes huevos?”

I get it. Fuck.
I told the class:
I HAVE NO BALLS

Michael Siemens's picture
Michael Siemens from Victoria, BC is reading Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace May 17, 2012 - 7:57pm

                                                            To Live Forever

  The first time I met him he was cracking eggs over his head and letting the innards run down his face.  Viscous strands of translucent fetus tangled in his thick hair, sticking it together in complex patches.  Yolk spread across his broad forehead, working itself into deep wrinkles - little eddies and estuaries of edge that crackled across his skin like shallow knife wounds.  Sometimes, jagged shards of eggshell would obfuscate his blue irises, making it look like he had exceptionally thick cataracts.  

   "Elizabeth Báthory would bathe in the blood of virgins she killed to preserve her youth.  I figure this is less harmful."  Raw dead chicken-baby fell into the wet cavern of his mouth as he spoke.  He was shirtless.  I could tell that, at one point, he had had a formidable body, but the muscles of his torso had fallen into disrepair, coagulating into a hard gut and saggy pecs with errant hair everywhere which was matted down with the runoff of eggs.

     "You know, this is what spas would offer if they were being really honest with their clientele. The trick is to kill the young."

    Crack. Crack. Crack.

    He extended a veiny hand that was gleaming under the ambient light of the white room towards me.  In his heavily-lined palm, within the womb of his gnarled and arthritic fingers, was an egg.  I looked up into his eyes, which were covered in eggshell.  Sightless, he nodded back.

    Maybe I can live forever.   

     

James McArthur's picture
James McArthur from Potato is reading a book May 17, 2012 - 9:52pm

Not Done Yet

The first thing she noticed was that she could not move. This, more than the fact that she could not see a thing, set her heart racing, pumping harder and harder with each passing moment as she struggled to pull her arms from her sides and push herself free. She could not though, and when she finally found her voice all she could say was…

“Help…” and her voice was swallowed by the hungry darkness all around her. She could not even hear a faint echo of her plea. Just a far off drip… drip… drip…

“Oh good, you’re awake,” came a voice, close by, calm, composed, and horrifying because of that.

A light came on, and she was blinded by the eruption of a new sun in a world that until now had been pitch black.

“We were worried you were dead after you broke free, now let’s get a look at you,”

She still could not see, and tear streamed out of her closed eyes, hurt by the bright light. It would not be the worst thing she ever felt though, and she knew that when she felt hands moving all over her face.

“Seems good,” said another voice.

“Good, then let’s put the shell back over her. She’s not done gestating,”

She finally summoned the strength to open her eyes, and when she did, all she saw was a white, almost spherical hollow… thing coming down around her.

She screamed once more, and would never stop.

Kasey's picture
Kasey from the morally and physically challenging plains of Texas is reading 12pt. Courier font May 17, 2012 - 10:44pm

Her Favorite Meal

 

Jackie came home quietly and sat on the couch, out of sight from the kitchen where she heard him chopping.

Four tumors, each about fifty cc’s he’d said.  What does fifty cc’s look like she asked? About the size of an egg he said.

Your ovaries will have to go.

Ian froze when he saw her on the couch unexpectedly, in her faraway gaze she does so often that he just smiles at her and resumes his cooking.

“I hope you’re hungry” he sings from back behind the partial wall separating them.

“I am” she replies, the strangulation of the words eliciting a stop in his furious whisking.

“Everything alright?”

No answer, whisk whisk whisk.

She thinks to herself she just needs to tell him, just tell him and get it out there, pass it, painful as it may be. Four words. I. Have. Ovarian. Cancer.  But she stares away, her smile widening in that apostatic way.

He repeats his inquiry, not stopping the whisking this time.

“You okay?  What did the doctor say?”

She walks to meet him in his favorite place, the kitchen.

She wasn’t ready for this. “What are we having?” she deflects.

“Your favorite. Omelets.”

The bowl he dropped disintegrated across the tile in a porcelain fireworks display when she shot-gunned a cry from somewhere deep. Her eyes burning with fresh hot tears, counted out the eight empty eggshell halves on the counter as he picked her up, broken, from the floor.

 

underpurplemoon's picture
underpurplemoon from PDX May 18, 2012 - 12:09am

"You can have them any way you want," the chef said. "Can I have eggs over medium instead of an omelet?" I asked. The chef at the Vegas Uncork'd brunch looked puzzled. "I can do it," said another chef. The original chef I asked was relieved. Apparently, he hadn't mastered the art of eggs over medium yet. The chef preparing eggs over medium said, "You can help the next guest with an omelet." The first chef nodded.

