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Poisoned Apples

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S.M.A.G., Norah Colvin, @NorahClovin

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We know how the story goes for Snow White. The Evil Queen sends a poisoned apple that only true love’s kiss can overcome. Well, there are different versions of the familiar tale. We wish fairy tails were true, and maybe, in a way, they are. Through one act of kindness, choosing love over hate, writing through the mess no matter how toxic — we can deliver an anecdote.

Writers explored the apple tree, daring to touch the poisoned variety. Some followed myth, some used realism, and others mashed it all up like cider.

The following are based on the August 8, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a poisoned apple.

PART I (10-minute read)

Miss Scarlet – In the Kitchen – With an Apple by TN Kerr

She who’d smiled and cooed when she gave him the fruit,
now laughed out loud
and watched him chew.
The fruit glowed red, juicy, crisp, and tart.
When he bit in, droplets ran to his shirt and
down his chin.
They burned through the soft cotton and scarred his skin.

He reached for her, in pain, confused;
his finger was cut
on the hem of her red pleated skirt.
I watched the rent spread wide, filling with crimson before
overflowing the wound and splashing onto her open-toed mules.
Shoes that were once white, were now scarlet,
like her name.

🥕🥕🥕

Inconclusive by Jomz Ojeda

The victim lay on the ground, sprawled, while clutching his throat.

“Choked on an apple? Classic.” Detective Monroe commented as he surveyed the scene, a half-eaten apple by his feet.

The victim, a young man in his twenties, had a twisted, horrified look on his face. His eyes bulged, and his mouth open and moist with bubbling saliva.

“Was it an accident, inspector?” A rookie cop asked.

“It could be. You never know.” The detective took slow, calculated steps all over the room. His eyes fell back on the apple.

“Take this to forensics… it might tell us more.”

🥕🥕🥕

The Don’s Move by The Dark Netizen

Don Pazta stared at me triumphantly.

“You’ve done it. Don Peeza is dead. Now his territory belongs to us. Well done.”

I smiled at the old man while gingerly sipping on my glass of wine. Don Peeza’s half eaten apple lay on the plate, next to his resting head. Don Pazta giddily got up from his seat and did a small jig.

“Tell me though. How did you know he would pick that apple from the basket?”

I grinned at the old don.

“I didn’t.”

Don Pazta glanced towards the half-eaten apple on his own plate, before keeling over…

🥕🥕🥕

Poisoned Apple by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Fear had eaten into his mind’s core like a malevolent caterpillar. Fear of the future. Fear of the soldiers. Fear of losing his farm. It had been there, rotting his brain matter, ever since the declaration of war in October the prior year. The injury he had sustained early this year had exacerbated its effect until it felt as if his mind was like a worm-infested apple, brown and soft inside. He took some deep breaths, determined to prevent the poison from spreading and affecting his reactions. Poor reactions could result in the deaths of him and his family.

🥕🥕🥕

How Far from the Tree? by Di @ pensitivity101

She was different, though didn’t understand why.

They came from the same gene pool, the same background, the same upbringing.

They had grown up together, been taught the same values, attended the same school.

But she was different, and she knew it.

She stood out. It wasn’t intentional, and the others tried to put her down, swamp her with their opinions and demanding attention.

Their offspring were the same as them.

Calculating, scheming, self-centred and selfish. No good deed done or thought of unless it benefited them.

Where had the poison originated?

And thank god she not been affected.

🥕🥕🥕

Staying Close to Mother by Anne Goodwin

There wasn’t much my mother loved, but she sure did love that tree. Sharp shade at summer’s peak; soft pink blossom at its dawn. Come summer’s end she loved to feed its sweet-sour fruit to me.

When time was ripe she’d pick a golden orb and shine its skin with hers. Warmed and polished by her breast, I’d accept her offering solemnly. As if cradling the whole world in my palms.

“Eat!” she said.

