autumn. someone has left a box of cooking apples on her doorstep. maybe it was him. she fills the sink with cold water and tips the apples in. apple bobbing. snap apples. some she will stew. some she will bake. she will eat – all of them. they will be delicious. she’s eaten apples before. her swollen belly is testament to that.
she chooses the apples for baking. she has her mother’s corer and sinks it into the firm flesh, a mist of apple perfume. she twists drawing out each centre, like a cork, arranges the prepared apples in the dish, fills each hollow with honey, cinnamon, adds a little water. she stands sideways to the sink, her belly an obstruction, and pares the other apples for stewing, slices them into the pan, adds honey, cinnamon, a little water.
maybe it was him. over her, under her, inside her, beside her. FUCK HIM. her swollen belly is testament to that.
cooked apples, soft creamy flesh infused with honey sweetness, warm aromatic cinnamon, intense, seductive, irresistible. she will eat – all of them. they will be delicious. she’s eaten apples before.
so she knows.
First published in Bath Flash fiction Anthology 1 (AdHoc Fiction, 2017).
Title from Roche, Margaret A. This Feminine Position, Nurds, The Roches (album 1980)