Blue Oranges, Apple Fly,
& The Ogling Lime

by Forrest Aguirre


Blue Oranges

A crate of oranges, otherwise. Blue as the sky they were, and skin thinned, still pitted, outside, as if removed, under-shaved, reattached. Pierce the skin and juice the navy veins, indigo bleeding and tasting of desert relief, undehydrated. "Where?" we asked the salty old sailor. "The spindle fell aleph up," he said, voice hoarse as sand, "and the golem died."

"Excuse me?" I said, confused.

"Oh, it's not your fault," he said with a horizon-sighting seaward look in his one good eye, voice trailing off into the deep, "not your fault at all."

Apple Fly

Janice giggled, holding tight, as the apple struggled to break free. "It tickles," she smiled, that perfect-teeth-all-in-a-porcelain-white-row-smile, as the dragonfly wings fluttered against her fingers and wrists. She squeezed tighter. She . . . desired. I had seen that look before, the flip of the hair, the cocked hip, languid eyes, the bitten lip.

Now I desired.

She looked beyond the apple, into my eyes, as she brought the fruit to her mouth and bit in, hard, fast, devouring the fruit so quickly that she was wiping her dripping face with the back of her arm before its convulsive death-throes had subsided, twitching wings tensing in a final paroxysm, then drooping down like a quickly-wilting flower.

She smiled, picked the bits from her teeth, and offered me the remainders, but all that was left was pit and wings, lolling at the mercy of the autumn breeze.

The Ogling Lime

Something reptilian about the thing, I thought. Not just the dark green, coarse skin or the associative citrus scent of things tropical. The eye that looked out from behind the rind was lizard-like, crocodilian "Those customs agents really need to look harder," I muttered as it rolled onto the counter top. Being a bachelor, I got no answer, though the green eyelid lowered in one corner, insulted, angry.

I turned around, bent over to put some food in the fridge. I had to rearrange leftovers to fit it; China, India, New Orleans, Buffalo all juggling geography above the empty crisper. When I turned again to the lime, I caught it half-open, leering at me, lecherous.

The hint-of-smirk left it as I reached back to retrieve a chef's knife from the cutlery magnet. The self-satisfied expression turned to a series of furtive glances left, right, up, down, as if seeking a means of escape, terrified.

"Nothing personal," I said to no one, "just thirsty is all."

It looked up at me with great pathos in its . . . eye and everything, pleading, pitiful. I couldn't be sure if it trembled or if the sensation was merely the rough texture of its skin as I rolled it over the countertop to position it for the final cut.

It cried. Tears of citric acid. Crocodile tears.

I was really, really thirsty. Best limeade I ever had. Nothing personal.

 


Forrest Aguirre's work has appeared in over fifty venues, including 3rd Bed, Gargoyle, Farrago's Wainscot, Exquisite Corpse, The Journal of Experimental Fiction, and Polyphony. One of his short stories was recently listed as a storySouth Million Writers Award notable story for 2009. His early fiction has been collected in Fugue XXIX (Raw Dog Screaming Press).