The Grape |
by Carrie Wallace

The grape rested in the fuzzy darkness underneath the refrigerator. If the grape could talk, it would tell you that they had been fighting again. Six weeks ago the grape had been fresh and new, resting gently with its fellows in the shiny red fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. Five and a half weeks ago they had decided to quit smoking cigarettes. That’s when the fighting had started. While not constant, it had been frequent and vicious and the grapes found themselves huddling closely together to avoid the sharp edges of the words hurled over them across the counter. Five weeks ago the grape had fallen off the stem when the brother reached into the bowl to grab a handful. It had lost its balance on the counter and rolled unseen into the deep recesses beneath the refrigerator.

Streaks of warm light crept underneath the refrigerator and the grape heard their footsteps coming up the stairs. She led the way and the click, click of her boots caused small vibrations to shimmer across the wooden panels of the floor. The grape bounced gently on top of the floorboard as it shook. It yearned for enough momentum to roll out of its dark recess, but knew that the wish was futile.

The murmur of their conversation trickled down to where the grape was confined but it had long ago grown tired of their noises and thought nothing of their senseless chatter. The pitch and intensity of their conversation rapidly accelerated and it felt her stride into the kitchen as she spoke in a voice cut with desperation, "I don’t think you love me like you used too."

The grape understood desperation. In fact, the grape was certain that it understood desperation in a way she never would. The grape was trapped, death was inevitable. It was only a matter of time before all the moisture had departed from its tender body leaving only a dry, forgotten husk.

The grape heard a low pitched hum which it knew meant he was standing close to her. He spoke in a calm, reassuring tone trying to salvage her emotional wreckage. The grape admired his efforts and wondered if anything would be salvaged from its existence. Perhaps, sometime soon, someone would move the

fridge and see it underneath. The flash of optimism was quickly extinguished as it realized that it would be decayed beyond recognition and would be swept up and disposed of as unidentifiable garbage.

The grape resented being exposed to their interactions tremendously. It knew that while they were suffering now, that in time they would recover. It knew that the emotional pain they were experiencing was simply friction created by the velocity of life. The grape knew that it would never again feel that terrible, glorious friction and it despised them for flaunting what it had forever lost.

They would resolve their conflict and the carnage of their shared pain would cultivate growth. The grape would never grow again. It would never see the sun, never feel the rain, and never see its purpose. As the footsteps faded down the hallway and the streaks of light abruptly disappeared the grape knew that it was finished.

Carrie Wallace is an emerging writer from Portland, Oregon. Her focus is on creating short stories that capture the brilliantly simple, and profoundly meaningful interactions that all people experience but may not recognize.