With the rising sun, the morning dew sparkled like fairy dust in the small town of Hinton, Virginia. Floyd Webster’s shoes were damp and muddy as he ran through an open field like a wild man who had just lost his mind. It didn’t bother him one bit that he scared the cattle into a running stampede. He loved to cause a ruckus everywhere he went. After all, what else was there to do in a small county town? Floyd’s father - Joe Webster - might have a different opinion.
The Webster family farm has over a hundred acres of land. For generations the Webster’s made their living buying and selling horses. Joe Webster wanted to be a lawyer, but when his father Henry passed away from cancer, he knew what needed to be done. He gave up his dreams to keep the family farm alive. A noble sacrifice - killing one dream to save another.
Over the next several decades, Joe made several changes to the farm including adding pigs and cattle. Horses were always a mainstay for his father, but Joe knew that for a farm to make a profit you needed more than just majestic steeds. With these new changes the family farm thrived and became very successful. Joe is now in his sixties and the future of the family farm will soon pass down to his one and only son - Floyd.
Joe sat gingerly on his back porch sipping his morning coffee. He loved to watch the sunrise every morning, it filled him with hope and the promise of a new day. He raised the hot steamy cup to his wrinkled lips and heard a loud crash. It startled him so fiercely that he spilt the hot black liquid all over his chest.
“What is that boy up to now!” he yelled.
Joe ran in the direction of the noise and saw about twenty head of cattle escaping through the broken fence. Behind them, Joe could see Floyd laughing up a storm.
“Get over here right now, Floyd!” Joe said.
Floyd frowned at the sight of his father. He knew he was going to get a lecture about responsibility and the proper way to do things. Floyd hung his head low and slowly walked over to Joe with his hands clasped behind his back.
“I’m sorry Pa!” Floyd said. “There was this mighty lion that was going to eat all the cows, so I had to do something to get them to safety.”
Joe was not amused. He squeezed his lips and wrinkled his forehead in anger. “Floyd! You are a twenty-five-year-old man! When are you going to stop all this lying?”
Floyd balled his fists and kicked a nearby stone, sending it flying through the kitchen window. He raised his hands to his mouth to keep from cursing. Joe hated cuss words, and if he heard one - his response was always: Son! You are never too old to get bent over my knee for a good smacking!
Joe raised his wrinkled eyebrows at the sight of the broken window. He tapped his foot and looked over at Floyd waiting for an explanation.
“Did you see that spider Pa? It was going to run up your trousers, but I kicked it with that stone to save your life!”
Joe stood there shaking his head in disapproval. He pointed at Floyd and said, “You better go round’ up the cattle quick, fast, and in a hurry, or I’m gonna bend you over my knee!” He motioned to his belt and continued, “Do you see this belt? It’s not just for holding my pants up!” He pointed over at the cattle in the front yard. “What are you waiting for? Go round’ them up! NOW!!”
Floyd pulled up his sagging blue jeans and wiped the beads of sweat from his curly brown hair. He hung his head low and marched over to the cattle. At the same time Joe marched over to fix the broken fence. He kept a watchful eye on Floyd as he replaced the broken post and reattached the fence.
As Floyd walked the last remaining cow back into the enclosure, he heard Joe call out to him.
“Make sure you latch the gate, or I’ll beat some sense into you!” he shouted.
Floyd nodded, and latched the gate making sure to triple check it. Joe rushed in the house to fix the broken window. He feared what his wife Jill would say when she got home from her shift at the hospital. She worked overnights as a nurse and was known to be a little grumpy when she got home. Finding a broken kitchen window would not make her happy.
Feeling good about the fence gate, Floyd turned to leave and tripped over something in the grass. He rolled over and started to search the ground for the source of his embarrassment. His fingers fumbled through the bright green grass and discovered a hard-pink rock. He held it up high to get a better look. Turning it ever so slightly, he knew that it wasn’t a rock, but an Easter egg!
There’s no way Pa would hide Easter eggs...he has no personality and doesn’t care for such things, Floyd thought to himself.
Floyd slowly stood back up and started searching the surrounding area. He walked further into the field and found a massive hole full of bright colorful Easter eggs. He tossed the pink egg in with the others and fell to his knees to pick up a sky-blue egg. He tossed it up and down in his hand like it was a baseball. When the egg landed safely in his hand for further examination, it started to wiggle.
Floyd watched as the egg started to come to life. Legs sprouted from the bottom half with sharp egg-shell-claws on each little toe. The same Claw-like arms cracked through the upper half, followed by a small head with sharp egg-shell-teeth and glowing blue eyes.
Floyd screamed and threw the egg down into the hole with the others. He gasped as the other eggs started to rumble. Before he knew it, all the eggs came to life. Each appendage was the same corresponding color as their respective egg shells with matching eyes.
Wasting little time, Floyd ran back to the house to find his father hard at work on the kitchen window.
“Pa, a bunch of Easter eggs just came to life!” he said panting. “I think we need to get out of here!”
Joe slammed his hammer down on the kitchen table. “What did I tell you about lying?”
“I’m serious this time Pa, we gotta go!” replied Floyd.
“Shut up Floyd! I’ve had enough of this…” Joe quickly looked out from the broken window. “I don’t see any Easter eggs out there, but I tell you what I do see...You missed a cow!”
“That’s just Nelly, she won’t bother nothin’,” Floyd said.
Joe raised his hand like a giant flyswatter ready to swat a fly. “If you don’t go out there and put that damn cow in the fence, you’re gonna find out what the back of my hand looks like!”
