LUCAS HAIGHT | Sunny Side Up

It seemed to Nathaniel, as he awoke well rested from a deep sleep, that today would be another great day. The early morning sunrays were shining through the curtains and dancing along the floor. What a beautiful sight, thought Nathaniel.  Nathaniel had had a great week: he’d received a promotion at work, won a free coffee at his local coffee shop, and finally worked up enough courage to ask a nice girl at work, Anna, out on a date. She’d said yes. He stretched his arms, yawned a big yawn, and got out of bed. Today was Saturday and Nathaniel was feeling confident about his lunch date with Anna this afternoon.

Nathaniel walked to his kitchen. He craved his favorite breakfast, scrambled eggs on rye toast. He turned on the stove top and let his fingers idle over it as he felt the warm heat rise to his fingertips. What a wonderful feeling, thought Nathaniel. He put a pan on the stove. It heated slowly as Nathaniel went to the refrigerator and got out the eggs, butter, and bread. He put a slice of rye in the toaster and a slice of butter on the pan. Nathaniel got one egg and cracked it over the pan. The egg white sizzled as it slowly spread across the pan, carefully cradling the yolk with it.

Nathaniel got out a second egg. He cracked it over the pan. There was a loud “plop!” as something heavy hit the pan. Nathaniel’s nose was filled with the foul stench of rotting flesh. He looked down in horror at the unmoving, pink blob that had fallen out of the egg. A baby chick, covered with slimy embryonic fluid and blood, its eyes wide open and staring at Nathaniel. Nathaniel released a little yelp of surprise, but was quickly overtaken by a feeling of horror.

The feeling made him stand perfectly still as he made eye contact with the dead chick. This small, gooey mass of pink skin and fluid was making a connection with Nathaniel. It peered into his soul. It made him recall past feelings that filled him with sadness and despair. It told him to cancel his date with Anna. It told him to stand still. Nathaniel stood motionless, unable to stop the burning toast he’d forgotten. The smoke detector went off. Nathaniel still stood there, stiff as a board, unable to speak, unable to break eye contact with the chick.

What a terrible morning, thought Nathaniel.

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