Green apples – Hopefully a somewhat unsettling short story

A green apple
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Green apples

By J K Brennan

Here, an empty plastic bag neatly folded. There, a wooden bowl on a cardboard box.

Green apples. That’s what was in the bowl. She had wanted them once, had craved food, vitamins, minerals, the feeling of chewing; Crunching crisp apple into pulp, swallowing. All she swallowed now was her own saliva, when she had any, and the spark of hope that refused to go away. Mocking her with their moisture, their sweet meat within doomed skin, the apples made time pass. Like her, their time was short.

Here, a glittering drop of water. There, a speck of dust in unconcerned flight on invisible drafts, made evident by light from a spotlight attached to the wall above the bowl.

They hadn’t been there for very long those apples. They would start to dull and their perfect surface soften. Just like the other ones. Just like her. They would shrivel and dry. Would he bring a new her when she shriveled and dried, she wondered. She didn’t have to think about it; the question was supposedly moot, but confirmed each time she saw the fruit lose its luster and the waiting began, again. She could hardly remember anything else.

#

When the apples became too old, he brought fresh ones, always green, always perfect, beautiful apples. Soon he would come, would rinse five or six fresh apples in the sink in the corner. He would throw the retired fruit in a plastic bag and tie it up. He would arrange the new ones in the bowl and leave the room. He would take the garbage with him, close the door and lock it.

Each time, He left her alone to watch the apples. “Time for contemplation and reflection,” he said once. “We want always what we cannot have.” He had said in a low voice in that peculiar accent; He didn’t come from around here, or, maybe she wasn’t where she had been before, hard to tell. After arranging the fruit and inspecting her bonds, he left her alone for an hour, sometimes two, whistling as he walked off to someplace other. Some place she would never see.

The needles with their attached hoses feeding her from bags of fluids kept her alive. The weekly cleaning kept her from smelling too bad, and the daily shifting of position kept her more or less free from sores. The hard plastic around wrists and ankles kept her in place on the narrow bed with its thin mattress, flat pillow, and sheets smelling of lavender. She couldn’t smell that anymore though.

How long had it been? In the beginning she had kept track of the time; that was after she had stopped fighting. How long did it take for apples to go wrinkly? Two days? A week? At one time she had calculated that if it took three days for apples to wrinkle enough for him to feel the need to replace them, and the apples had been replaced… Ten times? Twenty? Numbers meant nothing. Once she thought keeping track of when feeding bags changed would work better, but they were always replaced when she slept. Sometimes she didn’t even notice so she stopped counting.

#

Her shrinking body ached, skin burned, her eyes felt hollow and misty. She had long since given up on pulling at the things holding her naked form down, but still she raised one hand. She gained a few lousy centimeters; enough to scrape the side of diminishing thighs, no more. She tried to pull her legs up to bend her knees, knowing it was useless. The give in the restraints was the same as always: None. She was too weak to struggle and after a few moments, she let herself fall limp. A plastic bag hanging on the side of the bed needed changing. How was that possible? She wasn’t allowed to drink; everything was given to her through the hoses from the bags. What little generated by fluids dripping into her body couldn’t have filled the catheter bag that fast. How long had it been? When would he come?

#

Sharp burning pain between her legs raised her from numb rest, but the smell woke her all the way. Cringing and squirming slightly from the burning,it still felt better. A constantly irritating pressure had fallen away. Slowly turning her head, she struggled to focus, saw a dark yellow splatter on the floor next to the bed, a thin hose trailing through the urine to a bag broken open. Piss bags don’t break. Someone had said that once. She couldn’t remember who. She looked up to the coma bags; there were two of them. Both bags were nearly empty; Maybe a cupful in one, half a cup in the other. He had never left them that long. Would he come soon?

#

Here, a buzzing fly circling without aim. There, a realization of something different. Here, a lightheaded hoarse laughter. There, a wooden bowl filled with wrinkled apples.

