Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Microstory 1562: Apples to Apples, Dust to Dust

I have sensitive teeth, but I love the taste of fruit, so my own personal hell would be a room full of apples with no applesauce.

And I am not picky about the flavor, the texture, or even the actual taste of applesauce. I have no idea what sets one applesauce apart from another. I can’t tell the difference between Frosty Paws and the pricier Thompson brands, and I never understood those Velveeta Light Blend applesauces until I realized that they don’t even contain applesauce. The frozen bagged applesauce I bought specifically for ease of quick prepackaging was also made by Thompson’s, and as I did my research, that seemed to be the only one. The last bag I bought had a different look on the box. I asked the clerk about it, and she said, “oh, I can’t remember offhand which brand it is.” Which makes me wonder: which brand should a customer trust? The customer who works in the store, the customer who is savvy and research-savvy enough to see a difference on the box, or the one at the cash register? This is one reason I stopped purchasing “wet” applesauce and started buying the squeezy variety. Before, I had to use a spatula to even break the seal, and then to scrape the spoonful out, which was a Herculean chore. The “seal” that the bag placed over the applesauce as it cooked was just as gross.

I know, I’m getting a little off topic, but it’s important to understand what I’ve gone through if you’re going to follow the story. The other day, I bought applesauce, like I do. It’s a really easy side piece for my breakfast, because it doesn’t take any time to make, and coupled with cereal, I’m full until lunch. It was a different brand this time, because I couldn’t find what I really wanted, but I figured I would try it. It actually tasted really good, but I only had time for one bite before I had to leave the house. My cat retched on the carpet, and I freaked out. I called in sick to work, and just left all my food on the table while we went to the vet. Don’t worry, everything was fine with him, but the weird thing is, when I got home, the applesauce was gone, and inside the bowl was a fully-formed apple. I live alone, and don’t have any family. I don’t even give my neighbors a key for safety, because I don’t know them, and don’t care to. It’s obviously a prank, but I can’t think of who. I toss the apple in the fridge, and move on. The next day, though, I’m curious to see who’s coming into my house. I keep a camera in my cat’s favorite room, to keep an eye on him, but nowhere else. I have to move it from there, and point it at a second bowl of uneaten applesauce. There are too many possible entrances for me to cover all of them, but the dining area is in a central location. I have two computer monitors at work, but only technically need one, so I just keep the second on my camera stream the whole time, and look over every once in a while. I’m surprised to see a new apple in the bowl during one of these glances. I quickly rewind the feed, and am even more shocked to see that no one replaced my applesauce. It just happened. On its own. I watch it transform itself, like it’s somehow reversing entropy. That’s not all that happens, though. When I switch back to live, I find that the bowl itself turns into a mound of clay, and the rug I have rolled up in the corner because it needs to be cleaned turns into a leopard. I was told that it was not made of real leopard fur, which is annoying and terrible, but at least its alive now? It continues. All the walls in my house suddenly become trees, ultimately destroying the camera, so I can’t see what happens next. I bolt out of work without telling my boss, and race back home. Or rather, I race back to the forest that was once my home. It’s spreading, swallowing everything in its path. Frightened of what happens when it hits me, I turn around, and now try to drive away from the onslaught. I don’t make it far before my car literally breaks down, and becomes a hunk of minerals and oil. I climb out of the wreckage, and try to go on foot. This unseen force takes over me too, though. Beams of light shoot out of my skin as I sublimate into a dusty gas, and become a nanostar.

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