Day three: Life.
Continued from Day two: The shell.
The warmth of the egg startled him at first. He never expected, in this cold, for the egg to be as warm as it was. Putting his hand back on the egg he tried to gauge the temperature of this massive, greenish egg that had suddenly appeared in his backyard. He figured it had to be near body temperature. It wasnâ€™t hot to the touch but it was more like holding your own hand.
Putting a little of his own weight into it, he pushed the egg with one hand. It didnâ€™t budge.
He looked around it quickly to see if might be sunk into the earth in such a way that it would prop itself up some. It didnâ€™t seem like it. It was setting nicely in some sort of grass. It couldnâ€™t have been his grass because his grass was covered by at least a few inches of snow.
Snow. Snow usually meant tracks. He hadnâ€™t noticed any tracks in the yard that looked abnormal. A few from him, walking back and forth to the barn since the last squall. A few from Rufus, his 50lb. collie-mix, that seems to go right under the egg. Where was Rufus?
That dog was always on the go. Ted couldnâ€™t remember the last time he saw him. Probably around breakfast on the day he found the egg. That was almost 48 hours ago now! Rufusâ€™ tracks went directly under the egg and out the other side towards the back of the barn. It didnâ€™t look like he was injured by, well, whatever might have left (or, laid?) this egg here.
Anyway, Ted Arnold was no tracker. Even in snow. He never picked up that trait. Whenever his brother would show him deer tracks during a hunt and say â€œSee, this is a doe and she was moving pretty quickly through here towards the river. She left some poop right here, which means sheâ€™s definitely a doe by the way the stool doesnâ€™t clump like a male deerâ€™s does.â€ Todd would just nod his head and mumble something about figuring that himself. In truth, Todd had no idea what they were looking at. Sure he saw the tracks, he saw the poop, but he didnâ€™t know if they were coming or going, made by a female deer or a sasquatch. The only thing he could think about when they were hunting was getting back to the cabin to warm his freezing toes by the fire.
His brotherâ€™s skills might have come in handy today if there was a single track out of the ordinary here in the snow. It hadnâ€™t snowed since the day before the egg appeared. So if anything was here that could have left tracks, theyâ€™d be clearly visible. And they werenâ€™t. What could have possibly laid such an egg and not leave a single track? What could have built a small nest for the egg without moving so much as a snowflake? Maybe Ted was just so bad at tracking that he couldnâ€™t make out the tracks. Who knows?
He decided to call his brother and ask him to come over to have a look. Ted Arnold made for the house pretty quickly once he had made up his mind to call his older brother David. Ted had Davidâ€™s number on speed-dial. They talked often to coordinate fishing and hunting trips.
Davidâ€™s phone just rang and rang. Weird. Ted was sure that David had an answering machine. He decided to try Davidâ€™s work number at the shop. Davidâ€™s day job, now that he wasnâ€™t helping out at the farm anymore, was a mechanic for the local GM dealer. Since GM wasnâ€™t getting a lot of work lately David was usually only there in the morning. But Ted thought heâ€™d try it anyway.
â€œWeâ€™re sorry, but this number has been disconnected.â€ was what Ted thought he heard the voice say over the phone. Disconnected?
Looking out of the window at the egg, which sat about 25 yards away from the back door, Ted noticed that it had begun to snow. Well, thatâ€™d mean that his brotherâ€™s tracking skills were no longer of use. Heâ€™d try him again later.
Hanging up the phone Ted walked outside into what seemed like an amazing squall. The flakes were coming straight down and were the size of half-dollars. Everything was getting a fresh coat of snow, and quickly. Everything but the egg, of course. The egg was way too warm to let snow sit on it for very long.
Ted began to wonder if the egg was in danger of getting too cold. He thought back to the hen house. How all of the mother hens would cover their eggs to keep them at a constant temperature. Why didnâ€™t this egg need to be protected? Was something going to come back and sit on it? Why was it so warm?
Then Ted thought about what could make the egg so warm. Something must be warming it from the inside of the egg, rather than the outside of the egg. There was nothing underneath it that could be heated it from below. So there was only one answer that he could think of.
To be continued…
“NaNoDrawMo is a personal challenge to push would-be artists beyond the bounds of comfortable “when I have time” practice for one month and see what happens.” All of my drawings are being done using the incredible Acorn by Flying Meat.