Tag: fruit

Charlie’s Room: The Apple

One of the apples was different from the other apples in the fruit bowl. Isaac could feel it the moment he stepped into the kitchen. It wasn’t just different in the way that all apples are different from each other.

Some apples have stripes, others spots, others have splotches of color or a subtle variation in hue. The can be all different shades of red or yellow or green, sometimes with little speckles or stripes of brown or white. And then there are all the differences in size and shape and taste.

This apple was different in all of those normal ways. It was splotchy red and yellow, and it was missing its stem. It was largish for an apple, and roundish.

It was also watching him. He couldn’t explain how he knew. He could just feel the weight of the stare when he was looking elsewhere. Of course, when he looked right at the apples, they all seemed completely normal.

He wasn’t sure which apple it was at first. When he walked in, Marianne was next to the fruit bowl, filling a pitcher with water from the faucet. “How was work?” she asked.

“It was fine. Hey, where did you get those apples?”

Charlie looked over from where he was setting the table. “We have more apples? I hadn’t noticed. What kind did you get?”

Marianne turned off the faucet and carried the pitcher to the table. “They had bags of mixed apples at a discount. We eat so many apples that I bought two bags. The apples that didn’t fit in the bowl are still in their bags over there by the fridge.” She gestured towards the fridge with a nod of her head.

Isaac walked over and peered into the half-full bags of apples, but they all looked like completely normal apples. He felt someone watching him again, from the direction of the fruit bowl. He glanced over, and Marianne and Charlie were at the table.

“Can I have an apple?” Charlie placed the last fork on the table and hurried to the fruit bowl. He picked up a large red and yellow apple. It slipped and he just managed to catch it. “Woah. Got it.” He walked towards Marianne.

Isaac was watching Charlie and not the fruit bowl. The apples in the bowl weren’t watching him. That’s when he knew which apple was different. “We’re about to eat dinner,” he said.

“Oh. Right. Maybe after dinner?”

Marianne laughed. “We’ll see.”

But after dinner, Isaac suggested a movie night with popcorn and Charlie forgot about the apple. Isaac did not. Once Marianne and Charlie were watching the movie, Isaac slipped back into the kitchen.

He took the apple out of the fruit bowl and moved the bowl over by the bags of apples. Then he set the apple on the counter by itself. He crouched down so that he was at eye level.

“Hello. I’m not sure if you understand me, but I want you to know that this isn’t really a safe place for you. We eat apples here, and you look like an apple.”

Suddenly two small shiny black eyes were looking back at him. Isaac blinked. He’d suspected this wasn’t a normal apple, but it was still strange to see it looking back at him.

“Is there something I can do to help you return to wherever you came from? Blink once for yes and twice for no.”

The apple blinked twice.

“Okay. Will you be able to leave tonight?”

The apple blinked once.

“Do you need anything?”

The apple blinked twice.

“All right then. I’ll leave you alone. Good luck with your journey home.”

Isaac left the kitchen to watch the movie. They laughed at the funny parts and cheered at the exciting parts and quoted all their favorite lines. When Marianne and Charlie left to get their pajamas on, Isaac took the popcorn bowls back to the kitchen. The apple was gone.

Isaac checked all of the other apples, but none of them watched him or responded when he spoke to him. He decided that meant they were safe to eat. He put them all away and went to read a bedtime story to Charlie.

The next morning, Charlie hurried into the kitchen, his hair still messy from sleep. “Where’s the big yellowy-red apple? I want to eat it with breakfast.”

“It’s gone already,” Isaac said.

“That’s too bad. I guess I’ll eat one of the stripey ones instead.” He did.

Isaac didn’t eat any of the apples. It just seemed wrong somehow.

Flashback Friday: The Fruit Bowl

This story was originally posted on August 23, 2017. I don’t know why I find talking food so funny. Too many orange peel smiles (did you do that growing up?) and raisin faces in my oatmeal?

“If I painted myself orange, do you think I could spy on the carrots?” one of the bananas asked. “I think they were looking really suspicious at lunchtime.”

“Nah, we can just check in with the tomato later and see what’s going on,” the honeycrisp apple said. “He blends in with the vegetables without doing anything special.”

“But isn’t that suspicious too? Maybe he’s spying on us,” the lemon said.

“And who put you in charge, anyway?” the orange said. “Oranges are the only fruit impressive enough to have a color named after themselves.”

The apple’s shiny peel glinted in artificial light. “It’s due to my many talents. I’m fierce enough to frighten doctors, but charismatic enough to charm teachers. I’m sweet enough to put in pie, but healthy enough to be included among the common healthy snack foods.   I’m just amazing like that.”

“And so modest, too,” the granny smith apple said, obviously feeling a little green with envy. The lemon snickered.

“Well, I challenge you to a duel,” a banana said.

Just then, the tomato shuffled towards the fruit bowl, hiding in the shadows. The honeycrisp apple turned and waved his stem. “Hey, tomato. What’s the news?”

“Oh, the carrots and celery were threatening to throw the radishes out of the relish tray again. You know radishes. They can’t stop making sarcastic, biting comments.” The tomato laughed.

“How are the cucumbers doing?” the grapes asked.

“Why are you asking?” the tomato asked.

“Hey, I challenged the shiny apple guy to a duel,” the banana said.

Everyone ignored him. The grapes giggled. “No reason.   I just think we have a lot in common.   Can you introduce us?”

The orange gasped. “Traitor!   Fruits and vegetables are natural enemies. We don’t befriend them.”

The grapes pouted. “Tomato does.”

“That’s different,” the honeycrisp apple said. “He’s a spy. So, tell us what you have in common.”

“We’re both immortal. We live on in death,” the grapes said. “Isn’t it romantic?”

“Ew. No,” the lemons said.   “Being pickled or dried out isn’t living on, you twit. It’s a cursed half-life. No one should want to live on like that. It’s unnatural.”

“Why do you have to be so sour?” the grapes asked.

“I’m a lemon. It’s what we do.”

The banana huffed. “Hey, if you don’t duel me I’m going to sing loudly until you give into my demands.”   He began to sing terribly off-key.   “If all of the raindrops were carrots and oranges, oh what a rain it would be…”

“I object,” the orange said. “Carrots would never be classed with oranges by any one with a discerning eye for value.   They obviously copied our color in order to try to fool the gullible, but no one smart would ever mistakenly mix us up.”

But the banana sang on…

“I’m out of here,” the tomato said. “Later.”

“Wait,” the grapes said. “What about the cucumbers?”

And the banana continued to sing. “If all of the raindrops were apples and radishes…”

“Make him stop,” the orange said. “If he continues, we’ll all end up as crazy as he is.”

The lemon snorted. “Will that make us bananas too?”

“That was a terrible joke,” the orange said. “But it was kind of funny.” He laughed, and the banana sang on.

“Fine, fine,” the apple said. “Bananas, what are your demands?”

“I want to be in charge,” the banana said.

“Sure, you’re in charge,” the apple said. “Here’s the rotation schedule for all the fruit, so that no one gets shoved in a dark corner and goes bad and takes us all with them.”

“Oh,” the banana said.

“And here’s the optimum fruit arrangement for the bowl so no one gets bruised. And here’s all the paperwork for the seasonal rotation. Pay special attention to the holidays. They’re tricky.”

“Never mind,” the banana said. “Can we just declare today banana day and forget all about me being in charge?”

“Okay,” the apple said. “Happy Banana Day.”

“Happy Banana Day,” the other fruits chorused.

“Thank you,” the banana said. “That was beautiful.”

“Excellent,” the apple said. “Meeting adjourned.”