The Egg and We
By Jeff Baker
The girl in the egg suit looked them. The two men stood and stared at her. The wall she was sitting on and the house behind her hadn’t been there a moment before.
“You have to answer the riddle before you can pass!” The egg-girl was cheery and bright.
“Does this have something to do with the scavenger hunt?” Charlie asked.
“Don’t think so,” Skip said, looking around warily. The landscape had changed. Even the grass and the dirt road somehow looked old and abandoned.
“The riddle,” the egg-girl said leaning forward.
“You always get me involved in weird stuff, Skip,” Charlie said.
“Yeah, but this is way too weird,” Skip said, staring at the egg-girl who was grinning broadly, showing glistening teeth. “Hey, what’s this about a riddle?”
“All who come this way are asked the riddle,” she said. “Those who answer correctly will continue on from where they were. Those who don’t must wander out there.”
The egg-girl pointed at a vast, empty-looking field of stubble and brush. Charlie felt cold. Skip swallowed hard and grabbed Charlie’s hand.
“If we’re screwed, I’m glad I’m with you,” Charlie said.
“Yeah, me too.” Skip said. He’d heard stories of people accidentally walking the wrong way into other worlds. The word ‘widdershins’ went through his head.
“May as well get this over with,” Charlie said.
“What’s the riddle?” Skip asked.
The egg-girl’s eyes were gleaming, her teeth sharp.
“How does an egg walk across the road?” she asked.
Charlie opened his mouth; he was going to say something goofy, like ‘sunny side up,’ or ‘very carefully.’ Skip elbowed him and glared. They’d been together about three years; Skip figured he could apologize later.
“I know,” Skip said. “Inside the chicken.”
The egg-girl frowned. She looked for a moment like she was going to pout because she hadn’t gotten her way.
“Correct,” she said in a dull voice, a ‘yes, Mommy, I’m going to clean my room now’ voice. She and the wall were suddenly gone. The path they were standing on was the one they’d been on before.
“Sorry,” Skip said. “I thought you were going to…”
“It’s okay,” Charlie said. “As long as we get out of that, whatever it was.” He took a deep breath and kissed Skip. They lingered for a moment. Then Charlie pulled a list from his pocket.
“We going to finish the scavenger hunt?” Skip asked.
“Sure!” Charlie said, glancing at the list. “Let’s see, we need an advertisement from Christmas.”
“Christmas?” Skip asked as they walked on. “It’s June!”
“Early Christmas-in-July. Hey, why did that chicken cross the road, anyway?”
“We could go back and ask that egg-girl,” Skip said.
“No thanks,” Charlie said, grinning.