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Tomato time


By Melissa IngoldsbyPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - May 2024
Tomato time
Photo by Leilani Angel on Unsplash

My girlfriend Nana went to the farmer’s market and bought some tomatoes. I lingered on the spot on the counter that had the last tomato after she had made us dinner the night before.

What a great big beautiful thing that tomato was. The utter ripeness of the others were juicy and rich and full of summer flavor. Full of summer color. The ultra red hue that these particular tomatoes have is like something from a Kubrick film. Uncanny, almost, in their unnatural and perfect color.

“I’m off to work now, Alice, luv, have a funny-tastic day!” She leaned in to kiss the side of my mouth, and I couldn’t help to pull forward and give her a full on smacking, as Nana saucily puts it.

Dreamy-eyes, you have a beautiful day,” I said back. Yes, she had dreamy eyes. Freaky bright blue that most of our colleagues thought were alien looking and oddball, like her. She always made up words like funny-tastic and once we tried to make up our own language with pictures associated with letters.

As strange as some might feel about her intense light blue eyes, it made me intensely in love with her, even more.

Just like that tomato.

In the space of the ten second kiss with my love and us saying goodbye, I hoped to rid of my obsession with that last tomato.

It made me feel like the tempted Eve in the garden of Eden. How could she have avoided such a temptation, and what could she have done to stop herself?

I start to wash the floors to avoid it.

Why do I feel so guilty about it, though? One tomato won’t make a full sauce.

Still, Nana loves tomatoes. She might want it in a salad or something similar. I’ve seen her just slice a tomato and put kosher salt on it, and eat it as is.

In fact, I always completely forget about tomatoes mostly. They are an afterthought to my meals and I even have complained about them before. So why the change of heart?

I stop washing the floor as I saw a strange thing happen: I swear.

The tomato rolled a centimeter opposite my facing.

I blinked slowly and rubbed my eyes. What a weird moment. It made me feel weird.

Only thirty seconds of scrubbing the kitchen floor and I find myself almost drowning in my hunger, of almost a new envy of that dangerously red tomato.

Like when Nana had on that spicy red dress for our fifth anniversary. Damn-wow, as she often says to exclaim a point, she looked good enough to eat. Just like that tomato.

William Carlos Williams couldn’t help eating those rich and cold plums in the ice-box, could he? So why should I? Poets seem to be hungrier than most people, I guess.

You’re a glutton, a weird food-slut for wanting it so bad, I think to myself in a nauseous state.

I take the last step toward the off looking deeply red little shit of a tomato. Now I was characterizing it as a toddler that was making my morning a headache with their constant crying.

The tomato was crying for me to eat it.

I leaned in close, smiling and smelling it. It’s romantic almost how heartbreakingly red it is yet in just a few moments it’ll be at home in my belly.

Nana won’t mind, I think.

I take it in my hand and bite into it as greedily as Denethor did to those cherry tomatoes in Lord of the Rings.

Suddenly I’m covered in a splatter of blood red tomato guts and juice.

I shriek and almost fall down, and suddenly I feel the crawl on my face.

“Shit! Get it off!” I yell, but it’s only me at home. I smack at my face and it falls on the floor.

A lovely spider. What the heck.

All that time of wanting it and there was a spider trapped inside.

The sour-sweet taste engulfed parts of my mouth and teeth. Buttery, savory and bitter and lovely, and yet the feeling I’m left with it feels like lonely.

I laugh at the feeling of this world being so beautiful like that spider tomato, because it’s as dark and sweet and dangerous.

I hold my girlfriend tighter at the thought later that evening.


About the Creator

Melissa Ingoldsby

I am a published author on Patheos,

I am Bexley by Resurgence Novels

The Half Paper Moon on Golden Storyline Books for Kindle.

My novella The Job and Atonement will be published this year by JMS Books

Carnivorous published by Eukalypto

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Comments (13)

  • Esala Gunathilake2 months ago

    Congratulations on your top story.

  • Carol Townend2 months ago

    I love tomatoes, but now, I think I'm put off for life!! This is quite humorous with a hint of horror Melissa. It's brilliant, and makes a great read for those with tough stomachs!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Creative and impressive!!! Loved it and congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    So good! What a great story.

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh2 months ago

    So sensory rich and creative!

  • Margaret Brennan2 months ago

    omg, this was hilarious. I can relate to the spider. wonderful story and so amusing. love it.

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Ooh, I love this temptation and goodness and shock all mixed up.

  • Christy Munson2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! Great story. I'm stunned at the timing. Just this morning I moved a tomato from my counter and under it (not inside it, thankfully) was a black spider. He, she, they had the body of a miniature race car, revved and ready to terrify me. Side note - my husband's family (originally from Sweden) call a grandmother Nana, so it was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to see Nana first as a grandma and then had the ability to see Nana the girlfriend! Ha! After setting aside grandma, loved the story!!!

  • Gabriel Huizenga2 months ago

    This makes me want tomato slices with kosher salt!! Love this brilliantly descriptive, wonderfully hilarious tale - congrats on Top Story! :)

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Such a wholesome story. I never liked tomatoes growing up. Now I can’t live without them. Congrats, Melissa!

  • Omggggg a spider!!! Also, I kept thinking of Nana as grandma 🤣🤣🤣 Loved your story!

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Now I want a tomato! Great story 🍅🥫

Melissa IngoldsbyWritten by Melissa Ingoldsby

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