Obediently, I crunched, as juices dribbled from my mouth. Although it gave me bellyache, I never once declined an apple from my mother’s poisoned tree.

🥕🥕🥕

The Bad Apple by Ritu Bhathal

April bit her blackened lips in frustration. Just how long was mum going to go on and on about her clothes. All she wanted to do, was get out of the house.

She absentmindedly rolled a corner of the rug back and forth with her clumpy boots.

“April! Stop doing that to my rug! Honestly. I don’t know what’s got into you. It’s like those friends of yours have just brainwashed you.”

She rolled a heavily khol-lined eye. The doorbell rang.

“I’m going, mum.” She turned. “And just remember, they say the apple never falls far from the tree.”

🥕🥕🥕

If the Mirror Said More by Susan Sleggs

The Queen questioned her reliable magic mirror but this time the answer was different. Snow White was deemed more fair.

“Why?” screamed the angry queen.

“Your beauty is still supreme but not your heart. Snow White cares for others more than herself. She is loyal without being jealous. She works hard, without complaining, nor expecting return. She follows the laws while still helping the less fortunate and she sees her near empty glass as replenishable with good fortune.”

“I shall kill her with a poison apple!”

“No, my Queen. Learn from her or the poison will surely kill you.”

🥕🥕🥕

Poisoned Apple by Floridaborne

“…Snow White lived happily ever after,” my daughter said.

“Where’d you hear that?”

“Jane’s mom said we live happily ever after without haters.”

“She doesn’t understand the story,” I said.  “Do you want to be imprisoned in a palace?”

“Ewwww.  No!”

“When the story was written, Princesses were baby factories ensuring one kingdom had ties to another. Jane’s mom is a socialist.  We live in a Constitutional Republic.  Our founders knew we had to be diligent.”

“What’s diligent?”

“Socialism, the evil step mother, is delusional. It wants to change what the mirror tells her.  Never allow delusion to live.”

🥕🥕🥕

Skeletons by Reena Saxena

“Splash some green paint on the apple. It is needed for Halloween décor.”

“Do a Google search for ‘poisoned apple’ images. You might get better ideas.”

“ I don’t like fairy tale themes. Those are repeated everywhere.”

The skeleton surprised me on the party evening.

“Where did you get this from?”

“Somebody’s cupboard.” Am I hallucinating? The hollow voice seemed to emanate from the skeleton.

“Don’t worry. The cupboard is not yours, Honey, but someone is in for a shock today.”

“Herbert, get out of that costume. I don’t like being targeted for pranks.”

“Oops, Honey gave me away….”

🥕🥕🥕

Poisoned Apple by Jim “Quincy” Borden

I was working in the lab late one night, tasked with trying to find a safer, cheaper, and more environmentally-friendly formula for our top-selling weed killer.

While typing notes on my Macbook, I absentmindedly reached for the beaker containing the latest compound.

Unfortunately, some of the liquid fell onto the keyboard, and I watched in horror as smoke began to come out of my computer.

The screen went blank a few seconds later, and nothing I could do would bring it back to life.

It was then that I realized what the problem was, I had a poisoned Apple.

🥕🥕🥕

The Apple by Chelsea Owens

Doug stared at the cursor which marked the end of a lengthy piece. A smashing piece, really; one for which he might garner literary praise.

-If not for a little thing called conscience. Doug’s finger poised over the ‘Submit’ option, pulled back.

It’s not a factual article. Don’t publish it.

His conscience sounded deeper than Jiminy Cricket but was no less annoying. He was a grown man, working for The Apple, for the love of -! Well! He, Doug, was not to be bullied by a fantastical creature.

He clicked the button, releasing his minor poison to the unsuspecting masses.

🥕🥕🥕

How to Un-poison the Apple by tracey

The morning sun wakes me and I know I should be grateful for the possibilities of this new day. It stretches out before me, empty and endless.

I drink my tea. Do I dare turn on the radio? What are the chances of hearing good news? No, I will not poison my brain first thing in the morning.

