Ovum – a very short story by Judy Darley

ovumNeither of them can be sure what wakes them in the softness of the minutes after dawn, gold-dusted and dew-glazed. Something outside? Curious, still stumbling from sleep, they hurry to the back door, fling it open, and stare downwards at the thing left there, defenceless on the flagstones just beyond their doorstep.

It glimmers in the early light like something sentient. Waiting.

Sam takes one look, wants to put it in the airing cupboard in a nest of warm towels. Watch over it.

Nat frowns; insists they should put it in the fridge. “We don’t know what might come out of it. Look at the size of it, and the markings. It could be anything!”

Sam picks it up off the cold ground, cradles it carefully. There is a pleasing weight to it, the subtle shift of something stirring within the gleaming shell.

“I won’t let you touch it. It might be able to sense you don’t want it to live.”

“That’s not what I meant!” Nat protests, but Sam isn’t listening. Sam carries the egg upstairs, not to the airing cupboard but to their bedroom. Sam closes the door firmly, then makes a nest of blankets in the middle of their bed, places the egg in the centre of it, curls up around it.

Nat listens at the door for a while, can hear no sound. After a while Nat goes away.