Monday, March 04, 2013

The Egg

by Michael Akerib


A huge golden egg stood on the beach. Solitary. Majestic.

It had no name, no history. No one knew how it had arrived there. The fairies brought it, said some. No, the devil replied others.

One night a woman ventured to touch it and went as far as to lean against it.

The following day, it was the turn of a little boy. A brave little boy, the old folks said. Wise – or perhaps foolish - but no one dared criticize him. Or make fun of him. Gradually, however, the other boys of the village stopped playing with him.

He was ten years old and lived a few hundred meters from the beach in a wooden house. A normal family, if any such thing still exists. His parents too were born and raised in the village. All agreed they were the salt of the earth. A quiet, happy, life if it was not for their son’s curiosity – no, his passion, for that egg.

Every morning he would go, fascinated, to see and touch the egg before going to school. And every evening the woman relayed him.

At the village, the municipal council was debating as to what to do with the egg. Build a wooden hut around it, said some, with a padlocked door. And lock the woman inside, said one of the counselors.

The boy knew of the woman but did not care. But that was not the case of the rest of the village. They watched her. Talked behind her back. Wondered how she earned her money to buy herself those beautiful clothes.

One stormy evening, the boy could not sleep. He rose and walked to the beach. His naked feet did not leave any imprints on the wet sand.

The woman was leaning against the egg, naked, the curve of her back espousing closely the curve of the egg. Her long blond hair was of the same color as the egg. Her hands were lying on her belly. She had long fingers, longer than any he had ever seen. Her lips were moving, but he could not hear what she was saying.

The egg moved closer to the water. Ever so slightly, but moved nevertheless. The wind and the rain seemed accomplices of whatever was taking place in front of the child’s eyes – the wind blew more than ever, and the rain poured as if the clouds had decided to drown the earth.

The egg moved again, this time over a bigger distance. The boy moved closer to the egg. He undressed and leaned on the side opposite to the one on which the woman rested her body. The metal of the egg was cold.

He did not know why he was doing this.

The egg started vibrating. The wind and the rain intensified their beating of the beach, of the egg and of the two bodies.

It moved once again wrapping the woman’s feet under its weight. Her hands were attempting to stop the roll. She was pressing firmly against the metal, but the weight of the egg was overpowering.

The egg accelerated its movement towards the water. The body of the woman and that of the boy were crushed under its weight. Slowly they were becoming part of the egg.

A fisherman in his boat saw the egg increase in size. It had fed itself on the two bodies.

At dawn the villagers noticed the egg had disappeared. It had been carried away by the waves, said the fisherman.

The woman and the boy had become one with the egg. The water had washed their bodies into the metal.

The egg appeared on another beach. None of the villagers knew how it had gotten there.

A young boy approached and touched the egg.



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