(Untitled) by Amy Friedman

Grapefruit, orange, apple, banana, nectarine, pear.
A necklace of succulent, plump jewels ringing my desk.
My little knife was ready to pare and slice.
But: which to eat first?
I palpated the yellow apple. Nope. Time to take it home and make a tart for one.
The orange? Might be a bit past its prime.
I reached over and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“OW!” I yelped, dropping the fruit.
Since when do oranges have thorns?
I glanced at the orange.
With a fruity chuckle, it bared its white teeth and orange gums in a malevolent grin.
My lungs froze.

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