Nancy was a middle-aged widow, a nice lady with a kind and generous soul, who enjoyed nothing more than baking for her church group every Saturday. Everyone especially raved over Nancy’s apple pie, it was so delectably delicious. Her crust was heavenly, with just the perfect amount of flaky, buttery goodness that melts in your mouth.
What was her secret? Surely, she’d be willing to share it with everyone, figuring that she was such a lovely person and all.
“I’ll take the recipe to my grave,” she’d reply to her inquiring church friends, giving a cheeky wink, then giggling softly to herself within her own private mirth.
One particularly hot day, Nancy was in her tidy and immaculate kitchen getting ready to bake yet another pie when there was a knock on her door, which wasn’t anything unusual since people were dropping by all of the time.
“Be right there,” she called out, rushing to the door with baking flour sticking to her hands and under her fingernails.
But when she answered the door, nobody was there.
“Well goodness,” she said, “I must be going crazy!”
She headed back to the kitchen and much to her surprise, the apples on her counter were suddenly, amazingly alive.
Animated. They had mouths, eyes, ears and a nose.
All of them, the ones that hadn’t been chopped and peeled yet, were all staring at her like she was a murderer.
The biggest apple spoke.
“Nancy, we beg of you, please don’t kill us and put us into your pie.”
Nancy blinked a few times. Perhaps she had hit the bottle of vodka a wee bit too early that day.
The smallest apple started to cry.
“I haven’t even gotten to see the world yet,” it said in a childlike voice that broke Nancy’s heart.
“Of course not! How could I kill you, sweet little apple? You’ll all stay here with me, I’ve always wanted children,” she said, grinning with joy.
“I’ll just switch to baking brownies.”
“The saddest thing I ever heard,” Beatrice said, shaking her head sadly, her gray hair perfectly coiffed because the Lord expected you to always look presentable at church.
Imogen sighed dramatically. “Imagine, going crazy like that. Well, she was always a bit unstable after her husband passed.”
Beatrice nodded her agreement. “I heard that there were so many apples in her house, the men in the white coats could barely make their way to take her away.”
“And the smell, rotting apples everywhere! Such a shame, really. Well, I guess that her apple pie recipe will really die with her, just like she said it would.”
A slight shudder ran down Beatrice’s body, leaving behind a trail of goosebumps.
“Well dear, I don’t know about you, but I’d be perfectly happy if I never ate another bite of apple pie.”
She paused for a moment. How silly of her, fruit doesn’t have any feelings, she thought hastily to herself.
“But I’d love a cold glass of your homemade lemonade.”
Imogen smiled graciously. “I made it fresh this morning.”
She just loved the screams that the lemons made when she squeezed them.