Joe flinched and stepped backwards. “You know Pa, ever since I was a kid, you’ve never let me have any fun! It’s always work, work, and more work! I don’t have any friends because of you and this stupid farm!”
“Floyd! If you don’t get out there by the time I count to five, I’m gonna get the paddle!”
Floyd started shaking like a leaf and nodded his head. His knees started to tremble, and the room started spinning. He placed his hands on his head and screamed.
Joe yelled, “The countdown is on….”
With the room spinning, Floyd put one foot in front of the other, and sprinted outside. He ran over to Nelly and slapped her backside. She did nothing but turn her head and lick her lips. Even the cow is mocking me now, Floyd thought to himself.
“Move it Nelly! I don’t have time for this!” he cried.
He looked over at the Easter egg creatures who were all lined up like an army of ants. They started moving in unison and inched closer and closer to Nelly. She looked down at them and opened her eyes wide. She tried to stomp the ground, but she missed her targets.
The egg creatures climbed up her legs and completely covered her entire body. Floyd watched wondering what they were doing. He noticed a stream of blood oozing from beneath Nelly’s belly, which made him gag. The egg creatures made soft munchy, crunchy noises as they ate Nelly alive. Soon there was nothing left.
Still reeling from his argument with Joe, Floyd just stood there watching the carnage. He didn’t even blink. He was in shock. The egg creatures lined up in formation right in front of Floyd's feet.
After a moment of silence Floyd said, “You guys did that for me, didn’t you?”
The eggs creatures just snapped, crackled and popped, sounding like a fresh bowl of Rice Krispies.
Floyd rolled his eyes and asked, “Wait a minute here...you guys will do what I say?”
The egg creatures popped up in confirmation.
“Well...ok then. Come with me guys, I have a special job for you!”
Floyd walked back to the house with his head held high. The army of egg creatures followed directly behind him poppin’ and hoppin’. With all the bright colors they looked like a living breathing walking rainbow. Joe ran outside when he saw them pass the kitchen window.
“What the Hell is this!” he asked.
Floyd curled his lips into an evil smile and said, “Pa...do you believe me now?”
Joe looked down at the egg creatures and whispered, “Just wait here while I go and grab my shotgun.”
Joe slowly started to back up, when Floyd yelled, “Attack him!”
The egg creatures swarmed like a bunch of honey bees protecting their queen. As they approached, Joe started to stomp his feet. He managed to squash a few of them, but their liquid guts made his shoes sticky. He couldn't move any further and the egg creatures engulfed his entire body.
A steady stream of blood started to drip down on the porch, and slowly flowed like a gentle stream in a quiet forest. Floyd laughed as he heard his father’s screams of agony and pain. Soon there was nothing left of Joe. His blood had pooled in a small dirt hole by the porch and some of the egg creatures jumped in and started to swim around.
Floyd closed his eyes and took a deep breath. His days of being abused were over. He felt a small tear roll down his cheek, which surprised him. No one will miss him, he thought. Just then, he heard a loud high-pitched voice coming from behind him.
“Hippity Hop, Hippity Hop, what have we been eating?”
Floyd opened his eyes and felt a cold chill race through his body. He quickly turned around and came face to face with a big eight-foot-tall brown rabbit. He was wearing a bright green vest with gold buttons, and a silly black top hat which covered his long ears. He was holding a big white Easter basket with a big pink bow tied around the middle.
The egg creatures immediately ran over to the bunny rabbit and lined up in formation.
Floyd asked, “Ar-are you the Easter Bunny?”
The rabbit started to bounce up and down. “Oh no... I killed him, Hippity hop!”
“What!” Floyd screamed.
The rabbit threw his hands in the air and spun around. He started to laugh.
“Ha, ha, ho, ho, hippity, hippity, hop...down you go!”
In unison, the egg creatures swarmed Floyd. He kicked and screamed but just like his father, he had no chance at survival. They devoured him from head to toe, leaving nothing but a big pool of blood on the ground.
The rabbit danced around the egg creatures and started to sing.
Ha, ha, ho, ho!
Hippity, hippity, hop
Hippity, hippity, hop
Hippity, hippity, hop
My egg babies will kill you slow,
Hippity, hippity, hop!
The rabbit turned to the thick blood soaking into the ground and said, “This will teach you not to lie anymore, ha, ha, ho, ho!”
The rabbit placed his white basket on the porch and hopped away with his egg creatures. As the morning sun rose higher in the sky they disappeared behind a steep hill in the field…
Later that morning,
Jill Webster pulled into the front driveway in her red 84’ Ford pickup truck. She entered the house and noticed the broken kitchen window.
“Joe...Floyd...where are you guys?” she yelled.
There was no response, so she went out the back door, and noticed the white Easter basket sitting on the porch.
She picked it up and said, “Oh those boys of mine are so sweet!”
She looked in the basket and found an assortment of marshmallow Peeps.
“Oh...I love Peeps!”
Jill quickly ate a blue Peep and followed it up with a yellow one. She reached in for another tasty treat and felt something bite her finger. She pulled her hand out of the basket and screamed when she saw a blue bunny Peep eating the tip of her finger.
She shook her hand back and forth trying to fling it off. Suddenly, she felt her stomach twist and turn in a violent rage. She pulled her shirt up and saw something trying to break free just beneath her skin. She looked over at the basket again, and screamed as the other Peeps came to life…
Just over the hill down the field, a strange voice could be heard…
“Hippity, hippity hop!!!”
Daniel R. Hayes