Flash Fiction Friday: Pterodactyl Eggs in the Supermarket by Shane Cartledge
A kid wearing Shrek ears pulled the lid off a chocolate mousse container, dipped his finger in and licked it, dipped his finger in again and put it back on the shelf. The father wore a chain of sausages around his neck as he pushed his trolley into the laundry detergent aisle. He picked up the home brand detergent, cracked the lid open, took a sip and pulled a face. He picked up a branded detergent, took a sip and then a gulp. He put the detergent in his trolley and wiped his lips with his sleeve. The son took a toothbrush and a cheese-flavor toothpaste, sat in the trolley and brushed his teeth, rinsing with generic brand cola.
I was the only other person in the supermarket. I watched them fill another trolley and set it on fire. I was too fascinated just watching them to put the fire out.
They went to the egg aisle. The son went down one end and the father went down the other. The son picked up a dozen goose eggs and threw them across the aisle and they splattered on the floor around the father.
The father had a sack of ostrich eggs, and he flung the massive orbs at his son, one by one. Back and forth, eggs flew between the father and son, until egg and shell bits coated the floor and shelves.
Then the father said, “Hold on.” He went to another aisle and came back with a trebuchet.
He loaded up a pterodactyl egg in the timber contraption and aimed it at his son.
He said, “I’ll give you a million dollars if you catch this.” He said, “Ready?”
His son got ready for the egg.
The father drew back the wooden arm of the trebuchet and sent the egg flying. The son wasn’t going to catch it, so I ran to catch it for him, but the floor was so slippery, coated in marbled egg whites and yellows. I fell over.
The father was surprised to see me. The son was surprised to see me.
The egg flew over the son’s head and smashed into the dairy produce section behind us. The egg smashed and a baby pterodactyl bounced off the shelf with a half gallon milk carton stuck on its head.
The father said, “You owe me a million dollars!” to his son. They both vanished around the corner.
The pterodactyl roared, stumbled and fell at my feet. The milk carton didn’t want to come off. I grabbed both sides and pulled one direction. The pterodactyl dug its claws into the floor and pulled in the other direction.
The carton came off with a pop. I stared at the pterodactyl. The pterodactyl stared at me. I held out my hand and it licked my fingers.
It opened its mouth and croaked, “mama.” I knew the bond we created right there would last a lifetime.