Instead I bake chocolate chip cookies. I make sandwiches. I count out ten bottles of water. Then I fill ten sack lunches.

I spend my morning seeking out the homeless and giving them lunch – sandwiches, cookies and one crisp, sweet apple.

🥕🥕🥕

Like a Poisoned Apple (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Danni wrinkled her nose at Ramona’s offering. A tomato, freshly plucked. A Kellogg, an heirloom bright as carnelian and hard to grow in North Idaho. But Ike’s grandmother had forgotten that Danni gagged at the taste of any tomato.

“Thank you, Grandma. I’ll take it home.”

Ramona glared.

Danni sighed. “How about we share it?” Maybe Ramona would forget by the time they hauled veggies into the house.

The old woman continued to scowl. “I’m not your grandmother.” Dementia worsened when Ramona tired. It was like a poisoned apple.

Maybe Ramona would remember her if Danni took a bite.

🥕🥕🥕

Thief by Joanne Fisher

Red Riding Hood walked down the forest path carrying a basket of food for her Grandma. Suddenly a big black wolf leapt out from among the trees.

“I’m so hungry!” The wolf declared.

Alarmed, Red threw the basket at the wolf and hid behind a tree. The wolf went through all the baked goods and devoured them. Lastly, it munched down an apple and then started convulsing and foaming at the mouth until it collapsed on the ground.

Red looked at the now dead wolf. Good thing she didn’t give Grandma the apple she had stolen from Snow White.

🥕🥕🥕

Fairest In the Land by Kelley Farrell

Purple veined trees dangled darkened fruits above her head.

“I’ve never been to this part of the woods before.” Words she was barely brave enough to speak disappeared into a pulsing air of mystery. She would swear her feet were no longer her own.

“I’m so very hungry and tired.” The stiffness of the air crushed her voice but the woods protects its own. One of the purple veined trees dropped a fruit into her hands.

Her teeth tore the skin, unleashing a dark gush to dribble over her chin.

And that’s how she became fairest in the land.

🥕🥕🥕

Poisoned Apple by Susan Zutautas

Okay, I think we finally have a winner here, would you like to test it? As soon as this hits the shelves people will be running each other over trying to purchase this. Here, hold out your arm Elizabeth.

Hold on a few seconds, I need to wash off my wrist first.

Pierre gently applied a touch of the new fragrance to Miss Arden’s wrist and waited intently.

Well, tell me, what do you think?

The scent is fruity yet slightly spicy. I love it! What shall we call it? Oh, wait I know, Pomme Empoisonnée or Poisoned Apple.

🥕🥕🥕

An Annulment Achievement by JulesPaige

Part 1

The queen of the fae was in a big huff. This poison apple thing was getting out of hand. The forest was littered with sleeping beauties, princes and even peasants. The dwarves were trying to keep up with building enough glass shelters for all the bodies. Pretty soon the whole countryside was going to be in a deep sleep and it was going to be up to strangers to kiss all these dreamers.

What was the cause? Was it a ruthless royalty? Turned out to be a clan of worms that had been contaminated by that first poisonous fruit.

Part 2

Fruit laced with sleeping draught – Poisoned from a jealous Queen. And worms just doing what they do naturally, multiplying and crawling through apples. The wicked queen who had wanted Little Snow-White dead had been forced to dance to death in a pair of red hot iron shoes… who would be able to save the worms? For even worms have a valued place in the forest.

Time to enlist someone with some mad science skills. How could they save the genetically modified worms. How could they capture all the affected worms? Maybe with one giant apple with the right antidote?

Part 3

The queen of the fae offered a generous reward for and antidote that would save the worms and get all the sleeping people out of her domain. The fae kisses weren’t strong enough to wake deep sleep of all the humans. She would have to see if extracting saliva and making a potion for wakefulness would work. Maybe she could employ the Tooth Fairy Guild?

