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WordVector
May 5th, 2012, 12:06 AM
Here's a little flash fiction story I wrote for my blog Heads up: There is some mild language.


Oranges
Victor Wolf


Pamela Nuhornawith’s dull knife cut into a ripe orange. She was doing what she loved: peeling oranges. Carefully cutting away the fruit's protective skin, she would throw the meat away and save the precious peels. She sorted the peels by God knows what means, and stored them in dozens of rusty filing cabinets that wall-papered her old Victorian house, which unsurprisingly, reeked of oranges in varying stages of decay.

When one of the aforementioned cabinets would fill up, the real fun would begin. Next the old woman, adorned with a bagliketrench
coat, would pick the best peels, scrapbook them, and bury the rest around town.

The townsfolk of Newmanshireport had taken a real liking to "The Orange Lady", and would frequently save their own orange peels to give to her. Occasionally someone would try and pull a dirty trick; handing her banana peels, avocado pits, or even items as crude as the withering husk of an October gourd. People such as that were dealt with accordingly: A delicious string of semi-coherent insults.

"Time comes with age", she scolded her grandson Jeremiah, shortly before she began the peeling and sorting process for the first time. Pamela's daughter stopped letting the boy come over to Grandma's house soon after that.

Sometimes Pam would delightedly tell children who were out playing, "You can't always find the best peels, but when you do it just glitters and shines!" The parents were always wary, but mostly just laughed smugly from behind tinted windows.
Every once in a while, Pamela would be happily surveying her scrapbooks, and pick out one particularly special peel. She would then proceed to fasten it to the wall, often removing portraits of family members to make room.

Now, to contrast Pamela's fixation, there weren't many people who cared less about orange peels than Terrance Phillips Jr. Terrance was your run of the mill trouble maker twelve year old. Always getting in fights, drawing graffiti on stuff, breaking stuff, stuffing stuff places it shouldn't be stuffed. The little ne’er-do-well didn't care.

As fate would have it, Terrance and "The Orange Lady" eventually crossed paths, on a hot August afternoon. Terrance was busying himself by throwing soft tomatoes, and Pam was out looking for a good place to bury a few peels. Pamela spotted the young man, who was still in his school uniform, and approached him, opening up a dialogue.

"What made you think you were a good idea?" she spat viciously at the unsupervised youth. "Orange art could make it better!"
Terrance was un-characteristically taken slightly aback, but quickly regained his composure saying, "Up yours, grandma. You ain't my mom". He threw another tomato to emphasize his point, which splattered against a nearby oak tree.

"What a bloody mess!" screeched Pamela. "Try oranges. Better color for your tree train. Less mess. MESS!" she ended with a scream. A squirrel promptly fell out of the tomato tree.

"Oh, shit!" exclaimed Terrance. "I've heard about you. You're Pamela Nornworth, or whatever. “The Orange Lady”. At the word "orange", Pamela drew herself up proudly. A gear began turning in Terrance’s delinquent mind. He smiled and went on, "I love oranges."

A shriveled grin spread across the old lady's withered face. She began fumbling around in her trench coat, and eventually retrieved an orange and a dull knife.

"I will show you my work", she said solemnly to the little jackass. Skillful and gnarled hands removed the peel at a moderate tempo, and the child beadily eyed the delicious ripe fruit. The peel came cleanly off the orange in one hand, and the fruit and knife were trapped in the other. "You see?" said Pam, forcing Terrance's eyes from the succulent fruitmeat. "Take peel. Don't need juice sponge.

What happened next made Terrance's eyes widen in horror. That old hag proceeded to throw the orange on to the ground, and it was immediately swarmed by the neighborhood ants. This would not stand! But wait!, thought Terrance quickly. His cold child brain quickly devised a way to turn this to his advantage.

"Ma'am", the little thug began sweetly, "I'd be awfully interested in seeing your peels, and see you peel more oranges. See, I love peels myself, and-"

"Enters the young man!” Pamela announced with valor. "You will see the beautiful time peel”, she told him softly, then added with a hint of anger, “Enchanting!”

"Yes ma'am", Terrance replied.

The two orange enthusiasts united (all be it for different reasons), they made their way across town to Mrs. Nuhornawith's cheerful abode. Pamela was raving and smiling, and Terrance's stomach growled at the thought of so much juicy fruitmeat. He smiled too.

CJ Tomlinson
May 14th, 2012, 05:38 PM
I love the vivid description, and the character was pulled off extremely well. A few minor spelling mistakes, but the only thing that bothered me was the ending; it kind of felt like it was going somewhere but didn't really, almost like the ending was rushed. I think maybe it should be a short story instead; the old lady was such a great character that you want to see what her deal is. That's just my opinion though; the solid use of description and fun dialog make it a good piece.

WordVector
May 14th, 2012, 07:52 PM
Thanks for commenting. I wrote it to do some flash fiction for fun, but I might make it a short story. I also thought about doing some kind of series of stories involving her, or some other crazy characters.

RichJanney
May 15th, 2012, 12:34 PM
I really like this. Secretly, I must admit that I really like to peel oranges too, but only those naval oranges that you can peel in about two seconds. It's... gratifying. I am not an old man yet, but when I become one, I may take to peeling and then burying. Peeling and burying.

Thank you for giving my future retirement some direction.

WordVector
May 15th, 2012, 04:31 PM
lol, Thanks Rich. I honestly don't remember how I thought this whole thing up, but I'm glad I've helped cement your future.

Sunshine
June 2nd, 2012, 01:48 PM
I love this as it reminded me of me of my nan. Thankfully however she is not a organge lover but a rose one and actually does have draws of the "most prettiest ones" and only buries the ones she no longer likes in the garden under her roseb bushes. However they do say you take after your parents...I hope mum does not take after nan but saying that I already have an obbession for gnomes. *Blushes*. I do not collect them however...yet.

Anyway, this piece is great as it's funny, it reminds one of how people can be amazingly odd and in my oppion makes the reader feel better about their own strangness.

Gerry_VDS
June 3rd, 2012, 08:52 PM
Good story!! Really funny!!

WordVector
June 14th, 2012, 09:29 PM
Good story!! Really funny!!
Thanks a lot, glad you enjoyed it.

VancouverLady
June 17th, 2012, 06:42 PM
Really good read. Haha, I love peeling oranges too, it smells so nice. It reminds me of my childhood : )

Kind of a cool ending with the two 'orange enthusiasts'. Cute line.