Monday, October 3, 2016


“Why are they all so angry?”

“I don’t know,” I whine. “I’m trying for happy.”

Michelle tilts her head to the side and studies my apple-lanterns. They glimmer back at her with the light of their little bright-charms. “You could try making them smile?”

“What do you think I’ve been doing?” It doesn’t take a genius to see that my angry little apples are not proper decorations for a preschool party.

She raises her eyebrows. “Well, all the mouths are straight.”

“Because curves are hard to carve!”

“Hmmm.” She picks one up. It’s been pre-scooped, and is just waiting for a face. Five seconds later, it wears a bright smile. “Yeah. I guess that was a little hard.”

I call her something that really isn’t very nice, but she laughs rather than taking offense.

She walks around me to stand at my back. Then she gently takes my hand in hers and guides the knife therein to the apple I already hold. If not for her grip, my hand would be trembling. But she’s steady as we push the knife into the apple’s crisp skin.

My throat is tight as I swallow and try to keep breathing. We’re the same height and she’s peering over my shoulder. If I turned my head, and she turned hers…

The knife glides through the apple, schlick…. A perfect upward curve.

My chest tightens as she brings the knife around to finish off the shape of the smiling mouth.

We pull the knife from the fruit, leave it on the counter, and look at out little eye-less lantern.

“See?” she whispers, making the hairs on my neck stand rigid.

She steps back quickly as someone comes into the room with a cheerful, “Hey, Shelly!”

She smiles at him. “Hey, babe.”

And she leaves, with her boyfriend and her happy apple-lantern.

I carve another scowl.

Today's prompt was by rosaarvensis on DeviantArt
and came to me via Bliss Morgan's Nightmare Fuel Project

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