Within a fortnight everyone and everything was ready. The giant apple sat in the middle of a special glade that had been sprayed with a special ode du decay to attract all the worms.

Part 4

The dwarves and fae teamed up. As soon as the dwarves removed the glass coverings several fae flew to the lips of the sleeping bodies to paint on the wakeful kissing potion. And then as quick as a wink they ran and hid to see what would happen.

Slowly the people began to stir from their dreams. They could only wonder why they had been resting on odd platforms. And without hesitation made their way back to their homes.

Dwarves dismantled the platforms with joy. In time, all that was left of the great big Apple was the core.

🥕🥕🥕

PART II (10-minute read)

It’s an Institution by Norah Colvin

They arrived with bright eyes, open hearts and curious minds. As they entered, each was handed a shiny apple full of promises. They took their places and followed instructions. In unison, they bit off small portions of their apple and chewed to the beat of the enormous metronome suspended above. On cue, they swallowed but, with insufficient time before the required regurgitation, were unable to digest any components. Before they had finished, the taste was bland, swallowing difficult and regurgitation almost impossible. On exiting, their eyes were dull, their hearts closed, and their minds shrivelled, poisoned by false promises.

🥕🥕🥕

The Poisoned Apple by Faith A. Colburn

We used to have a row of mulberry trees on one side of our driveway. In midsummer, when the skies shone cerulean and ships of clouds sailed the prairie, the trees turned green and shiny as holly and began producing the first sweet purple fruit.

My sister and I climbed those trees, but like Snow White’s sweet apple, they exacted a price. We’d climb out of the trees with scratches and rips on our bare legs and arms, even our faces, twigs in our tousled hair. Our purple mouths, fingers, and purple-stained playsuits testified to our willingness to pay.

🥕🥕🥕

Telling by D. Avery

“I’m Snow White. I’m dead.”

“Oh dear.”

“Don’t worry, only for a while.”

“Until a prince happens along?”

“That’s how Tommy’s mom tells it.”

“Hmm. Is there another way to tell it?”

Marlie unclasped her hands and sat up. “Well, Sofie’s mom says the apple was yellow, not red. And it wasn’t poison, it was the apple of wisdom that the mother shared with her daughters.”

“What else?”

“No princes, just farmers and craftsmen. Useful and polite. Oh, and Snow White is really called Eartha Brown.”

“Marlie, now that you’ve come back to life you could invite Sofie over.”

🥕🥕🥕

Yandeau Sea (from Yandeau) by Saiffun Hassam

In the bright sunshine Yandeau Sea glittered like myriads of tiny silvery pearls. But the great beauty of the Sea was marred along the shores by red, orange and yellow algal blooms.

Pierre remembered apple picking on Grandpere’s farm. Grandpere tossed moldy apples into the mulch pile. Poisoned apples he said. Pierre, then a young biologist, was struck by the intertwining of shiny golden apples and black fungal rot.

Now he was a marine scientist. From a distance the algal blooms appeared to be beautiful carpets. Underneath that carpet the waters were toxic to fish, starfish, crabs and crustaceans.

🥕🥕🥕

Immunity by Adil EL Bourichi

“I didn’t poison that apple!” was my orchard’s previous owner’s explanation .

My apple tree had born a pumpkin instead of an apple.

My chemist neighbor said that it was a poisoned apple and that it was his duty as a scientist to tell the world about it.

Soon, it became a worldwide phenomenon and more poisoned apples appeared pretty much everywhere. No country seemed immune.

All those who ate the pumpkins died… All, except the inhabitants of a tiny Pacific island.

When interviewed, an inhabitant said: “You see, poison is medicine and medicine is poison… It’s about balance.”

🥕🥕🥕

Poisoned Apple by Tien Skye

He could scarcely believe it. Months of effort – of planning, of sleepless nights – wiped out in matters of seconds.

Oh, how can the apple be poisoned so?

