In shadows, multiple figures stood waiting until a suctioning sound triggered the light bulb on the ceiling, illuminating the angular items and bringing light to the scene. A gallon of 2% milk sat next to a carton of eggs, and behind them, a jug of orange juice. A slender, pale hand reached into the static landscape and hovered across the various containers of perishables before landing on the handle of the milk. In one swift movement, the gallon vanished. The hand soon returned for the eggs and stole them away as well.
The owner of the hand, a kindly-looking woman, stood up straight in the open door of the refrigerator, grasping the carton of eggs she had just removed. She flipped the top open on the carton to reveal eleven empty wells and one lonesome egg. The woman sighed. That was why the carton felt so much lighter than she anticipated.
“Honey!” She turned and hollered up a flight of stairs. “Do you know why we’re down to only one egg?!” At first it sounded like her husband was coming downstairs, but she quickly realized by the energetic cadence of steps descending to the first floor that it couldn’t be her husband.
“What do you need, mom?” a young man groaned, as he hopped to the floor from the second to last step. “Dad’s busy fixing your computer.” He ran his fingers through his coppery hair in exasperation. “What more do you want?”
“We’re out of eggs and we need a cake for your sister tomorrow,” she huffed, putting her hands on her hips. “Who used up all the eggs? Do you know?” He glanced to the side suddenly, trying to avoid eye contact. “Copper...!” his mother assumed a warning tone. He threw his hands up.
“I made french toast for breakfast for dad and sis, gimme a break!” he grumbled. “Last time I do something nice for you people…” His mother lost the fire to berate him over the lack of eggs and sighed.
“You know we appreciate you. I can’t imagine what things would have been like if you had gone to college out of commuting distance…” She placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and his fixation on being annoyed melted.
“I know...” Copper admitted softly. “Anyway, what are we going to do about the cake?” His mother checked her wristwatch and bit her lip with indecision.
“...I should have time to run to the minimart. It’s only a ten minute walk, and the rain has lightened up a fair bit. Besides, with daylight savings, I’ve got more than enough time to do a half hour’s job!” With her mind made up, she reached for her coat hanging off a chair in the cozy kitchen. Copper appeared so astonished he couldn’t find the words to respond for a moment.
“M-mom, please, I’m sure sis would understand. It’s almost curfew, can’t we delay anything?” Copper’s freckled face paled. His mother fluffed her mane of auburn hair and she put a hat on.