Strange Yield

The fact that the fruit wasn’t screaming was a good sign. The sky was red and blue and yellow like cotton candy or sherbet. Randy sat on the concrete steps of the sagging porch, a basket of peaches,tomatos and beans at his feet. The beans were still wiggling but the rest were still. He slowly bent forward and grabbed a peach. It felt warm in his palm. He raise it to his lips with a slight hesitation. He sniffed the air around the fuzzy skin of the fruit and it smelled heavy and sweet. He took a bite.

The scream was so piercing, his bladder let go a little. A small dark stain spreading on the crotch of his overalls like octopus ink. He flung the peach to the ground and watched it squirm, thick red juice oozing from the round wound in its side. The fruit tried in vain to make it into the grass, but Randy stomped it into the cement with a sickly splat. All that marked its existence was a tiny wet pile of pulpy flesh, a few slivers of white bone and a disproportionate amount of blood. Randy spat and vomited into the yard, wiped his mouth on the back of his hand and went in the house. The sound of the screen door banging closed echoed through the valley.


John Boden resides in Pennsylvania, in the shadow of three Mile Island. He lives with his wonderful wife and sons. He works as a baker and as an editor at Shock Totem magazine. He likes Sour Patch Kids....but only the red ones.