Known for its immunity, most viruses are unable to affect it. Yet, he could deny the truth no longer.

His MacBook Pro is not responding to any of the commands.

Well, every cloud has its silver lining. Or at least he hopes the iCloud has, that the documents have been backed up to the online server.

Then he realises, he has forgotten to switch on the Wi-Fi.

Poisoned Apple indeed.

🥕🥕🥕

Poisoned Apple by Sally Cronin

It is common in this modern world, to be offered promises that seem as wholesome as a bowl of shiny apples. However the red skinned fruit may hide toxic untruths and evil intent. Once it is swallowed, the poisoned apple will stick in your throat, causing you to spout the heinous words hidden within; spreading the evil like a virus. The only antidote to its venom; is to establish the truth, and wash the words down with random acts of kindness. We must all think carefully before embarking on a dangerously addictive diet of fake news and ill intentions.

🥕🥕🥕

The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil by H.R.R. Gorman

“And this is the core of the poisonous apple which Adam and Eve ate.” The tour guide pointed to a core, browned from oxidation but otherwise in good shape. “This was unearthed 10 years ago in Mesopotamia, and no scientific explanation regarding its preservation has come forth.”

Someone raised a hand. “Why do we want to keep it?”

“Many reasons! The NIH wants to research its antibiotic properties. The DOE wants to examine its timelessness to find clean fuels. And, of course, the DOD wants to weaponize it. One of these efforts has already succeeded – I’ll let you guess which…”

🥕🥕🥕

Dark Places by Anita Dawes

Our universe has an evil twin
That’s where I live,
walking through black molasses
With the past present and future
Stuck in the same place
My life has been overlaid
by the juice of a poisonous apple
There are times when I believe
I am living on the dark side of the moon
Where the unknown waits
Taking time before devouring my soul
Sleeping dreaming, it is all the same
Nothing changes in the dark spaces of my mind
There are black holes
where my other six souls try to live
I pray for just one to be reborn…

🥕🥕🥕

Think of the Devil by Anurag Bakhshi

“Eat it, you know that you want to,” the Devil whispered in Eve’s ears.

Eve looked apprehensively at the apple and replied, “It…does look delicious…but Adam told me not to accept anything from strangers.”

The Devil plucked the apple from the tree, and said, “Let ME have a bite first, so that you know it’s safe.”

He smiled as he bit into the apple, he knew it was unsafe only for humans.

Eve smiled as the Devil clutched at his throat, it was a good thing she’d had the foresight to poison the apple the night before!

🥕🥕🥕

Dressed to Kill by Sarah Brentyn

The fall of 1978 would be remembered for generations.

I loved the story of the princess woken by a handsome prince. Each year, on Halloween, I became that princess.

I walked alone, trick-or-treating, while groups of guys mocked my dress and made lewd comments. Girls threw rotten apples poisoned with hatred and intolerance.

Mrs. Halloran, who was always kind to me, held a bowl of candy but pulled me aside. She gave me a bright, red apple and a smile.

Our neighborhood lost 27 kids that year. Poisoned. All but the boy in the Snow White costume.

🥕🥕🥕

A New Story by Donna Matthews

How did the story go, she wondered? A girl bit into a poisoned apple and fell asleep? The evil step-mother, jealous of her beautiful step-daughter?

Yes!

And the seven drawfs? Or was that detail from another story? She couldn’t recall clearly. Except that maybe the story was titled, “Sleeping Beauty.” The character had to be awakened by a kiss from a prince.

Hmmm. Now exasperated. Stories about girls waiting around for the prince to save the day. Sleeping beauty waiting for someone to wake her up.

Yeah, no. She never did care for fairytales — she’d write a new story.

🥕🥕🥕

Changing the Story by Jo Hawk

I lift my eyes to behold the fairy tale wrapped in a make-believe land. I am defenseless, cold, and empty inside. Laying on my deathbed, the heroes turn away, and the wise men tremble. They are lost on the path leading nowhere.

