Thanks to author Elizabeth Issacs for this flash fiction for the blog party. Her celebration topic was easter. Enjoy!
This is Nora's first Easter on Edna's mountain from Elizabeth's Issacs books The light of Asteria & The Secret of the Keepers!
It was a tradition at Edna’s church to hide plastic eggs filled with everything from candy, to scripture quotes, to coupons for free ice cream at the local Baskin Robbins. But a few years ago Mr. Vernor made things more interesting by creating the golden egg, which held a grand prize.
Every spring, the children now spent hours making strategies to find the best eggs. Holly, a new friend of mine, wanted candy (her mother never let her eat sweets). She figured that since Mrs. Vernor always wore yellow and loved anything chocolate, Mr. Vernor would hide the best candy in the yellow colored eggs. Holly’s best friend Kate took a more scholarly approach. Everyone knew that most kids thought the eggs that were harder to find held the best stuff, and Kate was sure the deacons would use reverse psychology and hide the best things in plain sight. Kate wasn’t after sweets, like Hol, she wanted the discount coupons to the book store. Me, I didn’t care about candy or coupons. Edna’s birthday was next month and I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. Her winter coat was old as the hills and thread bare. She deserved a new coat. One that didn’t need mending, and this was my one chance to get it for her.
The morning light gleamed off the old church windows. Kate and Hol were waiting at front of the line, motioning me to join them.
“Now remember,” Kate whispered, “as soon as we get to the back of the church, I’ll get all the eggs in the middle of the field, Holly, you look for the ones by the hedges closest to the church, and Nora you go to the edge of the forest. We’ll meet back here and divvy up the bounty.”
Holly whispered back. “Just like we agreed. I get all the chocolate, you get all the coupons, and all the money goes to Nora.”
I tried not to grin. The way Kate and Holly acted, you’d thought we were getting ready to rob the candy store.
Mrs. Brown’s voice bellowed over the old megaphone. “Boys and girls, listen up. No pushing or shoving, once someone touches the egg it’s theirs, and remember, when your basket is full you are to come to the picnic area before opening the eggs.”
“Yeah, right,” Kate muttered.
Holly bolted past the line just as the whistle blew, followed closely by a group of boys. Kate grinned and headed to the center of the field, where she leisurely picked up all the eggs in plain sight. Kate was right. Most of the others ran left, across the field where the forest butted against the church’s picnic area. I started to follow, but a distant flicker of light made me stop. Off to the right, on the other end of the field, a lone elm tree stood. Sunlight angled through the trees, hitting where the bough branched from the trunk, causing something to glimmer.
One of the children pointed and laughed when I ran the opposite direction, but I didn’t care. The elm’s husk crunched under my feet as I picked up a few eggs along the way. I jumped onto the massive slumbering bough and carefully walked to spot that held whatever it was that reflected the suns’ rays. Stuck just out of sight was an egg made of burnished gold, and my hand shook as I plucked it from an abandoned squirrel’s nest. Neatly folded and hidden inside was a fifty dollar bill.
I hopped off the tree and headed toward the picnic area.
Looked like Edna would get that coat after all.
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