The Easter Egg Hunter

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I love chocolate eggs more than anything.

It's not that I'm addicted to chocolate. In fact, I don't really care for it much. I'm probably the only ten-year-old that doesn't like chocolate. But somehow, if it's egg-shaped, it's the most delicious thing in the world. I know it's strange, but it's true.

Trees and bushes rush past me as I hunt for those delicious chocolate eggs. My friends are somewhere around me in the park, but I only have one focus. I need to collect as many eggs as I can.

With three found already, I keep the little things in my basket as I go, eyes constantly searching for the colourful glint of something shiny. I have the best eyesight out of anyone I know. My mum and dad say it's because I've always liked to eat carrots. But I know that's just something that old people believe. Like brushing your teeth every day.

If I won the Easter egg hunt, it might make mum and dad happy for me, and that would mean they wouldn't shout at each other tonight like they usually do. At least if I won, we could celebrate something for a change, together. But really, I just want all the chocolate eggs. 

As I crouch through some tall hedges, the sounds of the other children fade away. Despite the cold air, a fire is inside me. A burning desire for- 

Something shiny! But wait, that's not an egg.

The 'something shiny' is a golden glow, hovering in the air in front of me. I step around it. So strange. It's just a shiny, glowing light in the air, like when the sun catches on my watch.

I reach out to it, not realising I'm also stepping closer, and suddenly something pulls me into it. I blink and hit the grass hard, but when I look up, things are different. I'm beside a big tree now, out in the open.

Voices get my attention nearby. I turn and see a bunch of excited kids with their parents by a picnic blanket. I freeze, trying to understand what I'm seeing. 

Within the group of kids, I see myself. Same white Cookie Monster T-shirt and jeans. Same dark curly hair. Same everything. This... this was ten minutes ago? It's so strange looking at all of us like this.

I perk up, suddenly realising what this means. They haven't started the Easter egg hunt yet.

That means I can go now and get all the eggs first!

I'm moving before I fully focus, and find myself charging through the park, rushing to all the spots I'd seen the others find their eggs before. One. Two. Over there, and there! Five. Eight! Adrenaline and excitement charge through me, and I'm laughing as I go.

Two minutes later I'm sitting in the shade of thick bushes and big trees, hidden away from everyone else, delicious chocolate all over my face and fingers, and a warm feeling in my belly. Crinkly bits of colourful wrappers are littered all around me.

Bliss.

I can hear my friends calling out to each other in confusion, and can't help the big smile on my face.

There's one lonely egg in my basket still, and it makes me pause. Maybe I could leave just one, for my other self. After all, that boy out there with the Cookie Monster T-shirt loves chocolate eggs as much as I do.

When I pick out the last egg, I'm already smiling to myself and laughing as I unwrap it and pop it in my mouth. That crinkling of the wrapper sliding off is the best sound in the world. I get chills every time I hear it. More chocolate for me.

Now what? I sneak a peek through the bushes and look over everyone. What would I do, go back to my family? Live with my other self? None of them would believe what happened to me. And they'll be mad at me eating all the eggs.

I watch myself out there, whining and shouting at my mum and dad. Do I really look that moody? I should really calm down, it's just some chocolate eggs, no big deal. That boy is so annoying, stomping around in a big huff. I wouldn't want to live with him. My dad has had too much to drink again and is talking too loudly.

So I sit back in my secret place. This is nice, just me and a belly full of chocolate eggs. I catch a glimpse of a bird's nest and my heart quickens at the sight of the eggs nestled in there. Then I stop myself, my alert senses calming. They wouldn't have chocolate inside them. I force myself to look away from the nest. 

It's then that I see another shiny thing in the air. I'm already moving slowly towards it, as if it's like one of those magets I learned about in school. I was never good with school stuff, and I hated maths. But I do know this. Shiny thing equals more chocolate eggs. 

I blink back the bright light as I get closer, and suddenly I see that I'm somewhere else again. This park is a bit more yellow, with flowers and a water fountain nearby. Two kids run around a tree and rush past me. I don't know them, but they both have fists full of little chocolate eggs. 

My eyes grow twice their size. 

Before I know it, I'm running around too, joining the other kids I see in the park. They're all younger than me and look really tanned, and it must be a different time of the day as it's now hot and sunny. 

I find four more eggs, but it looks like that's it. I look around, breathing heavy, wanting more. Needing more. A cold shiver runs through me, shaking my shoulders. I need more chocolate eggs. And I can get more, I just need to find... 

There. Another floating shiny thing. I knew it would be there, somehow. 

It takes me to another park, with other kids, and with more delicious chocolate eggs. Another shiny thing takes me to another park. I go to different parts of the world, and the sights might have been amazing to see, but all I saw were the glints of the shiny hidden eggs. At one point, my basket is heavy and filled with eggs, some as big as my fist. I stop at times to eat them all, other times popping one in my mouth as I go. I lose track of how many I've eaten. I don't even know how long I've been doing this. All I know is that I need more chocolate eggs, and these floating shiny things can lead me to more shiny things. 

It gets to the point where I don't even take off the wrappers any more, after deciding that it takes too long to get to the chocolate. I just shove them in my mouth how they are. I especially love the giant eggs I can bury my face in.

How long have I been doing this now? Hours? Days? Maybe even years. I don't care, I still need more eggs. Deep down, I know what I really want are all the chocolate eggs in the whole world. It becomes everything.

At one point I pass by a pool of water and see my reflection. I freeze, horrified. This can't be me. I'm huge, my face so round, my skin covered with spots and craters with oozing stuff. My hair looks so thin and wispy, bits of grey in there too. I'm a monster!

Farther away, there are picnic tables covered with food and drinks. Everyone is out on the Easter egg hunt. There's a big white costume lying on the bench, and I know it would cover me. Keep me hidden. No one must see what I've become. And I don't want to look at myself again. 

On I go, through every Easter egg hunt I can find, in my new costume. 

The white suit has these annoying big, floppy ears, but it has a big enough hole for my face to fit through. It gets dirtier, muddied, and stained with the blood of those who have seen me.

It doesn't matter. I'm not me anymore. 

My teeth have rotted away into sharp points, but I don't care. All I care about is finding every single chocolate egg in every single Easter egg hunt, every year. Forever. 

I love chocolate eggs more than anything.

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