The first day of his vacation on his aunt’s and uncle’s farm was “free,” but after that, he was given some chores to do. It wasn’t really a lot of work, and Daniel was still given a lot of discretionary time to have fun. Even Uncle Ethan tried to offload a lot of his normal work to hired hands so he could spend more time with the ten-year old.
This morning, Daniel was in the henhouse collecting eggs. He momentarily remembered the “cycle of life” message from the Disney film “The Lion King.” The hens were blissfully unaware that what potentially could have been their offspring was about to be consumed for breakfast.
The eggs were warm and for a moment, Daniel held one in his hand. It felt comfortable, and he put down his basket so he could cradle it in both palms.
Then he felt movement. “But that’s imposs…”
Before he finished the word, the egg exploded in his hand, and some sort of reptile lunged at his face with claws and fangs.
Daniel screamed and staggered backwards out the entrance to the henhouse, his hands held up to shield his eyes.
He landed on his back and then looked. Nothing. There was nothing there. He cautiously crept into the coop. He saw the basket just where he put it, and a broken shell on the floor oozing the ordinary contents of a chicken’s egg. The hens seemed a little excited, probably because of the child’s outburst, but were rapidly calming down.
“What just happened?”
Daniel could see anomalies, beings who looked like people, but who really weren’t. He had no idea where they came from or what they wanted, except the one who got closest to him six years ago tried to kill him.
Yesterday, he encountered a pink kitten which turned out to be the first anomaly he had seen in animal form. He even thought for a minute that the world had turned into an anomaly.
But he’d never actually hallucinated or had visions before, and Daniel had no explanation for what had just occurred.
Sunlight filtered into the coop capturing the motion of dust floating in the air. Daniel followed the graceful movements, noticing them becoming slower, as if time were grinding to a halt. The color of everything became a little unreal, as if he were looking through tinted glass.
He blinked and everything looked normal again. Daniel quickly picked up the basket and walked back out. He stood in the morning sunlight and realized he was trembling.
He started walking back toward the house. He’d have to get something to clean up the egg he dropped. He let the screen door slam behind him as he carried the egg basket inside.
On the floor of the coop, among the egg shell fragments, something stirred, took shape, and then walked outside. The hens were hysterical.
This concept is loosely based on Iain Kelly’s recent A to Z Challenge 2017 story series. Every day, Iain crafted another puzzle piece to his murder mystery that had me and his other readers spellbound. I doubt I can create the suspense he conjured up, but when my wife got a giant A to Z jigsaw puzzle for our two-year-old granddaughter, I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I don’t have a lot of time, so I think each “letter” will be shorter and I’m not sure I can write one every day, but I’ll do my best.
The previous story is D is for Dog.
The next story in the series is F is for Frog.
Let me know what you think.