I watched in awe as eggs over medium took the stage. I must confess that I don't know how to boil an egg, but I've managed to fried rice with eggs, scrambled random edibles with egg, and I even made omelets in the past. There, in front of me, a quick lesson I'll always remember.

Olive oil, it must have been. Crack one, and then crack the other egg with ease. Sizzle until slightly harden. The chef sprinkled on some salt and pepper. I looked shocked. "I don't normally put anything on my eggs over medium," I said. He gave a little "oh" and knowing that he would have done it over again, I told him that I'd take them.

The moment finally arrived. Flip. The flip is key, much more graceful than flipping flapjacks, but I believe it takes a natural knack for such a skill.

The chef guided the eggs smoothly onto my plate. I went back to my table and devoured them.

Scott Williams's picture
Scott Williams from Brooklyn, NY is reading 11/23/63 May 29, 2012 - 6:58am

Without thinking, he’d taken out four eggs. One for her, three for him. He stared at them on the counter for several seconds, hands splayed to either side with the eggs between. Her cat threaded his legs, meowing plaintively. He’d moved aside the dishes that had been piling up for the past week, taken out the pan, grabbed the butter and eggs, and now stopped, unable to proceed. The eggs sat, mute and accusing.

He slowly shuffled them around on the counter, lining them up, stacking them in various configurations until he found a stable pile. He carefully placed the last egg on top. Now they were steady. Now they wouldn’t roll away.

He studied the stack for a long moment, then smacked his hand down, hard, crushing it. Yolk sprayed every direction, splattering on the walls, his pants, the stove, the dirty dishes that she never would have let accumulate like that. He looked down at the mess dripping down his front. “Shit.”

The cat jumped up on the counter, began licking at the runny whites and yolks. He ran his clean hand down her fur, scratched behind her ears, and held his other hand, covered in eggy muck, awkwardly away from his side. The cat ignored him. He closed his eyes.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz May 18, 2012 - 10:03am

Good eggs people!

I have been dreaming about eggs.

Keep em comin'.

I'm gonna make an omelette.

Jeff's picture
Jeff from Florida is reading Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor Maymudes May 18, 2012 - 1:56pm

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Jeff's picture
Jeff from Florida is reading Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor Maymudes May 18, 2012 - 1:56pm

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Jeff's picture
Jeff from Florida is reading Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor Maymudes May 18, 2012 - 1:50pm

                                               

 


                                                          Parting Gift

It was a divinaton technique passed on to me by my Romanian grandmother. As a small boy I remember being ushered before her by my grandfather, who was amused by my struggle to reconcile the youthful portrait of him, hanging over the dresser, with how he actually looked. “It will happen to you too!” No, I shook my head. “So you own a crystal ball and can see into the future, is that it?” I shook my head yes, not knowing what else to do.
“He gets that from his grandmother. Come closer Martin and don't let this old bear scare you.”  With a rueful chuckle my grandfather withdrew from the room. Even though she was on her deathbed, my grandmother was decked out in pearls and wore a merrily colored blouse. I was enchanted by her. “Would you like to know a way to see into the future?” she asked matter of factly. 

“Yes.”
“You have to be very aware of everything that happens around you, and after something special happens, you wait. Did anything special happen to you today?”
“I saw four pelicans flying toward the ocean!”
“Yes!” she shouted. “And what was the very next word that you read?” I closed  my eyes. “Think very hard.” When I reopened my eyes, I noticed someone had placed some eggs on her food tray. Suddenly it hit me.

“Eldorado!” My grandmother smiled and passed away.
 

Ted Sobon's picture
Ted Sobon May 19, 2012 - 4:54pm

I took heed not to let my flesh touch the copper coins from the lepers, counting them with a silver yad when Jesus told me to go to Baca to heal a man’s chicken.  Apparently the chicken had stopped laying eggs.

“Seek out Shaul,” Jesus said.  “Lay your hands on his bird, close your eyes and pray, and when you hear her first cackle open your eyes and she will yield ten eggs times ten."

“But Master,” I protested, “I’m no healer.  I manage your accounts.”  

Jesus scowled.  “Remember Lot’s wife,” he said. 

Then Jesus left the room.  Forthwith Peter squatted, bent his elbows, and began flapping his arms and bobbing his head and making sounds like a chicken.  Soon the other ten Galilean illiterates were laughing.

