Sunday Snippet, Flash Fiction, Bad Fruit Cup by Bill Chance

“The absence of the will to live is, alas, not sufficient to make one want to die.”

― Michel Houellebecq

Bois D’Arc (Osage Orange) fruit

Bad Fruit Cup

Craig was going to eat fruit for lunch today. He bought it last night, midnight, on a milk run to the grocery store. They needed milk for breakfast for the kids (they get pissed off if there is no milk) and he realized they were out when he was ready for bed. Therefore, midnight milk run, not an unusual thing. Big city equals 24hr grocery stores.

Today, though, the fruit was bad. Craig opened the plastic tub up at his desk and was met with a nasty slimy smell.

He was hungry, so despite good intentions, it was going to be fast food. There was a long line, a lot of high school kids on their lunch hour already in the seats. One was goofing off so much he fell out of his chair, ice drink flew all over.

He tried to watch people sitting at the other tables. Two women nearby. One entire corner of their table was taken up by a pile of black electronic devices. Pagers, Cell Phones. While they ate they were hooked in, wired up.

Two suited and tied middle aged middle manager types were next to them. One faced Craig and he could understand the manager when he spoke. His partner’s voice was an unintelligible mumble.

“The forklifts, we’re selling ’em faster than we get them in.”
“mumble mumble mumble”
“First things first, we should fix the spare IBM.”
“mumble mumble mumble”
“But they didn’t have a backlog”
“mumble mumble mumble”

On around, the next table, a cute woman sat, her lunch eaten, reading a paperback. He stared at her as long as he though was appropriate and nobody noticed.

And that’s about it. He ate, and left, to drive across the street to a bookstore. His son had been checking these books out from the School Library; How to Draw 50 Famous Cartoon Characters, How to Draw 50 Dinosaurs, How to Draw 50 Animals . He sits for hours, typing paper spread across the coffee table in the living room, drawing. Sometimes he cheats and traces.

Craig wanted to buy him one of these books today, maybe buy one every week or so, that way he will have some that he doesn’t have to return, that he won’t worry about tearing or getting some crayon in.

And that’s about it. That’s his time off for the day.

2 responses to “Sunday Snippet, Flash Fiction, Bad Fruit Cup by Bill Chance

    • I once spent several days (I think I wrote about this) with a friend in Junior High making a raft out of osage orange (they were cutting down a hedgerow). The wood was hard as iron but we were very proud of our work. When it was finished we pushed it out into the pond. It sank like a rock.

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