EDNA - AN EGG WITH ATTITUDE
by Vanessa Gebbie
I was brought up properly.
My mother told me, "Edna, (that's me) you are a very singular egg."
Of course, at the time I didn't realise that most eggs are, singular, I mean, unless they have double yolks, but to me those words were special.
"Edna," she said, "you are destined for great things."
Ooooh, I thought, great things. BIG eggs?
But no. Destiny was described in a few squawks.
"An omelette, Fluffy, moist, runny in the middle, cooked at the hand of someone with soul," my mother said, dewy eyed.
Or a soufflé, plump, risen to perfection, with just a little surprise ready to burst on the tongue... chocolate? Grand Marnier? Vintage cheddar?
My brothers and sisters of course, they were not destined for such things. She had them labeled immediately for Tesco's, or maybe, at a pinch, Waitrose. Organic, though, the lot of us, so we wouldn't have to rub shells with the riff raff.
And yes, I believed her. I thought my travels down the birth tube (being bypassed by those squiggly things after my mother went "Ooooh!" in the yard,) were the start of something special.
Instead of the soufflés and fluffy omelettes of haute cuisine, I'm a standby.
With five others, vaguely the same size and weight, all in a row in this cold place.
And I tell you something else... my owners, they've got problems.
Jeez, I could feel it the moment I was picked up in the organic shop. Problems.
"A dozen or half a dozen?" she asked.
"I don't know" he said.
"God, why do you leave all the flaming decisions to me?" she said.
"The house is your province" he said.
She didn't answer.
It was rough in that basket.
I'd been hoping for a bit of style, a bit of class.
Into this fridge like we are only common eggs or something.
There are nice things in this fridge. There's a bottle of champagne, There's some steak. There's a bag of salad, and something chocolaty.
And they are still arguing.
"Darling," she says. "I said I'd cook something nice tonight, remember?"
"Sorry," he says, "I forgot. I said I'd only have the one game..."
"Yes," she says, "but then you have to change, then there's the pint in the bar, then there's the chat, booking the next court, then there's the drive home. When were you going to eat with me exactly?"
Then there's silence.
Her voice comes again. If I had ears I'd cover them. It's hard being an egg.
"Well just bugger off to your squash," she says.
I don't know what this word bugger means, exactly, but I did hear it on the farm several times, usually when things weren't going too well or someone dropped one of my siblings, that sort of thing.
Maybe it's what you say when you drop things then. Maybe he has dropped something.
Then there's this bang. I think it was probably the door slamming. I heard that earlier when he emptied the car, and said he was pissed off (again, I have problems with these words) not having a job, he said, and pissed off having to act like a bloody housewife.
Well excuse me, blood..... that's something I do know about.
After my mother had finished telling me about the soufflés, and omelettes, she was chosen. It’s a great honour, of course, to be chosen, but it is very messy. That's why I had to have a bath before being taken to be packed. That's why I looked shiny enough to be picked for the organics.
I told you. No soufflés, just a standby. And I can feel my time is coming.
We eggs know these things. We aren't stupid.
I feel that this woman isn't going to do anything with the steak or the salad or the chocolaty thing.
She's taken the champagne out of the fridge, and has drunk half the bottle already. She's crying.
And I think what she's going to do next is have a boiled me.
Well, don't forget, will you?
I was Edna.
The author is a journalist and lives in the UK with her family. She has had short stories accepted for publication here, in Buzzwords, Smokelong Quarterly, Flash Me, and Cadenza magazines. She studies with the author Alex Keegan. Contact Vanessa.