"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

1/23/09

Friday Fiction: Malus Domestica


Welcome to my contribution to Friday Fiction, hosted this week by Patty at Patterings. Be sure to stop by her blog for more excellent stories from assorted bloggers, and feel free to post your own fiction and link up at the Mr. Linky gadget at the bottom of her post. All are welcome!
I wrote this story a year and a half ago for the Faithwriters' Writing Challenge. It was what FW regulars/old timers knew as the "genre quarter," and this particular week we were to write an adventure. But don't worry - no gunfights or car chases in this one! I hope you enjoy my...um...unique take on the topic.


Malus Domestica

I don't know why, but I've always felt I was special. While my friends would hide behind leaves or branches, I was born with the desire to be noticed. So, when a man grabbed me out of my tree and put me in a crate, I knew my life would change dramatically, and for the better.

It was quite a boost being in that box. I knew I was superior. I didn't have a blemish, I was perfectly shaped, and my color was uniform. There wasn't a specimen in that crate that could compare.

Once at the grocery store, I was beaming. I knew I'd be away from the riff raff and in a grateful owner's kitchen in no time, as I was clearly the best specimen on display. My location on top of the pile wouldn't hurt either.

A few people passed me up for inferior specimen, but soon a woman with impeccable taste approached. She picked up half a dozen others, scrutinized them, and returned them to the pile. Then, her velvety hands found me. She turned me over several times, caressed my crimson skin, and placed me in a plastic bag. After finding a couple others of near quality, she placed us ever-so-gently into her basket, where we joined a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and some pork chops.

I won't bore you with details of the drive home. Just know it wasn't the gentlest ride, and I was thrilled the bread was there to cushion me.

Once we arrived, I was placed in a bowl on the counter. I knew I was in a fine home with a great appreciation of my kind. After all, I was out there on display, unlike the bread and milk hidden in the refrigerator.

The family seemed nice enough - the woman, a man about her age, and a little boy named Timmy. Each of them glanced my way several times that day. It was nice to be appreciated.

Anyhow, before I knew it, the woman had grabbed me, rinsed me off, and put me in Timmy's lunch box. It was one tight squeeze. A couple slices of bread were there, with some turkey and cheese. Joining us were a juice box and some cookies. I could barely move, and it was so dark I couldn't see anything once the box was closed.

Still, I had high hopes. Timmy, I was sure, would savor every bite of me. He might show me off to his friends, or give me to his teacher. Thinking about the pleasure I would give that boy helped me pass the time until lunch.

As soon as Timmy picked up the lunchbox, I wondered how accurate my assessment really was. He hit that box against the wall at least a dozen times en route to the lunchroom. It's a wonder I wasn't bruised beyond recognition.

My hopes were raised again once we reached the lunchroom. Timmy placed me on the table first, and did I ever have a prime view. I was surrounded by thermoses, sandwiches, grapes, cookies, slices of pizza. The sights practically made my non-existent mouth water.

It was the lunchroom banter that really got me sweating (figuratively, of course). Timmy started asking around. It seemed that he preferred bananas to apples.

I couldn't believe it. How could anyone prefer one of those short mushy yellow things to the wonderful redness of me?

Before I knew it, I experienced utter humiliation. I was tossed into another boy's hands, and Timmy got his banana. Shockingly, it had three bruises. Oh, the shame!

Still, I looked at the boy with skepticism. Would he give me the respect I deserved? Would I give him the eating pleasure I was destined to provide?

As he brought me toward his mouth, I was hopeful. The sparkle in his eye and his tongue movement made me believe he was as excited about our encounter as I was. As his teeth sank into my juicy flesh, I was certain his taste buds were rejoicing.

I couldn't have been more wrong. Within three seconds of that bite, the contents of the boy's mouth were expectorated on the lunchroom table, and I was flung halfway across the room, landing squarely in this trash receptacle, where you find me now.

I've certainly had an entertaining life: for you at least! Next time, I suppose, I shouldn't get my hopes too high. Besides, who knows? I could yet be recycled for horse feed.


Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV

note: Malus domestica is the scientific name for an apple


Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by Patterings for more great fiction.

10 comments:

  1. I loved this, Joanne! You really had a great POV with a lot of character. The verse at the end was a great touch.

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  2. LoL--What a personality that guy had! I'll have to remember to talk to my apple before I eat it next time. ;) Loved this, JoDear!

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  3. LOL! I do remember this one! It was sooooo funny to trip along for the adventure behind. LOL...the part with the banana was my favorite though, loved it JJ! ^_^

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  4. I remember this one, and it was just as much fun this time around!

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  5. Maybe it should have been served on the vanity plate!

    Wonderful, whimsical POV.

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  6. Loved this! What a great, creative story:-)

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  7. This is great. Pride does leave a bitter taste.

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  8. I really enjoyed this. Can't remember if I'd read it before. Excellent POV. Sunny

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  9. how original and creative! i enjoyed it. i was trying to decide what type of fruit or vegetable it was.
    great!

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