This is my short entry for this week’s #BlogBattle challenge by Rachael Ritchey, where we have to write a short story based on that week’s chosen topic; visit the link for more info. This week’s topic is: “Eggs,” which fits nicely with Easter almost here. This short story takes place many years before the first short story: Clover. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. 🙂 Enjoy!
Young Clover’s bare feet stomped through the grass, a basket of paints and a brush swinging back and forth in one hand. That morning she had wanted to color eggs; it was a fun tradition some fairies practiced to celebrate Easter, a holiday those living outside the Forest held during the Spring season. She thought it’d be fun to join in. But just when she was about to color what eggs they had in the fridge Brother had stopped her.
“Why can’t I color eggs?”
“We only have three, and they’re meant to be eaten,” said Brother as he took the eggs away. “I know you. If you paint these, you won’t want to eat them later because they’ll be too pretty. You’ll hide them away, and they’ll rot and be a waste of food! We’re not rich, Clover. We can’t afford to waste food. I’m sorry.”
“Brother, you meanie!” Clover had stormed out, taking the paints and brush with her. She’d go out herself and find an egg to paint; there were bound to be some lying about the forest. A bird’s nest was all she needed; she wouldn’t hurt them, only paint them. Fairies respected birds and never ate any eggs other than a chicken’s.
She tested her moth-like wings, and pouted. She was too young for them to carry her high. “Fine. I’ll walk!” Planting one foot in front of the other, she marched away from the village and through the forest.
After several minutes of walking and pushing aside ferns taller than she was, Clover bumped into something hard. She backed up, blinking. All around her were tall leaves and grass; she couldn’t make out what she’d just bumped into. Listening and hearing nothing, she moved forward, but this time reaching both hands out. She felt it again, something smooth and warm. She shoved and bent the green flora aside, and the unknown object was revealed: a giant white oval, and so tall it reached her childhood forehead. She touched it, peered closely at it, tapped a finger on it… What could this odd, pearly white rock be? It reminded her of something. A bird up in the canopy chirped, and the obvious answer struck her like a rock to the head: This was an egg!
“I found one!” she squealed, dancing in place. What a beautiful egg; a perfect white gem with a bumpy surface softer than silk. “It’s so big…” She wondered why, and who had put it here. “This must belong to one giant chicken.” It was the only explanation that made sense to her child-like mind. “It’s time for a make-over!” she declared. “I’ll make you nice and pretty, Big Egg. I’m sure your mommy won’t mind.” She lifted up paints and brush eagerly. The egg shuddered.
Several minutes of difficult work passed before her masterpiece was complete. She took a step back to observe, and wiped a hand across a sweaty forehead. Sunshine escaped down through the high canopy and the egg shimmered lilac paint; dots and brushed stripes of deep purple and pink over layered and gave pattern to its surface, and little red paint dots glistened like rubies bejeweling its shell. “Michelangelo couldn’t ‘ve done better himself! Mwuahaha,” she laughed like a villain whose plot had been a success.
The egg tilted.
“Huh?” she stopped laughing. Did it move? Why would it move?
A shudder, a tremble, a creaking sound—the egg was alive inside.
“Eek!” she screamed and hid behind a tall fern’s leaves. She then peeked out, watching the painted egg wiggle back and forth. Then there was a loud sound and she saw a crack appear in the shell. “Oh no! My lovely masterpiece is breaking apart…!” A piece chipped off. She watched with tears; something was definitely moving inside. And then that something poked out of the chip; a gold orb.
Clover came slowly out from the fern to see better, and the gold orb blinked at her: it was an eye. She kept still, not daring to move a muscle. The eye vanished back inside. Then a beak came out—no, a snout. An entire head emerged: a scaly purple head. It made a strange sound at her, a chirp and rumbling clicks. What was this strange creature? It seemed to be stuck inside the shell. She sighed, looking once more at her beautiful Easter egg before helping the creature get out, pulling pieces of the pretty shell away like an artist ripping her canvas apart.
When it fully came free the creature stretched out bat-like wings and a long spindly tail, waddling on four limbs. A snake tongue licked at her leg. A baby dragon? Is that what this scaly thing was? They were powerful creatures to be feared and avoided; intelligent, and unpredictable. She giggled. “You’re cute as a baby, though! Hmm,” she looked about, “I wonder where your mom is?” She gasped, slapping hands to the sides of her face. “Or maybe you don’t have a mom? You poor thing! We’ll fix that….”
The older brother pulled a tray out from the oven, setting two baked potatoes on a plate and scooping a side dessert of three scrambled eggs for the evening’s meal. He felt a little bad telling his sister she couldn’t paint them; but food had to be eaten, not decorated. They couldn’t afford to waste what others had kindly donated to them.
He’d just taken the oven mittens off when the door to their quaint tree home flung open. Clover skipped inside with the biggest grin on her elfin face.
“Bake a third potato, Brother. My dragon friend needs to eat, too!”
Brother blinked, then noticed the purple scaly creature looking up at him from behind her rustling wings: a dragon.
His jaw dropped. “WHAT?!”
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