The Box

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The car crawled up the shaded narrow road, the sun finding tiny fissures between the foliage and thin fingers of luminescence scorched small spots on the grass verge. As I progressed, something glinting just ahead caught my eye. I pulled the car onto the verge and alighted. Walking towards the source, I was amazed to see an intricately carved wooden box beside an ancient oak; the sun catching the metal latch and hinges. I felt strangely drawn to it and crouched down, running my fingers lightly over the carvings.

Curiosity drove me on; without hesitation, I flipped the latch and flung open the lid. Inside was a slightly smaller yet identical box. I opened that to find another identical box. It was like having a set of Russian dolls! I opened the third, fourth and fifth, finding what appeared to be a large egg inside. I pulled the decorated egg from the velvet lining, noticing it had a join around the middle and two arrows, one on each half.

Holding the bottom half steady, I twisted the top until the arrows lined up and almost dropped it in shock when the top flipped open and a white mist swirled out and took shape before me. Within thirty seconds a small man stood in front of me, only he wasn’t quite solid. I jumped back in astonishment; the creature chuckled at me in a deeper voice than should have been possible from someone so little.

“H-h-hi,” I spluttered.

“Hello, miss. What do you desire?” said the deep voice.

“Who are y-you?”

“My name is Egbert and I’m going to grant you a wish,” he said.

“Is this a joke?” my already stretched nerves grated.

“Oh no, miss, it’s no yolk,” he started to fall about laughing, “yolk, Eg-bert, get it?”

“Very funny!” I said with a sarcastic tone.

“Eggs-actly!” he called, doubling up, “you’re one amusing chick.”

I paused. Time to play along?

“Okay, old cock. Two can eggs-el at that game,” I giggled. He pursed his lips in displeasure.

“Eggs-iting! I’m not eggs-aggerating – I really want to grant your wish,” he countered.

“You are eggs-ceedingly annoying, do you know that?” I smirked.

He frowned. “That’s a tad eggs-cessive isn’t it?” a hurt tone in his voice.

“It’s so exhausting listening to you. What’s your fascination with eggs anyway?”

“Eggs-hausting? Ha, another good one. Anyway, why wouldn’t I love eggs? I live in one!” he grinned.

I shook my head; he was driving me crazy. “You need an exorcism – I’m sure you’re possessed.”

“Hahaha! Eggs-orcism? You get funnier by the second. I’m an eggs-pert at this and I’m still waiting for an eggs-otic wish from you!” he challenged.

“Can it!” I commanded.

“Sure,” he mumbled. “Do you want some eggs-amples?” now chuckling.

“You’re so exasperating!” I cried.

“Eggs-asperating? Love it! That’s eggs-ellent!” He fell about laughing.

I came to a decision.

“Okay, I’ll make a wish…”

He stared eagerly.

“I wish you’d get back in your damn egg!”

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