Fiction · 11/23/2011

Usually on Sunday

I let him ring the doorbell eleven times. I knew he knew I was home, and I knew he wanted my eggs. “You must have a stockpile,” he said when I opened the door. He hadn’t been by last week. With the breeze pushing past me I asked him, “What is it about chainsaws on Sundays?” I could smell gasoline on the wind. “You wait here,” I told him and took his empty carton.

It’s true, I can’t eat all of the eggs my two hens lay. Even with salsa and cheddar, I tire of the texture. Even between two slices of sourdough. So I throw them instead. I fill up a basket, pedal by moonlight to the beach and anchor my bike in the sand. From the edge of the shore with my feet stinging cold, I throw them one by one into the dark. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think they break. I think they float and confuse the gulls who see nothing but the white of an eye. A big dead whale.

Dr. Montgomery caught me one time, he and his Doberman. He caught me on a night when I was angry and throwing against the rocks of the jetty. Little popping skulls. The Doctor told me he is a lover of eggs, but also, why would I hurl them with such force? When they are so delicate to begin with?

Now he comes by each week so nothing goes to waste. And also because he doesn’t want anything to break. I have twelve eggs to give him today. “I’ve been missing the beach,” I say, and he’s extra thankful for the full carton. When he gets home he’ll see only eleven are whole, that one has a gash in its side.

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Kara Vernor lives in Napa. Her stories have appeared in Word Riot, Curbside Quotidian, and Bike Monkey Magazine. She was this year’s fiction fellow at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference, and has a story forthcoming in the Pale Horse Review.