The story takes place at midnight exactly. A character gives birth.
Georgio didn’t think it was possible. I mean, it was just a one-night stand; just last night in fact.
What was he thinking? That a Cavendish and a Manzano-
No, don’t wipe away blame with ignorance. He knew what he was getting himself into.
He adjusted his peel and hopped down from the hook. His movements were awkward, the lopsided half roll, half flop across the counter-top. The Formica was cold, and each landing threatened another bruise. Why had it been so easy last night? The roll-flop had been effortless, his goal not nearly as far away.
A soft cry echoed through the deserted kitchen. Georgio’s looked to the digital clock above the stove. Midnight. Georgio shivered, and tried to push down the chill in his stem.
A good banana like himself wasn’t up rolling about at this hour. Well, to be fair, a good banana like himself didn’t dare leave the hook so green to begin with. Not to mention, a good Cavendish didn’t go consort with Manzanos.
The elder browns had warned him to shut his sight to the day. That the light revealed things, awful things, that a good banana didn’t need to see. The daylight harbored monsters. Better to wait, grow yellow in the cool night air.
But if he hadn’t, he never would have seen her, never would have known the shine of her peel, the prick of her tiny stem. He remembered last night, imagined he could still smell her lemon-scent. If he hadn’t opened his eyes to the light, he never would have known her-
Georgio stopped, balancing precariously on the edge of the sink.
That was close. He couldn’t afford to let his mind wander, not now, not when she needed him. He backed up, made his way around the back of the dish rack, then squeezed past the faucet to the other side.
A good green banana like himself shouldn’t be out here. Another cry in the darkness.
The fruit bowl beckoned.
Then he could hear her breath in the distance, throaty and raspy with hints of pain. Georgio rocked back and pushed forward, only to pause at the soft, tinkling reflections.
A forest of tall glasses stood before him, drying on the counter.
When had this happened?
During the day of course, when the monsters were about- they had done this. Did they know about him? Did they know about her? Had they put this before him, daring him to pass again?
Georgio braced himself, and wheedled his way slowly, inching on the edge of the counter. Then his fears were water manifest, and he slipped, teetering over the chasm. His peel tightened, and he tried desperately to pull himself up.
She cried out again- closer now, so close. He couldn’t lose her, wouldn’t leave her now. With a mighty pull, he crawled back up onto the counter, and squeezed past the final glass.
He stopped, panting. Closer now.
He wobbled toward the fruit bowl, and with a careful rock against the cheese grater (oh how those cuts burned his peel), flopped down within.
She lay alone, just as he’d left her the night before. Her skin had blackened some, but that didn’t matter to him.
“Sophia,” he whispered. The Manzano moaned and rolled closer, snuggling into his curve; they fit so perfectly together. Her body trembled against his.
“Georgio,” she whispered. “You came back.”
“Of course,” Georgio said.
“It hurts,” Sophia said, then let out a little moan. “I don’t know what to do.” Georgio squeezed her tighter.
“I wish I knew what to do. The browns never spoke of this.”
“Just don’t leave me,” Sophia said. “That’ll have to be eno-oh…”
“What, what is it?”
Sophia shuddered, and a thin seam drew across her peel. Georgio wavered, scared to stay yet unwilling to leave her side. Sophia cried out- loud, no more whispers. The peel split wider, and Georgio thought he saw something squeeze out, but then it was over, and Sophia wasn’t moving.
Georgio pressed against her blackened peel, but she didn’t press back.
Georgio pressed harder, and wept. Wept as never a young green had wept before.
He’d killed her. He’d disobeyed the browns, and she had died. Sophia, his first and only love.
Something nudged at the bottom of his peel. Georgio rolled back, and peered down into the darkness.
There, at the bottom of the bowl, lie a small curved shape. It nuzzled up against him.
It was a tiny Nino, even greener than he.
© 2012 Jon Thysell. Some Rights Reserved.
Georgio and Sophia by Jon Thysell is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.