You pick strawberries in spring, blueberries in summer, apples and pumpkins in the fall. There is a comforting order to the repetition. Your son loves Envy apples, sweet and crisp and floral. He eats strawberries from the vine without checking for bugs, without wiping them off first. His lips and T-shirt stained with juice. You panic, imagining salmonella, parasites, worst-case scenarios. Your husband laughs, tells you to loosen up, so you nibble a strawberry. It tastes better this way—straight from the vine, warm and ripe. You think of the texts on your phone, unread. You can’t think of anything else. Your husband seems suspicious, but you might be imagining it. At home, you hull the strawberries, slice them, make a cobbler that oozes filling out the sides. Later, you’ll remember this. The sweetness filling the house. The first bite burning your tongue, because you couldn’t bring yourself to wait.
Lindy Biller is a writer based in the Midwest. Her fiction has recently appeared at Gastropoda Magazine, Tiny Molecules, Fahmidan Journal, and Milk Candy Review. Her fiction chapbook won the 2021 Masters Review Chapbook Open and will be published in Spring 2023.
The second person narrative works beautifully here, short and sweet.