Friday, 17 April 2015

"Adie" by Jay Merill

I was staring at this peach on the fruit stall but not because I wanted to eat it.  Well, maybe I did a little bit but I never had any money on me at the time. I felt in my pockets and as usual, they were empy.  You know something, I’ve never eaten a peach before in my life.  How sad is that?  Makes me feel like a fool.
     But I should be saying who I am. My name’s Adie and I live, well let’s just say somewhere near the River.  I’ve got a nice little tucked-away spot off the Strand but I’m keeping the whereabouts to myself or I’ll soon have unwanted company.
     The peachskin looked dry and furry, mauvy-pink on one side and a bit yellowy on the other.  Then all at once a shadow fell over the mauve half, and this was because the afternoon was getting on and the shadow was where the awning of the stall came to.
     That’s just like the world, I thought.  Night and day in two different places at the same time.  And the shaded part got darker as though it was past midnight on that side, and the other part got more sunny.  And then I don’t know what came over me.  Without even looking to see if anybody was watching I leaned over, grabbed the peach and walked away.  Nobody called out so I was lucky. I felt excited about finding out what a peach tasted like at last.  Then you know what, I couldn’t eat it.
     I kept the peach in my pocket. After a few weeks had gone by it got all dry and wrinkled and I thought, this is what happens to a person too when they get old.  So I took the peach down to the gardens by the River.  It was a warm evening for November and I buried the peach in one of the flowerbeds.  And I felt good about that.  Like I’d planted something and added to the universe, you know.   Maybe a peach-tree would grow and in years to come people would look at it and admire it.  But also it seemed like the right thing to do as the peach looked dead now and when people die they get buried, as do animals.  So why not a peach I thought.  As it had been alive once, just the
same.
     Didn’t say a prayer or anything as I’m not religious really.  But, well I did get this funny feeling.  As though we on earth were all connected, and like each one of us was part of this vast cosmic spirit or something.  I don’t know. Strange though, if it wasn’t for the peach I’d never have thought of all this.  But it was just my mood I guess.
      I sat by the earthy patch for some time then set off home, going straight along by the River and turning inwards.  Night had come fast.  There was a sharp wind blowing. 




FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.

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