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:iconstarell: More from starell

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Submitted on
May 14, 2013
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(Contains: violence/gore)
The plan was fairly simple. It would not have gone awry had the old man from across the street not decided to bring her a bushel of oranges from the tree in his back yard. As it was the old man from across the street had decided to bring her a bushel of oranges and was now standing openmouthed in her doorway, the bushel of oranges fallen to the floor.


She was sure he had seen everything, or at least enough, and (not for the first time) cursed the familiarity between neighbors that had led to his decision not to knock. Although even if he had knocked she could not have managed to hide the body in time.

One of the oranges rolled into the blood. She set down the knife, wiped her hands on her jeans and stooped down to stop another from sharing the same fate. She tossed it back and forth between her sweaty palms and wondered if she would have to kill the old man too. No. No, she had only ever wanted to kill him. Perhaps she could still run for it?

As she ruminated the old man slowly unfroze and started digging through his pockets while muttering apologies.

“I’ll have to call it in,” he said, still unsure, like he was asking her permission.

“I know.”

She was silent while he dialed, absentmindedly peeling the orange now. Her parents would be so disappointed. The old man talked shakily and she giggled at the thought of her scaring him – her!

He hung up and addressed her warily, “They’re on their way.”

She nodded.

“Are you going to run?”


The old man looked at the body on the floor again. The blood was still pooling and the oranges were dotted through. Pretty.

He looked back at her, “I’ll tell them… I’ll tell them what he did to you.”

“Thank you.”

She peeled an orange slice off and ate it. It was quite good; one of the best she’d ever have. The best. She didn’t think they had oranges in prison.
This short story was inspired by my neighbor bringing over some oranges from his backyard tree. I usually get lovely tasting fruit where I live but these were truly superb. One of the first thoughts that flitted through my head was that this was the best orange I'd ever eat. I quickly realized the absurdity of that statement and thought upon reasons why an orange would be the best one ever eaten.

I do not employ expletives in everyday speech due to my belief that they limit vocabulary, however I do acknowledge that they can have great rhetorical value which I why I used one here. I do believe it works well.

A very big thank you to *BlakeCurran who very kindly edited this and gave me a bit of advice! :hug: thank you so very much Blake! Anyone reading should check out some of his work because he is absolutely fabulous!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-05-23
The imagery and dialogue truly captured me in The Best Orange She'd Ever Eat by ~starell, showing more than the author actually wrote, the suggester proclaims. ( Suggested by SingingFlames and Featured by Nichrysalis )
I like how understated this is and how I kept expecting a twist that would actually have cheapened the story and I'm glad there was no twist. I like a good twist, but sometimes a straightforward tale works just as well. Besides, writing isn't always about gimmicks, after all. And so, having said that, I'll say that this was quite poignant. I love the fact that there's a bit of understanding and mutual respect between the characters, and a very adult form of understanding. Something happened, there will be fall-out from that, but in the meantime, there's just a small bit of human connection, human understanding, and the willingness of the old neighbor to "tell them what he did to you." It takes this out of the realm of "right and wrong" or "good and evil" and renders the whole tale deliciously human.
Maybe the twist was that I kept you expecting a twist but then didn't deliver a twist. Just kidding that is way too complicated! Although I am glad that I could subvert your expectations like that! 

I love diving into the gray area. I really think it is the most interesting. Characters who are just "good" or "evil" can be boring! There is nothing to relate to and there is no depth. I think that the "right and wrong" kind of stories serve to fulfill our fantasies about ourselves while a bit more human characters can serve as a mirror through which we examine our own motivations. 

:hug: Thank you so much for your lovely insightful comment! 
Sometimes a twist is simply that, subverting an expectation, even if you do it very subtly and in a way that doesn't even seem like a twist.  I'm totally with you in that characters who are "good" or "bad" are boring.  I mean, based on the ways in which we're taught to present art, you know what happens to the all-bad character or the all-good don't have to read the story all the way to the end.  It's already been "telegraphed" to you.  I also love stories that serve more as mirrors; wish fulfillment is almost like porn in some ways: it's ultimately very private; I get that sense whenever I read something by another author that seems to be nothing more than wish fulfillment, it makes me feel like a voyeur, and not in a good way.  With what you wrote, I felt more of a sense of ambiguity, and a little bit of sadness.  That was so much more rewarding.
I love when you write something and then discover all of the hidden meanings you never knew were there! I think these presumptions about the endings of "good" and "bad" characters is where the emerging fascination of bad winning is coming from. Hm, never thought about wish fulfillment like that! :hug: Glad that you think so! Thank you so very much! 
You are welcome, and I plan to read a lot more of your work.  I'm interested in what I've read so far.  It's always nice to stumble across a really good artist and to discover all sorts of gems in one gallery or another.
Just beware there's some rubbish mingled in! 
Isn't that the case with everything in reality though?
very true! 
brietta-a-m-f Jun 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think the saddest line in this whole thing is "She didn't think they had oranges in prison."

The greatest aspect of this story is how it lives in the exact moment of what is happening. Other than a sentence or two here and there, our nameless protagonist is only concerned with what is immediately in front of her. And this makes perfect sense in what context we are given.

One of the things that makes this truly gripping is not how you spell out every little gratuitous detail, but how you nearly all of it to us. The background, the protagonist's age, just what our "victim" did to deserve his fate, all of this is left for us to fill in (or to aimlessly wonder about, if our imaginations are too lazy). It lends itself to, if not downright forces reader investment, making sure that there is a connection to what is going on in the pages.

This is a fantastic story and most definitely deserving of its DD. So I shall sign off with a hearty "Congratulations!" and shuffle it off to my favorites.
It is a bit tragic. :( I am always amused by the fact that I enjoy such happy stories but tend to write them a bit darker. 

Third person limited is a great way to tell stories, however it doesn't really lend itself to extraneous information. Glad you could see the sense! 

I thought of it sort of like being in a movie where the set is ready and the actors are in costume and the props are all there but the only thing missing is the director! 

Thank you so very much for your wonderful compliment! :hug: I greatly appreciate your amazing comment as well! 
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