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No You Won't

Story ID:7173
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2011
Person:24-Hour Short Story Contest
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I entered the Writers Weekly 24-Hour Short Story contest this weekend.
I received the topic yesterday and had 24 hours to come up with a story in under 900 words.

They like something different. I hope I gave it to them.

Here's the topic and my entry.

The fruit vendor smiled at her through sightless eyes, enjoying the warm breeze and salty air. During casual banter with his customers, he seemed to remember the smallest details, even ones they couldn't remember sharing with him in the past. The girl had been coming to his stand daily for as long as she could remember. As she turned to leave, she patted his hand and said, "I'll see you tomorrow morning, friend."

Still smiling, he replied, "No, you won't..."

~~~~~

REMEMBER, you aren't required to quote the topic. Your story must only touch on the topic in some way to quality. This error will, of course, NOT affect the judging of the stories. :


Here's my entry

No You Won’t

It was a warm day. I felt the heat of the sun, but couldn’t see it. My friends sat on
top of me, but I didn’t mind. The warmth was good. I enjoyed the closeness of the
other victims around me. They were all I had.

I lay with the rest of the peaches and listened to a world I couldn’t see. I was a
long way from the tree I once clung to. From its lofty branches, I could see clear across
the valley and the river that created it. I used to watch the sun rise, smile at its warmth,
and enjoy the breath of wind against my fuzzy skin.

With age, I ripened – wizened.

****************

The sun rose over the valley. There was a commotion on the other side of the orchard. I
heard the cries of my family members, but I couldn’t see what was happening.
The other trees blocked my view. I only heard their cries as whatever evil grew closer.

The hand of a human came into view. It ripped my friend Ralph from the branch
beside me. He disappeared. Ralph’s cries still echo in my mind. Several of my close
friends were torn from our high perch.

My turn came. I saw a dirty human hand reach out and prayed the wind would
move me from its reach. There was no wind. The fingers found me. My umbilical cord of
life with the tree was broken. I was tossed into a basket with many I didn’t know.

“What’s happening?” one asked.

“I feel sick.” another moaned.

The basket we crowded in bounced and jiggled, as the human made it from tree-
to-tree. The air grew stale. The weight of those tossed on top suffocated those below.

“Whoa!” we screamed, as we were dumped into the back of a truck. I felt dizzy
from tumbling. “Get off me!” I screamed at another.

“Not my fault, Buddy! I’m in the same truck as you.” She obviously thought of
herself as a “real” peach. Some think they are better.

I heard Ralph somewhere beneath me. “Mike, do you hear me?”

“I hear you, Ralph.”

“What’s happening?”

“I don’t know. I’m as scared as you, my friend.” It was hard to communicate
over the cries of the other captives.

The rumble of the truck’s engine and fumes stirred panic through the prisoners.
“What’s that smell, Mike? I can’t breathe!’ Ralph cried.

I yelled out to Ralph to be calm, but it was lost in the clamor. I suspected
I’d never see him again.

Their ride was rough. Fights broke out for space, many were bruised and
damaged. I occasionally heard Ralph’s calls for support, but over the clatter of
distress from their fellow captives, Ralph never heard his replies.

The rumbling stopped. The truck reached its destination. I thought Ralph,
the others and I would be freed from the heat and stink of their captors.

Each peach was carefully plucked from the truck so as not to bruise them – but
the damage was already done. Many were passed over to become juice. I was
selected as a prime peach. Placed gently in a cardboard container, I watched my friend
Ralph get picked from the bottom of the pile. “Mike!” he screamed. It was too late. He
was gone. Ralph would make a great peach punch.

I listened to the noise and felt the heat of the city. “I’ll take three crates.” I
heard a buyer say.

My journey continued.

The stink of the city suffocated me, but after “The Hand” tearing me from life
blood of the tree and the loss of my friend Ralph, I was ready for anything.

The heat of the day warmed me. I lay in the bin. Those of my kind crowded
me. To one side, the grapes teased. Just because they could be made into wine, they
thought they were better. “Hey schnapps! Aren’t you a Peach?”

I ignored them and wondered where Ralph was.

Day-by-day, I lay on the bin and listened to the blind man make small talk
with the humans who plucked those around me. One-by-one, the others disappeared.

One morning, close to the top of the pile, I felt the weight of those on top
disappear. I felt the warmth of the sun. It reminded me of the joyful days in the
orchard.

I watched a beautiful woman stroll up to the vendor.

The fruit vendor smiled at her through sightless eyes, enjoying the warm breeze and
salty air. Mike heard her voice before but never knew how beautiful she was.

Listening to the casual banter with his customer, I could tell the vendor knew her.
He loved to talk. It was also good for business.

She exchanged small talk and grabbed me. “I feel like a peach today.”

You sound like one too!” The blind vendor flirted.

She laughed at his tease.

I felt her warm hands on my furry flesh, looked at the vendor and said, “I'll see
you tomorrow morning, friend."

Still smiling, he replied, "No, you won't..."

Michael T, Smith

Word Count: 841