She looked at them, mildly fascinated by the deepening wrinkles. She never knew how small apples could become when they dried. They were probably still edible; Ugly spots had appeared on a few of them, but that didn’t matter. She didn’t eat apples. She stretched her clouded vision toward the transparent bags; both of them flat and empty. She smiled a little. He would come soon, with fresh apples, and this time he would surely bring a new her. That would be nice.

“Kidnapper’s death dooms abducted woman.

Allen Kincaid, the man in custody for abducting twenty-year old Nina Henderson from her home in Smith’s Falls Ontario more than three months ago, was found dead in his cell this morning. According to his lawyer, Kincaid had finally been ready to reveal the location of Ms. Henderson to police in exchange for…”

Say hello to Spooky

A tired Spooky.
Reading Time: < 1 minute

A tired Spooky.
Spooky has had a long day chasing shadows.
Jen and Spooky at the fireplace.
Jen and Spooky at the fireplace.

Sharp teeth, soft furr, appetite like a horse. Spooky, a golden retriever, born August 18 2011, is now part of this family.
He’s learning, I’m learning, and it aint all fun but totally worth it.

JennyK on Facebook – An-island-among-many-is-still-an-island – A reflection

Island surrounded by water.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

An island among many is still an island

jennyK on Facebook, a reflection.

Seems to me, the larger the ocean of web gets, the farther apart the islands of community drift.

The more places there are to visit, the less time we have for each place we find. Spindly bridges are built to connect isolated places of paradise, somewhere that could be utopia, to the crowded cold and strictly paved parking lots they call “Like”.

Why do we crowd in cities that, in the best case scenario, will connect us with those we may form friendships with, and in worst case, alienate us from those who truly care and those who have things to say that might make a difference.

Why do we need to be “liked” to matter?
Why do we need to be “friends” with people we don’t know, and wouldn’t want to meet, wouldn’t write an email to, or call on the phone? Is that not the kind of “friends” that crowd your Facebook friend list? Honestly?
Why do we need some enormous community machine to tell us we are worth something?

Because what happens if noone has the time, or enough incentive to click on your needy like request, if noone has the time to look at your uploaded image? Do you feel compelled to “share”, “share”, and “share” again, until you feel confirmed as being truly “Liked”?

Facebook is not human. Facebook friends are not real friends.
Your total “Like” count does NOT make you better, prettier, funnier, more popular, or in truth any more likeable.

So why do we fall into that trap?

Facebook is a tool but do we know how to use it? I think not. Sometimes I feel that Facebook is a monster, a disservice to humanity. Maybe that’s a bit harsh but here is how I see it:

Facebook makes us less, not more. It may be that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The whole, in the case of Facebook, may be great and vast, but it sure as hell isn’t remotely similar to the individual human beings its made up of. They disappear in the many.

Disclaimer:
My opinion on social networks change monthly so this blog is always tagged for editing. It will never be done, just like Facebooks policies.

jennyK.

Looking for needles – Navigating the online – A reflection.

Spiderweb close-up
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Looking for needles

Navigating the online – A reflection.

By jenny K Brennan

I look for needles in arrays of…

What?

Was there ever a pattern?
Did I have it all queued correctly at one point, or was that only what I was told?
When creating the bookmark, the to-do list, the reminder, the play list.
Pixilated troops shove me.
Toward tables of hasty content

Irritated, frustrated, powerless, cleverly manipulated.
Voluntarily bending over.

I negotiate untaught patterns,
While sidestepping road signs,
Obscuring whatever view there might have been.

They block my avatar from posting correctly.
My questions.

Overload.

Overload.

You shout “Find your way!”
But you second guess me,
Say you believe in me,
And ten thousand others,
Just as unique as me.
How lucky must I not be?

You annoy me.
You irritate me.
You advice me to be what I would never be.

Banners, directions, arrows, commands
You block my view but insist on intruding.

For my sake?
I don’t think so.

I don’t remember…

…privacy.

Cluttered avenues, Nested paths, numbered maps.
No road in sight.
Spiders inspect streams; analyze virtually everywhere I’ve been.
On demand.