I walked to Baca and found Shaul carrying the chicken.  I placed my hands on the bird as Jesus said, closed my eyes, and prayed.  The hen cackled.  I opened my eyes.  Shaul put the chicken down and it began laying one egg after another.  Soon—one hundred eggs.

“Tell me, what sickness was this that made her barren?” I asked.

“Oh, she wasn’t sick,” he said.  “My rooster died.” 

I reached into my purse and gave him five shekels for a new rooster.

That night, over dinner, I told the story to Jesus and the others. 

“Judas, hens don’t need roosters to lay the eggs we eat,” Jesus said. “Just to make baby chicks.”

Jesus laughed.  Everyone laughed.  At me.

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks May 19, 2012 - 5:36pm

And As Always

The birds peered around the coop when they heard the violent straining.

"It's just the wind," one said to another. He chuckled. It was low and from the back of his throat, the typical laugh of repressed fear.

"Yeah, we'll be fine. The man is asleep," the another reassured the first.

The roughly hewn boards creaked against each compartment. Miniscule pieces of straw fluttered through the air and collapsed in pieces on the floor. The breeze intensified throughout the night.

"Heh, looks like it's going to storm," another one said to another.

"On the contrary, it should be calm," the another said sardonically.

The night passed with blustery conditions and the chickens slept. In the morning, the door flung wide and a stream of sunlight slithered through the space behind the man's silhouette.

"Who's ready for distribution?" he asked. He cackled.

The hens shrunk into what was left of their straw roosts. They cowered above plump eggs, preparing to fight the farmer for their chance to reproduce.

He moved among the chickens, carefully peering into each small compartment. His callused and hairy arm stretched behind the mesh wire of one. You could see the fat egg resting in his palm after he withdrew his arm from the cage. He moved along the line slowly, pausing only to remove another shiny, tapered egg.

The hens cried. The roosters sighed and wrapped a wing around their loved ones, saying, "Maybe next time."

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings May 20, 2012 - 9:42pm

I even went and bought condoms. I’ve not had sex since Sarah left, nor much in the 17 years we were together to be honest. Things have changed a lot. Different colours, shapes – favours? Soon, there will be changing rooms, so you can step out with a Green ribbed stimulator  on your cock and ask “Does this say second date? Hey, Does it make my bum look big?”  The ones I bought had a mild anaesthetic in it, to delay you from ejaculating. I’m going to wear it inside out, so the numbing effect is on the outside, because tonight, it’s going in a girls ass.
I’ve long fantasised, like many guys do, of doing it. Stacy, a self claimed dirty bitch, & cocaine makes her horny. She says she’s never done it before and is presenting me her ass, with her ‘balloon knot’ begging for it. It took a finger, then two, then all of me. I wanted her to flinch, express pain, to hear an ‘Owwwww.’ Nothing. So I said, “Does it hurt?”
“Nope.” she replied.
Nothing says you have a tiny penis more than an anal virgin comfortably taking it. I thought about ‘donkey punching’ her in the back of the head – “Does it hurt now?” I was mortified. I wanted pain.
Turns out she lied. Her ass is well used. She says anything for cocaine. Chester, who was seeing Stacy for a while, said he once got 4 eggs in her ass without breaking a shell.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings May 20, 2012 - 9:48pm

I should have kept my eye on the road, but there was something about her face, as if was melted. Her blue eyes, full of determination. She was young, maybe eight or nine years old.
“What the hell were you doing out at this hour, in this rain? Are you lost?”
“No,” She said, keeping her eyes on me.
“Do you want me to call someone, I can take you home?”
Again, over the thrum of the wipers and the heavy rain, she just said “No.”
An awkward silence fell. She never took here eyes off mine. “So what then, why were you out here so late, in this rain?”
“Because of a curse.” she said.
“A curse?” I laughed.
“Yes. A curse.”
“Care to tell me about it, this curse?”
“I have to.” She said.
“Have to?”
“Yes.”
“Well go on then.”
“We are Mulengro. Our eggs are cursed, all our children will be deformed and disfigured, outcasts. Cursed for all time until the curse is gone.”
“So how do you break the curse?” I was intrigued.
“You don’t break it, you give it away.”
“Give it away?” I said.
“Yes.” She said.
“How do you give it away?” I asked.
“You get stranger to ask you about the Mulengro curse.” She laughed.
I looked at her in the mirror. She wasn’t melted any more. I stopped the car. Fear, I opened my wallet to check the pictures of my children. My poor babies, their ruined faces.