But my story is not over. I refuse to bow. Rocks cannot break my glasshouse. Searching deep inside, I find the spark, light the fire, prove I am still alive. Flames reveal the true ending.

I reject the poison apple you fed me, and it becomes the instrument of your death. My revenge is my life, well-lived.

🥕🥕🥕

Dust by Allison Maruska

I sit on the porch, watching your dust settle.

It was all a lie. A performance. Years of attention and validation that you required of me blow away, meaningless as the dust your truck tires kicked up.

A little pushback, and I’m dead to you.

You taught me a lesson. I’ve now eaten from the poisoned apple of narcissism, one I accepted too gladly. God damn your charm. And God help the next who tries to make me his supply.

The dust has already returned to the earth, your impact forgotten.

Now it’s my turn to do the same.

🥕🥕🥕

Bitterness by Mark A Morris

I dug my thumbs into the divot at the top and pulled it apart. The apple split unevenly, breaking into two but with one part twice the size of the other. It was this piece I took first, nibbling away at one side. It was juicy but sharp in its flavour, a bitterness I’d not expected causing me to gag a little as I chewed.

“They’re perfectly ripe,” she said, a half smile flickering across her face. “But the one that I ate hadn’t been doctored with cyanide.”

I already knew it was too late. I should have known.

🥕🥕🥕

A Rotten Apple by Neel Anil Panicker

All who knew her made a very conscious effort to steer clear of her by a mile.

Asha had that thing about her, emanating vibes that could only be described as venomous.

Pretty insular to the negativity she spread all around, Asha hurled her barbs at one and all.

And woe betide all those who came under her crosshairs; or worse, happened to come under her bad books.

Then, she would turn a virago, and wreck vengeance of a scale and intensity that can only be termed diabolical.

A poisoned, rotten apple is what the world knew her as.

🥕🥕🥕

A Desperate Balance by Liz Husebye Hartmann

She stands in the shallows of the hidden cove, salt water lapping at her toes.

“What does she want?” the ocean wonders. “Here as supplicant…or queen?”

She draws an apple from her heavy cloak. It drops, its power releasing into the shadows.

The apple glints wickedly.

Naked in the scarlet sunrise, she lifts the apple to her lips, bites, and mumbles a spell, so quiet, weary of a world gone sour. The ocean hears these words and more, and accepts.
She swallows, drops with the poisoned apple, into the shallows.

The waves surge, accepting both poison and cure.

🥕🥕🥕

Word Up by D. Avery

“Kid, is thet Le’Gume character still around?”

“Reckon Carrot Ranch’s a hard place to leave,. Pal, are you still worried Pepe is a bad apple?”

“Naw, s’pose not, though he does have some noxious qualities, if ya know what I mean.”

“Yep, I smell what yer steppin’ in, if ya know what I mean. Hey Pal? Ya ever worry that folks don’t know what ya mean?”

“Well, Kid, word is, speakin’ is a big responsibility. Was much simpler when we jist used sticks an’ stones. If ya know what I mean.”

“Mean words could git us back ta that.”

🥕🥕🥕


24 Comments

  1. Liz H says:

    Not one bad apple among the entire bushel…Carrot Ranch Riders rock again!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Ritu says:

    A really juicy crop of apple-icious stories here, Charli! 🍎🍏

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Time for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction recap curated by Charli Mills who also shares her own story on this week’s prompt.. poisoned apple.. Some great interpretations of the prompt and great reading… head over with a cuppa and enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks Charli for all the effort again this week to bring us this bowl of delicious poisoned apples… hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Certainly a bumper crop this week.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jim Borden says:

    apples are fruit? I just thought they were computers! 🙂

    great compilation of stories.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Brilliant compilation, Charli. Each hand picked with precision and as juicy as the last 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A fruit bowl brimming with delicious stories, Charli … and a bit of technology too.

    Liked by 1 person

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