For my well-being?
I don’t think so

Bugs. Everywhere bugs.
I see no life

Words, everywhere words.
I see no plot

Where is the synopsis, the cover letter, the correct format, the author bio?

On facebook?

I don’t think so

What is the difference between a dummy and an idiot? A reflection.

Mannequin woman head.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

What is the difference between a dummy and an idiot?

Reflection that has nothing to do with correct definitions. Honestly, it’s a rant. And a pointless one at that. 😀
By jenny K Brennan

As far s dictionaries go , here are some definitions:

Definition of “dummy” found at: Oxford Dictionaries Online

noun (plural dummies)
1 a model or replica of a human being:a waxwork dummy
a figure used for displaying or fitting clothes:a tailor’s dummy
a ventriloquist’s doll.
2 an object designed to resemble and serve as a substitute for the real or usual one:tests using stuffed owls and wooden dummies[as modifier] :a dummy torpedo
British a rubber or plastic teat for a baby to suck on.
A prototype or mock-up, especially of a book or the layout of a page.
a blank round of ammunition.
[as modifier] Grammardenoting a word that has no semantic content but is used to maintain grammatical structure:a dummy subject as in ‘it is’ or ‘there are’
3 (chiefly in rugby and soccer) a feigned pass or kick intended to deceive an opponent.
4 informal , chiefly North American a stupid person.
5 Bridgethe declarer’s partner, whose cards are exposed on the table after the opening lead and played by the declarer.
Bridgethe exposed hand of the declarer’s partner.
an imaginary fourth player in whist:[as modifier] :dummy whist

Phew.

Definition of “idiot” found at: Oxford Dictionaries Online

noun
informal
a stupid person.
archaic a person of low intelligence.

Ok, with that out of the way. Here is my take on it.

Dummy:

A dummy can learn. If they couldn’t, then why would there be so many “for dummies” books out there?
Dummies are aware of their own dummy status and will happily admit being one.

Idiot:

An idiot learns only in very small steps, and only after making serious mistakes.
Idiots are rarely ready to admit to and embrace the idiot status, because if they did, they would turn into dummies.

So what are you? A dummy or an idiot.

Regards
the social idiot / writing dummy.

On the grill – A bit of fun prose with a hint of weirdness to ponder.

Fire and pain - A man suffering
Reading Time: 2 minutes

On the grill

A bit of fun prose inspired by other fun prose. A bit of weirdness to ponder.
By Jenny K Brennan

.

This is a page of constant confusion.

In case you haven’t noticed I never quite know what I’m doing.

but hey, it’s a space evolving,a mutation or two is part of the problem solving.

Perhaps it will some day give me a nominal absolution.

For past sins and current atrocities where I bite off heads.
and Kick them with a solid soccer agility I’ve practiced.

With friend as well as foe.

Oh “humbug”, you squeal in huffy indignation as you bounce, once, then twice and land on top a hotbed of coals.,.

“Why are you so cruel, you maggoty stew of unpredictable emotion?”

You stare blankly, tilted to one side, no doubt it’s dizzying to be skewed, skewered, placed on a grill.

But I have no empathy for sizzling meat, in a way it always makes me ill.

I turn from your bobbin, throbbing sobbing part removed.

But as staring turns boiling but nonetheless so frank next to the hot spicy jumbo dog.

I start to snicker, to giggle, to convulse in despair-like hysterics.

But what can I do but excuse my actions and rinse out my gum with bleach.

Sorry I bit off the top of your being but please let me turn you to releave you from seeing.

Perhaps I could add a little bit of tomato, zucchini, a pinch of paprika.
To cover the burning hair reek.

ah.

I have insulted you plenty I’m sure but tasty you will be with a side-dish of mutilated cabbage I know.

Let me get back to my website of constant confusion.

I’ll leave you to simmer as I give this poem its attribution.

Yes, I admit.

this was totally inspired by one of my favorite stories on Protagonize This Tragic Infection ” (by SeeThomasHowl) on Protagonize, a creative writing community.
Wonderful collaborative work, funny as hell, skillfully written by several different protagonize authors. Absolutely fantastic creation.