Cherry Pie

“Back for more pie, eh?” Curtis whistled through his teeth.

“No,” Judy said, holding her fresh-baked pie. “I thought I’d bring a pie as thanks for last time.”

“What is it?”

“It’s cherry pie.”

“Mmmm,” Curtis lewdly licked his lips. “I’d take a taste of your cherry any day, little girl! HAAaaa~!” His laugh turned into a wheeze and then a cough. Judy had a lovely grandfather who was always a gentleman in the presence of women. She had thought that it was just the era, but this man was dispelling all her illusions.

“Are you all right?” she finally asked.

“Fine,” he coughed. “Fine. Just get me some water with that pie.”

Judy looked for some bottles of water around the kitchen. She eventually decided that there was none and decided to use the tap. “Here, ” she said, offering the drink to him. “I’ll go cut up the pie.”

Judy was proud of her pie. The crust had turned out gold and flaky and the cherries were just oozing out of the inside. Curtis’s pumpkin pie was good, but Judy’s pie could win awards! She gave him the second slice that hadn’t fallen apart.

Curtis’s hand shook as he blew on the forkful of pastry. He chewed, slowly, swallowed, then put his fork down on the plate. Judy waited eagerly for a reaction.

“You know, my wife was a terrible cook.”

This was not the response Judy was hoping for. She reminded herself that he didn’t have long to live and strangling him wouldn’t be worth it.

“Oh? I didn’t know you had a wife,” she grinned.

“Sixty-two years. Loony as a cuckoo bird, that one. Couldn’t read anything without her glasses and she’s dyslexic to boot. ‘Curtis,’ she’d say to me. ‘Why do we have something called “bear slices” in the pantry?’ An’ I’d tell her, “Nonsense! Those are pear slices, you old bat!’ We’d argue like that for fifteen minutes and then hobble to the bedroom and make love.”

Judy tried to erase that image from her head. She put some cherry pie in her mouth. The cherries were delicious, just a little overripe, but the texture tasted bad today, like loose skin. The thought of old sex was affecting her palate. “What happened to her – your wife?”

“She died,” he took another bite of the pie and made a face. Judy bit her lip, trying to be civil.

“I mean, how did she pass?”

“Pass? Oh. Ovarian cancer.”

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?” bits of crust flew from his mouth. He pointed his fork at her. “Did you give my wife cancer?”

“No. I just… I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Maaah! I didn’t lose nothin’! She’s dead!” He didn’t seem at all worried about his wife dying. All manners and protocol told Judy that she should be horrified by this, but she also felt a bit of admiration for him. Curtis didn’t tip-toe around death. She liked that.

“Gad damn it!” Curtis cried. His pie fell to the ground.

“Don’t worry. I’ll get you some more pie.”

“No. Sit down.” She did as she was told but ground her teeth as she did. She probably shouldn’t have or she was going to exacerbate her TMJ. He didn’t notice, anyway. The man just kept talking.

“You know, if my wife heard me say the Lord’s name in vain, she would have flayed my hide. Got in the habit of sayin’ it like that fucking Dan Aykroyd guy.”

“Blues Brothers.”

“Huh?”

“That was the movie. ‘W’ere on a mission from God.’ You know?”

He sat for a minute, smacking his gums and staring into space. Just as Judy was about to say something to break the silence, Curtis opened his mouth. “Gad, I’m miss that crazy bitch.” He sighed, coughed, then closed his eyes. He looked like exhaustion had come and scooped everything out of him in an instant.

“Well, I suppose I’ll be going. I hope you enjoy the rest of your pie.”

“Goodbye. Don’t bring pie anymore. I’ll bake.”

“Bye, Curtis. Have a good evening.”

When Judy got home, she screamed into her pillow.

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7 Comments

Filed under FEATHERTON SESSION, Flash Fiction

7 responses to “Cherry Pie

  1. awesomepie

    This is a sequel to one I wrote maybe a couple months ago titled “Pumpkin Pie”.

    I’ve decided to change my routine a little. I’m still going to post a revision every Wednesday, but I will be posting a zombie-oriented story on Mondays as well. Fridays will be my time to write whatever the Hell I feel like.

    ~ Seamus K.

  2. sanskritoflove

    yes, i remember “pumpkin pie”. and, maaaan, you’re keeping it strong with your featherton entries – prolific and ferocious! if you ever draft a novel-in-progress on wordpress, i figure you could name it (to quote my new england irish-catholic cousins) “wickedpissapie” hehe. hope your fall semester went well, dude 🙂

  3. There seems to be a trend amongst the bloggers recently to write a good story and a good ending but making the two completely unrelated. Am I missing something here? 🙂

    Unlike so much else I’ve read today, the dialogue was completely believable, and this story was very enjoyable.

  4. I appreciate the love-hate relationship between the two characters so much – and even more so, I love that it is ever so subtle (well, sans the last sentence, hehe).

    The way the author portrays the characters is very delicate and personable. In addition to the love-hate tones, I really enjoy the history of their relationship (“Back for more pie, eh?”). I also like the flow of this piece going between dialogue and action narrative. Charming.

    Editing wise, I was left with a couple questions. What is the significance of getting Curtis tap water? It seems clear to me that there is this distinction _ “She eventually decided that there was none and decided to use the tap” – of some significant there. Another question I had is: within this sort of…historical love-hate friendship (they’ve obviously, to me, been friends for at least a couple days/weeks since she’s bringing a pie as a thanks for last time) wouldn’t Judy know that Curtis is a widow?

  5. I’m confused by the dynamic a bit. Old man makes pie. Old man doesn’t miss his wife. I finish eating pie. Old man does miss his wife. I go home and scream into my pillow! Let’s take it to the level of surreal, if we’re going to talk about bear slices, ovarian cancer, and Dan Akryod.

    So he says she dies because Dan Akroyd gave her Ovarian Cancer. I asked the old man for some bear slices but as a response, he tried to make love to me. When I came home, I found a cheery pie on my pillow. I screamed.

  6. You are great at repetition. Meaning, after a bit every time I saw the word “pie,” I was laughing to myself. It started to sound funny. A funny word for a funny scene.

    The details were great. Specifically:

    “His laugh turned into a wheeze and then a cough.”
    “She gave him the second slice that hadn’t fallen apart.”
    “bits of crust flew from his mouth.”
    “smacking his gums and staring into space.”
    “He sighed, coughed, then closed his eyes.”

    Per your comment . . . nice! Setting a flow schedule is a good idea. This is what the Featherton Session is all about; figuring out the best way to discipline the craft to keep moving. Understanding what works best for you is a humongous part of that. Carry on, my friend. Cheers.

  7. awesomepie

    Thanks, everyone. I hadn’t thought of myself being good at repetition (it just hadn’t crossed my mind), so thanks for that, Yas.

    I’m glad the love-hate relationship came off as subtle, though it seems like I should explain Judy’s actions a little more. I wrote her as kind of one of those people who feels like she has to be nice and hold up some kind of decorum when interacting with people. Someone gives you pie, give them one back. She also does this because on some level, she enjoys the old bastard.

    …however, the water scene is a little too vague. I see that now. What I was going for was that she believes she needs to get him purified water because he’s old and also because it’s his house and she doesn’t want to serve him tap water if he has something better. She’s afraid of displeasing him. That’s what she’s been trained to do most of her life. Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is some of this may be a little more explicit. Thanks for pointing that out.

    ~ Seamus K.

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