Wednesday, October 16, 2019

WEP Entry: Alcoholic Annihilation


Writing Challenge for October - WEP + IWSG




Here is my Horrible Harvest:

Golden orbs, a blush of pink on their cheeks, sway and bob from branches of the ancient, gnarled apple trees. The sweet smell of freshly mown grass rises from the earth and the cicada chorus tunes its tymbals to accompany the sun’s descent. Dusk’s deepening colors splash playfully on the fruit, filtered by the leaves of the trees in the orchard. 

The scene is idyllic . The sort that plein air painters capture on their canvases. The day’s end in fall;  the clear blue sky blending to purple, with washes of red and gold; cooling night air a portent of winter to come. The scene is deceptively sweet. Deceitful.

As nightfall advances a curious phenomenon occurs; sugars produced by the sun and stored in the apples combine with naturally produced yeast on the skin of the fruit. Fermentation begins. The fruit exposed to more sunlight during the day, on the upper branches and those on the southern side of the trees, are the first to ripen, and the first to become noticeably tipsy and silly. 

The orchard fills with sounds of mirth, the volume increasing to eclipse the music of the cicadas as evening stars march into their places in the sky. The moon arcs across the sky; the party escalates in cacophonic splendor. Less inebriated fruit duck under leaves within the trees’ branches, fearing the loss of control of their comrades and the resulting consequences. They’ve seen it all before. 

More alcohol is distilled within the most exposed fruit and tempers flare. Nasty comments rent the air. Ugly, harsh voices snarl and screech. Emily Post filters of etiquette and reasonableness fall to the ground, along with the first colored, withered leaves of autumn. 

The fruits bob on their stem tethers trying to turn hateful words into hurtful actions. Biting words turn into blows when one fruit manages to reach another. Heavy, wet plops echo throughout the orchard as drunken fruits smash to the ground, pulpy and brown, releasing an odor of apple cider that has turned. The fruit within the inner sanctum cringe at the bawdy behavior, wanting to disassociate themselves from the horrid show of inebriated excess. They sense the coming terror, with anxious tightness in their cores, wondering when they themselves will lose control and plunge to a pulpy end. The raucous noise slowly abates, turning to muttered epithets as sounds soften with the first blush of daylight. Actions slow, and with the exception of an occasional guttural grunt, a somnolent snore and soft mutterings, all is quiet. The sun’s first rays focus on sweating fruit, seemingly from a heavy dew, hanging languidly on the branches. The cloying sweet smell of alcohol rises with the morning mist. Throughout the orchard smashed bodies, oozing sticky wetness and attracting numerous buzzing insects, are mounded in the grass casting long shadows across the ground.  

The sun rises. The light intensifies, beginning the cycle of destruction anew.


Word Count: 486
Feedback is always welcome.

37 comments:

  1. Sounds like a description of Bacchus's vineyard. My father was alcoholic, and the harvest there was bitter indeed. Evocative prose. :-)

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    1. Thanks. I think many know the impact of alcoholism with family, coworkers or friends.

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  2. Oh-oh. Drunken fruit - not for the faint of heart. A wonderfully written metaphor.

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    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the badge influenced my thinking. Perhaps I see things too literally!

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  3. It was my mother who was the alcoholic.
    A powerful metaphor and a truly horrible harvest.

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    1. I believe my mother was as well. My sister has suffered with it for years. It's an insidious disease that can tear families apart.

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  4. What a fitting allegory, garden gone berserk, rather orchard! Well crafted and vivid. Kudos.

    Thank you for your participation in this Challenge.

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  5. Hi,
    A very interesting take on the prompt. You have revealed the destructive cycle of an alcoholics life.
    Well done.
    Shalom aeichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Thanks. I have seen the destructive cycle first hand, and it isn't a pretty picture!

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  6. Oh my, what a word picture. I shall never look at apples the same way again. The harvest of alcoholism is potent.

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    1. Thanks, Holly. Haha, just watch those apples at Publix leering at you with drunken smiles!

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  7. On the surface a light hearted view of the apple orchard.
    But so much deeper! Nicely done!!

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  8. Alcoholism portrayed by drunken fruit- genious!
    Great take on the prompt.

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    1. Thanks. I have witnessed too many alcoholic binges, brawls and mornings after. The badge set me up for this.

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  9. Very creative. I loved imagining the drunken shenanigans of these apples.

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    1. Haha... just imagine the fun they had... until it wasn't fun!

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  10. Interesting... A really fun piece using drunken fruit.

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  11. You set the scene well with vivid descriptions. I've had plenty of personal experience with alcoholics, so I could relate to the fruit hidden away from the sun and fearing what might come next. Well done!

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    1. I do think this would resonate with anyone who has connections with alcoholics. It is such a terrible disease.

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  12. Your words are beautifully written, with deep meaning to a lot of people, using the apples where they have no control over what is happening to them. It rings so true.

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  13. You sure bring forth vivid descriptions indeed. Those fruit sure can be tough to deal with when they exist in sober fruit's orbit and refuse help.

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  14. A fine description of alcoholism. My maternal grandmother died at 75 from complications of alcoholism and the cousin who is closest in age to me in that family (I'm 54) has developed alcohol-related dementia. There is a fair bit of alcoholism in my family, and given my mental health issues and addictive personality it's surprising that I dodged the bullet.

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  15. Oh Cyndi, I came by to read yours again to find my comment isn't here. Never mind. I wanted to tell you how I loved the descriptive first paragraphs and I re read them before entering the world of the alcoholic phenomenon, which was written with great descriptions also. You've done a masterful job with the prompt and I thoroughly enjoyed your piece. Thanks for posting!

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  16. As I read this I can't help but to keep thinking about the animated movie The Secret Lives of Pets only this is The Secret Lives of Fruits! Your words created a vivid and colorful images as I can see everything unfolding in my mind. Beautifully done!

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  17. You took the visual prompt and produced an entertaining but observant vision in words. Fruit can be fun, even when the sugar turns to alcohol. But letting them loose? That gets horrible and tragic -- my wife's first husband's drinking killed him.

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  18. I was delighted to see that you participated in the October WEP prompt. Cleverly done, Dreaming! You really created a sense of place and Apple Bacchanalia! Alcoholism darkened my family's experiences over several generations, so I could associate with the hiding apples. This story reminded me of my grandmother's cherry trees. The cherries at the top of the trees would ferment. Then the grackles would eat them. It was funny to hear tipsy grackles squabbling and to see them staggering on the lawn under the cherry trees!

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  19. Hi Cyndi ... that would be terrible to have alcoholic trees growing ... but perhaps one would have more bodies on the ground ... however your entry posts other viewpoints for the apples ... well written - I shall not look at apple trees quite so comfortably again ... cheers Hilary

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  20. Congratulations on your WEP award. As the child of an alcoholic this struck home.

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  21. Good Morning!

    A huge congratulation for placing runner-up on the WEP's October Challenge.
    All the best.
    Shalom Aleichem,
    Pat G

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  22. Hi Cynda - I was convinced I'd read and commented here ... so this is a brilliant read with those turning thoughts as any imbibers can get drunker and drunker ... clever - cheers Hilary

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  23. Apparently, my father and his grandmother (a temperance leader) drank some refreshing cider one warm autumn day. They drank pitchers, without realizing it was hard cider. She got rip roaring drunk, sang some semi bawdy songs.

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  24. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to
    generate a good article... but what can I say... I put things off a lot and don't manage
    to get nearly anything done.

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