Zelda Zeezeewriter Markowicz's picture
Zelda Zeezeewri... from Chicago is reading Holdays on ice. David Sedaris May 21, 2012 - 6:52am

It must be morning. It feels like morning. Filtered sunlight reflects off the cheap picture hanging in front of me—a photograph of eggs. I’m sure the photographer saw their beauty, their perfection. I’d prefer landscape, maybe the beach. But, I’m unable to ask, to speak.

A nurse is fidgeting with my breathing tube. Soon it will be time for my bath, not that I will feel anything but I will hear the cloth being wrung out, the water slapping against the sides of the pan. The cloth feels good on my face, my head—the only thing left alive since the accident.

The nurse leans into my face. “Your son is coming to visit you today. We need to get you presentable.” Her enunciated words hit my face in puffs, as if my inability to speak affects my hearing. I blink recognition.

My son will bring flowers. He will tell me how wonderful I look. He will bring me up to date on his life, his family. He will tell me how busy he is and how he wishes he could come more often. He will kiss me on my forehead and then leave with a promise to return next week.

My son wishes I would die. I wish I would die. I am trapped inside my head, like an egg. I am an egg head. A picture of the beach would be nice. 

h. l. nelson's picture
h. l. nelson from Austin, TX is reading Carlos Castaneda May 22, 2012 - 9:02am

“How the hell we s’posed to get outta here?”

“I don’t know. I’m in training just like you, for Christ’s sake. We found the right portal…at least I thought we did.”

“All I know is it’s damn cold. An’ I’m hungry. This human food‘s not gunna cut it.” Tommy sliced off a chunk of strawberry jell-o and squished it between his long, pointed claws. It oozed. “Eww, just gross.”

“Look, we must have miscalculated the trajectory. Some kind of mistake…” Jim trailed off, searching for the Underworld’s Intranet on his iPad. “Was the URL address: Intranet.ourdarklord.com? Or was it Intranet.stepheniemeyer.net? Jesus Christ!” He  threw the iPad, which plopped in a shallow saucer filled with murky gravy. “Dammit to hell!” He pounded his red fist into a pat of butter.

“Now what we gunna do?” Tommy whined.

“There’s nothing to do now but wait until a human opens this ungodly, freezing tomb.”

Tommy sat on the cheddar, looking resigned. “Hmm…well, we could play a game.”

“God no, not right now. I just need to think. Maybe there’s some way to get back through the portal…”

“Oh c’mon. I spy with my demon eye, somethin’ that starts with ‘D’!”

“Tommy, stop horning in. What's possessed you today?”

“Aww, c’mon Jim. This place needs some spirit.”

“Sigh, fine. Donuts?”

“Nope.” Tommy pointed, smiling widely at a plate filled with white half ovals whose yellow innards had been removed, mixed with condiments, then replaced. “Devilled eggs!”

Jim rolled his eyes. “Very funny, Tommy.”

Fritz's picture
Fritz January 28, 2013 - 8:32pm

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Jack Owen's picture
Jack Owen May 23, 2012 - 1:15pm

Under the Skin

     Donna Klemper compared the  four shades of anonymous eggs to the downloaded portraits, and sighed.
     She glanced out the window to her neighbor's picket-fence and clapboard house  with its red, white and blue flag flapping in a Memorial Day breeze.
     In an earlier era all eggs would have  been white. But the beige to brown stack reflected the day's news. America's face was changing. Its European dominance shifting to Latino, and every shade between.  As colorful as a three-ring-circus.
    She reached for a broad sable-hair brush to apply a white  layer of gesso to the matte surface of each egg preparatory to her main task. These, would need two coats before she could work her magic. In time she would convert the featureless eggs into recognizable faces which, the owners fervently hoped, would become household names as famous as Ronnie MacDonald or his mentor, Bozo the Clown.
    Donna's high-wire activities were well behind her before she found the hobby which inextricably linked her past, present and future. The smells of greasepaint, sawdust and barnyard odors, best left undefined, were replaced by turpentine, linseed oil and paint.
    Her spirits lifted as she gave life and personality to the inanimate objects, with a deft touch of red to outline lips, a stroke of black to circle the eyes, a splash of rouge emphasizing chubby cheeks. 

    Within an hour one more face was ready for the  archives of the International Clown Face Registrary  where appearances were different, but beneath, all were the same.