Let’s Dye This Again
By Audrey W.
“Good morning.” Hank Stanley set a large cardboard box down on the table in front of his men and pulled out a chair.
“What’s this, Cap?” Chet asked.
Marco had a look of dread on his face. “It’s not more of those reports for Chet and I to fix, is it? Because you know what happened last time.”
“No, no, no,” Hank shook his head. “The department is sponsoring a public Easter Egg hunt for area kids and they want each station to do their part. We’ve been asked to supply some of the eggs.”
“Now wait a minute,” Johnny said, sitting forward. He pointed at his chest. “I’m all for kids and Easter Egg hunts, but I don’t want to be paying for dozens of eggs.”
“Gage, you don’t have to buy any eggs,” the captain explained. “That’s what’s in the box.” He stood up and carefully took out the contents of the box. There were twelve dozen eggs, and six egg dying kits. “It’s all taken care of. I figure, we each get two dozen eggs to color and our own dye kits so it’ll go faster.”
“Where are we gonna store ‘em when we’re done?” Mike wondered.
“In the refrigerator. In case none of you have looked yet, it’s pretty empty. Let’s leave it that way until these eggs get picked up.”
Marco shook his head. “It’s going to take us all day and night to hard boil this many eggs and color them.”
“Oh, hey, that’s the best part!” Hank said, smiling. “When I picked them up at headquarters, they told me the eggs were all ready to go. All we have to do is color them.”
“You know, this might not be too bad,” Johnny remarked as he picked up one of the dye kits, studying the accessories that came with it. “In fact, it’s been so long since I’ve done this. . .hey, this could be fun!”
“Yeah, you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve done it, too,” Chet admitted. A grin spread across his face. “I can think of lots more things to draw on an egg with the wax crayon than I did as a kid.”
“Kelly, don’t get any wild ideas. This is for the kids.”
“Right, Cap. Got it.”
The captain looked over each setting of colored filled cups at the six spaces on the table. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. “So, is everybody ready?”
Assorted “sures” and “yeah, Caps” sounded.
“Great. Hopefully we won’t get called out in the middle of this. But if we do, everyone grab his eggs and stick them in the fridge.”
“Can we start now?” Mike asked.
“Yeah, sure!” Hank said, smiling as he sat down at his place.
Johnny leaned over towards Roy and whispered “Cap is way to into this egg dying thing.”
DeSoto rolled his eyes. He thought they all were way to into the egg dying. He’d just done it the day before with his kids and had hoped never to see a cup of dye again. Rainbow colored stains on the newspaper and the two youngsters hands were still fresh on his mind.
Hopefully these guys can keep the colors in the cups and on the eggs where they belong.
The design drawing and egg dipping went well. The members of A-Shift had each done all but three of their two-dozen eggs. Chet was trying to write Happy Easter on one of his eggs when he dropped it below his chair at the end of the table.
“Chet!” Captain Stanley called out. “Try to hang on to the eggs, will ya? At least hard-boiled eggs don’t make a mess.”
Chet didn’t answer, but continued to stare at the egg on the floor near his chair. He slowly looked up at the others, a sick expression on his face.
“Uh, Cap? Are you sure these eggs were ready for us? I mean, is that what they said word for word when you picked them up?”
“Yeah, they said ours were ready to go, and that they were in a box.”
Everyone looked at Chet’s broken egg on the floor.
“Oh no!” Hank yelled. “It was raw!”
The men all started to pick up their eggs and shake them one by one.
“My eggs make a noise when I shake ‘em,” Johnny remarked.
“So do mine,” Mike offered. “Every one I’ve checked.”
Stanley looked first to Roy, then Marco. Both nodded, indicating theirs did, too.
Chet was up and over near the box. “Uh, Cap?”
“This box says 110 on it. It wasn’t ours.”
Hank buried his face in his hands.
“I don’t believe this. This is something. . .well. . .a twit would do.”
“So we have nearly twelve dozen colored raw eggs,” Johnny stated. “Oh man! What’re we gonna do? They can’t use them for the egg hunt - can they?”
“Of course not,” the captain answered, one hand still on his face.
“The Phantom would enjoy that,” Chet said, grinning. “Can you imagine. . .little kids unknowingly with dozens of raw eggs in their hands.”
“Chet!” Hank chastised. “There’s just one thing to do.”
Johnny pulled out his wallet. “How much?”
“Well, eggs are only seventy-eight cents a carton. I think each dye kit costs about a dollar. So three dollars each and you’ll get your change back.”
“That doesn’t sound bad,” Gage said, relieved.
“Yeah, except for the time it’s going to take to do this all over again.” Chet shook his head. “I don’t want to think about it.”
Roy couldn’t believe he was going to be coloring eggs for the third time in two days.
After numerous interruptions with calls, one being to a three-alarm fire, the men were finally finishing up the new batch of Easter eggs.
“Anyone for a midnight snack?” Marco asked.
“No,” came five replies.
Two days later A-shift was back on duty. After a busy morning, the guys returned from an abandoned warehouse fire, ready to have some lunch. Chet looked in the refrigerator as the others sat down at the table.
“So what’s for lunch, Chester B.?” Johnny asked.
Chet pulled out a covered bowl and lifted the lid. “How about egg salad sandwiches?”
The stocky Irishman ducked as wadded up pages of newspaper came flying his way.
Thanks for the quick beta read, Kenda! :o)