Lucy, the old librarian, used to be nice, but she glared at me after the Easter egg hunt. I was in charge and I decided to make it the biggest ever and stayed up three nights straight hard boiling and dying eggs by the dozen until I had ninety-six of them and thought it was silly to stop just shy of a hundred, so I dyed another dozen and the old librarian let me in on Saturday to hide them and eyed the big box I’d piled them all into with suspicion, but didn’t say anything.
It was a rainy Easter. I think that’s why not many families turned out for the hunt and the kids who did only found about forty eggs total.
I came in the next day to return books and found an egg on the reserve shelf. That’s when Lucy started glaring at me—when she saw me holding it.
The library started smelling bad. Like farts, which is what rotten eggs smell like and I felt bad and Lucy told me she and another of the librarians had stayed late and dug up about thirty more eggs after work the past night, and threw them away. I felt bad and hung around long enough to find another eleven, but that meant there were still a good twenty, maybe thirty out there.
The smell got worse, but the upside was that the eggs got easier to find for the stench.
I tried to get Lucy to laugh with a knock-knock joke about a bear, but she didn’t budge. So I told her she was a tough egg to crack and she did crack a smile, then covered her mouth to keep me from seeing it, and asked me to leave.
Michael Chin was born and raised in Utica, New York and is an alum of Oregon State’s MFA Program. He won Bayou Magazine’s Jim Knudsen Editor’s Prize for fiction and has work published or forthcoming in journals including The Normal School, Passages North, and Hobart. He works as a contributing editor for Moss. Find him online at miketchin.com or follow him on Twitter @miketchin.