The Fruit of His Labor

Have you written a story for this week’s Indies Unlimited flash fiction challenge? They give out prompts (written and picture) on Saturdays. Check em out, they have some great prompts to play with.

The Fruit of His Labor

The poison was only in one of the fruits. Of course, it was not enough to kill – only to make the person who ingested it acutely ill. Then Michael would swoop in and save the day.

Yes, Michael was a very promising medical student. He believed that “saving” the life of one of the faculty spouses attending the party would earn him the special favor and attention he so deserved.

He just forgot one simple rule: some people are more sensitive to chemical compounds than others…

fruit of his labor

photo by K.S. Brooks

The night had gone fairly well. Michael had kept his eye on the basket of fruit, ready to swoop in at the first sign of trouble. Though in hindsight he realized he shouldn’t have dosed the orange. It wasn’t just the citric acid that intensified the power of the “treatment.” He hadn’t counted on it being shared.

Eleanor Strickland, the wife of Governor Strickland had taken the orange. He hadn’t known who she was. At least not till he saw her sharing the segments with her husband. They didn’t even finish it.

Within minutes of each of them eating the first segment, they had both gone into convulsions. The spontaneous attack sent the entire room into chaos. As Mrs. Strickland sent projectile vomit at the hostess of the evening, other guests followed suit.

People were screaming, and running, and demanding restitution. At first the shrimp took the blame and those who had eaten ran to the bathrooms en masse.

Michael took advantage of the chaos to clean up the offending orange and discard it. But as he dropped it into the trash, Dean Thompson stopped him.

“Hand it over young man,” he said. His grey brows furrowed in judgment.

“I never meant for it to come to this.”

A wicked smile filled Dean Thompson’s face. “Oh, the stuffed shirts have had this coming for quite some time.” He took the orange and wrapped it in a napkin then shoved it into a coat pocket.


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