An Apple a Day

Apples by congerdesign on Pixabay



The old lady shoved the black wicker basket full of golden red apples at Wesley. She had shown up out of nowhere. One moment Wes had been walking down the wooded path and the next moment the old lady was…there. With the apples. And the toothsome grin that seemed just a little wild and frayed around the edges.

“Choose quickly. He comes!”

Wesley picked a small apple and rubbed it against the lapel of his jacket. “Wait…who?” He tried to pocket the apple, but she grabbed his wrist hard.

“Eat,” she said. “You must. Quickly! Now!”

Wesley narrowed his eyes. “Wait a minute. This is a trick, isn’t it? You’ve drugged this apple. You’re going to rob me!”

Her eyes widened. “No, young sir! Not rob. Save! He’s coming! His sharp blade is out! Oh, please, please. Eat and keep hi–HURRY!”

She shouted the last with such anguish that Wesley nearly dropped the apple. She pushed his hand toward his mouth. The apple smashed his upper lip against his teeth. He tasted sweet, juicy pulp and blood .

Just then, a man in a gore-streaked white coat floated onto the path. His head turned, birdlike and searching. The blade of a scalpel gleamed in the sunlight. He saw them, saw the basket, saw the crushed remains of the apple in Wesley’s hand and dropping down his chin. He hissed and glared and disappeared into the woods.

“An apple a day,” the old lady breathed. It sounded like a prayer.

This story started out as a sort retelling of one old story but ended up in the land of advice and aphorism. But didn’t you ever wonder about the doctor you were keeping away? I did.

Play along with the weekly writing prompt here.

(Photo Credit: congerdesign on Pixabay)