Piece written on the theme Chicken vs. Egg for Writers HQ Flash Face Off week commencing 5th March.
There was something about having an egg in your hand – it just begged to be thrown. We threw them at each other. We threw them at windows. We threw them from the top of the bus. They sat us down in assembly and explained why we shouldn’t throw eggs but we all knew it wasn’t possible to seriously hurt anyone with an egg. When we didn’t stop, school put a ban on eggs, with severe punishments for anyone found with one.
But the idea was in us now, and we had all this egg-throwing energy kicking around in our bodies, itching to get out.
On the edge of town was an old house, the Witch House. It’s dirty windows and overgrown garden fuelled a story that had been passed down through generations. Even if we schoolchildren squabbled amongst ourselves, we always remembered our shared enemy. The denizens of the Witch house, whoever they may be, had been biding their time – throughout our school days, our parents’ school days, our grandparents’ school days. We too had waited for generations.
Now we had eggs.
Over the course of a week we collected, by stealth and by force, all the eggs in the town until there was not one to be found in farm nor shop nor kitchen. We had stashed them all in the disused mill, and after dark we snuck out and spent all night moving the ammunition to the front line – the overgrown garden of the Witch house.
We would attack at dawn. There was much excitement. We were going to make history – never before had so many eggs been thrown at one thing all at the same time. It was a long night – it took a long time for that sun to start to rise. We got cold and tired. Nerves crept in, but we encouraged one other by describing in great detail how the house would look with oozing egg white running down the walls, seeping in through every crack of that broken down old building, yolks sliding down the windows, broken shells accumulating on the ground like fallen leaves.
Two strange things happened in the aftermath of the egging of the Witch house.
The first was that, a few mornings later, a small cake was left on the doorstep of each of us who had been involved. The mystery baffled the adults, but we knew – we had all been marked.
The second was that the hens stopped laying. The poultry farms ground to a halt. The town sat eggless for days on end. And though we each went and stood in that overgrown garden to look up at the Witch house and make our silent apologies, there never was another egg laid in our town.